By Scott Thoma
If Annie Sammons’ grown children had all marched off to war at the same time, there would have been enough to form their own unit.
Instead, they left the nest one by one to serve their country; nine sons and a daughter in World War II and another son in the Korean War.
Annie (her real name was Anna) and her husband, William, had 15 children in all that were born between 1913-1930, including one who died at 8 months old. They had three sets of twins in all, with two of the sets of twins serving in WWII.
When William passed away in 1934 at age 56, Annie was left to raise the children on her own. But several tragic events left her heartbroken.
One of her children, the oldest son, “Johnnie,” died of malaria while a prisoner of war in the Philippines. Another son, Marvin, had only been enlisted for a short while before being granted a 24-hour pass from boot camp to attend a family reunion and died as a result of a swimming accident.
After seeing a story in a daily Minnesota newspaper a few years ago about seven siblings from the same family serving in World War II, Lorna Glatz, Annie’s granddaughter, became historically interested in her own military family tree.
See this week’s Headlight-Herald for more on this article.