Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tufts Soldiers to remember on Memorial Day

This is my list list of Tufts soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in service to their country. Some were killed in action, some died of disease while in service. Civil War casualties will be another project and probably be included in the bigger project of listing all the Tufts soldiers in the War of the Rebellion. I will try and add to it when I come across more records. Please forward any corrections or additions.
Please make sure you check the comments section for additional information.

Tufts casualties
Early wars
James Tufts Killed at Battle of Bloody Brook in French and Indian War in 1675.
Henry Tufts possibly killed in same conflict in Dunstable in 1706.

Peter Tufts died of disease in siege of Louisburg Nova Scotia in 1745
Lt Thomas Tufts died of disease shortly after returning from the siege of Louisburg in Greenland, NH.

Revolutionary War
William Tufts died in Battle of Bennington (VT) in The Revolution in 1776
Adam Tufts died in service in 1778
Aaron Tufts died in Mill prison in 1781
Ichabod Tufts may have died at battle of Bunker Hill 1775.

War of 1812
William Tufts, Belfast Maine, William born in 1772 in Windham died September 30 1812 in the war of 1812 at sea. His family is listed as heirs receiving his pension in 1815 according to the pension roll of 1835, Volume 1
World War I (Some Canadian soldiers listed here are from other Tufts families and not Peter Tufts the immigrant to Charlestown Massachusetts.)

Arthur Zimmerman Tufts, born 13/06/1887, in Tweed, Ontario, regimental # 787678, Son of Robert Tufts.  He enlisted in Carleton Place, ON on 28 Mar 1916.  He was killed in action on 1 Mar 1917 and buried Zouave Valley Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France, Grave reference II.A.5  He was a private in the 75th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment).
Gordon Harrison Tufts, born 02/10/1888, in New Brunswick.  His wife was Elsie Blanche Pushie.  He enlisted on 23 Oct 1916 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in the 175th O. Bin. C.E.F. with the rank of Lieutenant, having previously served 1 yr. in the 21st Alberta Hussars.  He was with the 27th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), rank Captain, when he was killed in action on 21 Aug 1917.  He was awarded the Military Cross and is buried at the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Gorman Dewitt Tufts was born June 6, 1896 in Lake Pleasant Nova Scotia and died November 6, 1917 in Belgium in World War I. he enlisted January 6, 1916 in Middleton NS.
Private Tufts served in the 112th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Royal Canadian Regiment.

Irving S. Tufts of Michigan
Death Date:        27 Nov 1918
Cemetery:          St. Mihiel American Cemetery
Cemetery Burial Plot:     Plot D Row 12 Grave 5
Cemetery City:  Thiaucourt
Cemetery Country:         France
War:      World War I
Title:      CORPORAL, U.S. Army
Division:               47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Data Source:      World War I Honor Roll

John T Tufts 6 December 1917

Ray Kenneth Tufts, born 29/10/1890, New Brunswick, regimental # 696187.  He enlisted in Medicine Hat, Alberta on 11 Feb 1916, having served 1yr in the 21st Albert Hussars; 5 years in the 62nd St. John Fusiliers and 5 years in No. 7 Co., C.A.S.C. He was killed in action on 16 Oct 1918 and was serving with the Canadian Infantry (Alberta regiment) 50th Bn., with the rank of Sergeant.  He is buried at Chapel Corner Cemetery, Sauchy-Lestree, Pas de Calais, France, grave reference E 16.  He was awarded the Military Medal

World War II
Aubert Mahlon Tufts Tufts was born 25 August 1916 in Brownsville, Maine. He was descendant of the families of Deacon John Tufts who was one of the first settlers of Belfast, ME and subject of my shipwreck mystery story. If he is not an Ulster Scot according to legend, he descends from Peter Tufts through his sons John, John, John, William, Freeman, Lewis M, and his father Myron G Tufts of Brownsville. He was shot down over Germany according to these records: Aubert is credited with enlisting from West Virginia. We don't know what brought him there but did discover he was married in 1940 to Anna Katheryn Gott. (Thanks go out to Gary Peakes for this information)
Death Date:        29 Apr 1944
Cemetery:          Ardennes American Cemetery
Cemetery Burial Plot:     Plot D Row 11 Grave 15
Cemetery City:  Neupre
Cemetery Country:         Belgium
War:      World War II
Awards:               Air Medal, Purple Heart
Title:      Second Lieutenant
Rank:     Second Lieutenant
Service:                U.S. Army Air Forces
Service ID:           O-755611
Division:               579th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group, Heavy
Data Source:      World War II Honor Roll Aubert M Tufts
Gender:               Male
Cemetery Name: Neuville-En-Condroz Permanent Cemetery, Belgium
Grave number: d 11 15
Disposition:        According to next of kin

2nd/Lt. Aubert M. Tufts KIA
Hometown: West Virginia
Squadron: 579th BS 392nd Bomb Group
Service# O-755611
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

Target: Berlin Germany
Date Lost: 29-Apr-44
Serial Number: #42-7510
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: "0"
Aircraft Name: "EL LOBO" 38th Mission
Location: outskirts of Dinklage, Germany.
Cause: unknown 10KIA

The Group losses on this raid would be the second heaviest ever encountered in its combat history in terms of men killed and planes lost-next only to those suffered at Friedrichshafen on 18 March 1944. On this mission, (18) aircrews were briefed between 0400-0430 hours with the 577th and Lieutenant Rapenport as Bombardier leading. Crews began take-offs at 0725 on what was to be a mission encounter of grave misfortunes due to heavy enemy fighter opposition and flak. Before the target, an estimated 50 single engine fighters hit the group, consisting of FW-190 and ME-109 aircraft, attacking in double line-abreast and making a level pass through the Group's formation.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: No report exists in the MACR from in-flight eyewitness accounts on the loss of this aircraft. Other records indicated this aircrew did fly this mission with formations of the 392nd's sister Group, the 44th, to the Berlin target complex. German eyewitnesses report hearing the sound of gunfire in the clouds and then seeing this B-24 descend through the clouds. Neither right engine was working and thick black smoke was coming from the forward part of the fuselage. The plane impacted in a forest on the outskirts of Dinklage, GGermany.


BURIAL RECORDS: All ten crew members were buried in the Forest Cemetery in Vechta, Germany. Overseas U.S. National Cemetery records reveal the following interments concerning certain members of this aircrew: In the ARDENNES Cemetery near Liege, Belgium, are Lt. Wyatt (Grave A-40-7); Lt. Tufts (Grave D-1 1-15); S/Sgt Womer (Grave A-26-20); S/SGT Monroe (Grave C-4-42); and Sgt Sorrells (Grave A-33-45). All five were noted to have awards as recorded: Wyatt, the Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters; Monroe and Sorrells, both the Air Medal. All were cited for the Purple Heart as well. On the remaining (5) crew members of this aircrew there is no burial or remembrance recognitions.
This aircraft had suffered a near miss before with part of the tail and turret shorn off by a propeller: pictures available at this link:

Henry William Robert Tufts, age 23, serving the Royal Canadian Air Force (service # R/155964) as a flight sergeant, died 17 June 1944.  He was son of William John and Gertrude (McCauley) Tufts of Yorkton, Saskatchewan and is buried in Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, grave reference Section B., Row G, Grave 5

James P Tuffs
Inducted From: Michigan
Rank:     Private
Combat Organization:    289th Infantry 75th Division
Death Date:        28 Dec 1944
Monument:       Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
Last Known Status:          Buried
U.S. Awards:      Purple Heart Medal

Milton John Tufts Jrwas from Hudson New Hampshire. He was born in Connecticut and in the 1930 Waterford, CT census his father Milton John Sr. listed his occupation as truck driver. His wife Anna was born in CT and it appears her parents were as well. In the 1940 census they are in Litchfield NH where his father was engaged in poultry farming. They later lived in Hudson, NH where Milton enlisted in the Navy from. He descended from Peter Tufts, the immigrant, through his sons; Jonathan, James, John, William, Zachariah, Daniel, John, and Milton John Sr. This was a storied military family. William was a hero at Louisburg in 1745, Zachariah served with distinction in the Revolution, and others served in the Civil War from Vermont.
A great story about Milton was found from 2004 in The NH Business Review. In the article it states he is forgotten on the Sailor’s Memorial in Hampton, NH and relates one man’s efforts to recognize him. I did not find his name listed in the roll of honor in Concord either.
In that story it also relates the circumstances of Milton’s ship being torpedoed and the rescue ship being sunk as well.
Tufts was killed in the Atlantic in 1942 when he was part of a convoy bringing supplies and equipment to England. The ship he was on - the SS Gurney E. Newlin - was torpedoed twice. The second time, those on board abandoned ship. The captain and several others were picked up by a Canadian corvette. The rest of those on board, Tufts included, were picked up by a Canadian tanker, the SS Bic Island. According to Bole’s research, the tanker had been sent back to find any survivors. The ship had about 44 survivors from the Newlin and 77 survivors from another ship. German submarines looking for any members of the convoy that may have been cut off from the group found the Bic Island. The submarines attacked the ship, which sank, with everyone on board dying. Tufts, as are all who are lost at sea, was listed as missing in action.
Death Date:        29 Oct 1943
Cemetery:          Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery
Cemetery Burial Plot:     Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Cemetery City:  Cambridge
Milton served as a Seaman, First Class and armed guard, SS Gurney E. Newlin, U.S. Navy during World War II. Milton was declared "Missing In Action" when the Newlin was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic during the war. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Cemetery Country:         England
War:      World War II
Awards:               Purple Heart
Title:      Seaman, First Class
Rank:     Seaman, First Class
Service:                U.S. Navy
Service ID:           6069312
Division:               United States Naval Reserve
Data Source:      World War II Honor Roll

Roy Olaf Tufts, age 29, serving with the Canadian Scottish Regiments R.C.I.C., with the rank of Private, was killed in action 2 Oct 1944.  His service # was F/76515; he was son of Heber & Elva Tufts of Simpsons Corners, Nova Scotia and was buried in Calais Canadian War Cemetery (Leubringhen), Pas de Calais France, grave reference 2.E.8

Willie L. Tufts
b. 1930 Chatham GA
killed Korea 24 Apr 1952
3rd div.Willie L Tufts
Birth Date:          1930
Race:     (Black)
Home State:       Georgia
Casualty Date:   24 Apr 1952
Casualty Country:            North Korea Sector
Casualty Type:   Killed in Action OR Missing in Action, KIA              
Group:  KIA or Missing in Action, KIA
Branch: Infantry
Component:      AUS - 21 Months

Marine showing vest Private Willie Tufts was shot wearing armored Vest Number 329 worn by Private 1st Class Willie Tufts, US 52077771, with bullet holes circled and marked 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Company E, 7th Regiment.
Private First Class Tufts was a member of the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on April 24, 1952. Private First Class Tufts was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Data Source:
Korean War Veterans Honor Roll

Robert Bruce Tufts

William L Tufts, CHARLIE COMPANY 2/12th Infantry Regiment, 4th & 25th Infantry Division 


  1. Thanks for the nice Memorial Day posting - great stuff!

    I do have information concerning your question on the West Virginia "origin" for Aubert Mahlon Tufts. Aubert did spend a few years in West Virginia, and unless he was subsequently divorced at the time of his death, he did not die unmarried.

    On July 3, 1940, married Anna Katheryn Gott in Nitro, West Virginia. If you are interested, I do have a copy of the Marriage license.

    Aubert was a cousin of my Grandmothers. A few years ago I was able to visit his grave site over in Belgium while on a business trip.

    Thanks again,

    Gary Peakes

  2. Thank you Gary, This is the kind of response I love to get. I will make the addition to the story. Please pass along to other family and contribute any more you might have. The research never ends. What a thrill to visit that hallowed ground. I think i read some were re-interred to USA. Were there any children resulting from his marriage? Do you know what brought him to WV? Maybe school or work?

  3. Upfront apologies for this long reply..........

    The El Lobo flight crew was originally buried at the crash site in Germany, and then subsequently re-interred in Belgium in 1946. Subsequent to that (1049 to 1950), 5 of the crew members were returned to America for burial. You may have already come acorss this story at the following link - but if not, here it is. Aubert's remains were not re-located to the US.

    I'm quite confident that there were no children resulting from Aubert's marriage - at least I'm aware of none. I'm not sure exactly what brought Aubert to West Virginia, but he certainly did travel quite a bit leading to WWII and prior to enlistment in the Army Air Corps. After spending his formative years in Brownville, ME, I have several letters/telegrams from Aubert to his Aunt (my Great-great-Aunt) detailing that he was at Parks Air College immediately prior to the war, and also spent time in Los Angeles doing factory work. Nitro, WV was the site of a prominent munitions factory, so a fair guess may be that the factory lured him there? One of the telegrams in my possession was a "return to sender" telegram that my Great-Great-Aunt had, as it was undeliverable due to Aubert's death. The telegram remained unopened until discovered by my father about 10 years ago. We opened it and read it, and I subsequently delivered a copy of the telegram to the Ardennes military cemetary where Aubert is interred (where the officer stated that it would be filed with his data).

    Aubert also had a brother (Myron Gerrish Tufts Jr.) that served in the US Army during WWII. Myron lived a pretty long life, passing away about 8 years ago. Quite coincidentally, Myron passed away during my trip to the Ardennes Cemetary (I remember my father e-mailing me that news).

    Thanks again for a great blog site - and enjoy the coming summer!

    1. Thank you again Gary, No need to apologize. I want this kind of post to share the full story with readers. I'll make a note on the post to make sure readers check the comments for further information. If you ever wanted to share the telegram you mention I would gladly add it to the story.