Location: Dumbarton and Ostego Streets
Stockton playground location: Dwight, Parkview, Detroit River
~ Thanks to Sandy L. and especially Linda G. who generously opened their digital family photo album. You meet the kindest-hearted, left handed folks through genealogy. andreag
Local Yokel, Business Man, Soldier
This is a story of a life interrupted.
David Frederick Stockton [1911-1944] became a Detroiter via the hills of Cookeville, TN. His story is short and like many men who served in WWII, David’s life ended in an act of courage. He was the only son of Houston Albert Stockton and Daisy Pearl Kinnaird. Love those southern names. The Stockton’s left the family cow in Tennessee and headed to Michigan in the 1920’s. [Sorry I didn’t get the cow picture.. but it exists]. They landed in Gratiot Township which would later become Harper Woods. Both father and son worked at US Rubber in the tire factory; Houston as a rubber former, David as a ‘box man’.
I have said it before and I’ve got to say it again.. I meet the kindest people when writing and researching these stories. When details are scant; I go looking for folks.
This time I found the Atwell family who are direct relations of Lorwyn Peterson. It was a great pleasure to meet you personally!!
Thanks again for the tidbits of information and the use of the photos.
Truly – ag
PS. We will get to Fred Nagle next..
PETE IN CHARGE
Location: Pickford, Curtis and Greenfield
Lorwyn Elwyn Peterson (1908-1945) graduated from Michigan State College in 1930 with a degree in Business Administration. The son of Elwyn and Marie, he was raised in Brooklyn, a small town located in the Irish Hills area of Michigan.
Peterson enlisted for duty in World War II and rose rank to Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 716th Tank Battalion, 43rd Infantry Armored Division. Peterson’s relatives tell us he was to be made a full Colonel, however preferred to stay on with the men he trained for duty. Continue reading “Lt. Colonel Lorwyn E. Peterson – Park #73”
— A while back, I helped to clean up Boyer playground with a group of volunteers. I met Kim Littlejohn that day and I told her I would find out for whom Boyer Park was named. It took a long while to find the story, but here it is Kim. Sorry no photo of Tom Boyer could be found.. maybe one will appear soon. Super good link about the long gone Wilbur Wright High School below – take a look. Thanks for reading. Ag
SINCERELY, EDITH BOYER JAN-29-1947
“There isn’t much of his civil life to tell. He died so young. He was born April 15, 1924 in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. We brought him to Detroit on December 3, 1927. He attended Harms Grade School, Wilson Elementary School and he graduated from Wilbur Wright Trade School. He was a newspaper carrier when he was young. After graduation he worked as an apprentice at General Motors Research Laboratory. He was getting along fine there until he was drafted into the Army on February 25, 1943…
Yet another story of bravery and sacrifice .. I hope you aren’t tired.. we have a long way to go.. andrea
DETROIT’S ADOPTED SON
Bernard Sasser [1920-1945] was a courageous man; one who exemplified leadership and duty before self. He is honored with a large and well used memorial park nestled between Harper [I-94 service drive] and Lanark Street on Detroit’s east city limits. This park was slated to be closed back in 2013 when funds in Detroit dried up. Sasser Playground was well kept when we visited in the summer of 2014 – baseball games, football practice was in full session and the park was full of kids and parents. Good times.
MINDING THE FIELDS
Sasser enlisted to serve in World War II. He was assigned to Army Company G, 222nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division and where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. During a February 1945 watch near Alsace, France, he observed a patrol of US soldiers attempting to cross through a mine field he had previously scouted. Sasser voluntarily guided the group through the field for safe passage. Upon completion the patrol came under heavy enemy fire. He took command and moved to the head of the squad where he was struck by bullets and grenade fragments when attempting to sieze an enemy machine gun. He protected this patrol of soldiers outside of his own company from harm’s way and died while missing in action. Sasser earned the Silver Star posthumously for his gallantry.
Three years before that dark fateful night, he moved to Detroit with his mother Anne settling in on Strasburg Street. A bachelor with few ties to our city, he became an adopted son. A native of Massachusetts, he is buried in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Fitchburg, MA.