Frank Witchey – Technical Sergeant, United States Army

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FRANK WITCHEY, 53, ARMY TRUMPETER
Sergeant Who Sounded Taps For Unknown Soldier, Other Noted Americans, Dies

WASHINGTON, October 1, 1945 – Staff Sergeant Frank Witchey, noted Army trumpeter, will be buried Thursday in Arlington national Cemetery where he had sounded Taps for the Unknown Soldier.

Sergeant Witchey had blown Taps for Presidents Woodrow Wilson and William Howard Taft and Major General Leonard Wood and William Jennings Bryan during his thirty years of Army service. He died yesterday in Walter Reed Hospital after a brief illness of heart disease, at the age of 53.

In 1938 he retired from the Third Cavarly, in which he had served his entire enlistment, at Fort Myer, Virginia. Since then he had lived in Arlington, Virginia.

Hel eaves a widow; a daughter, Mrs Curtis C. Minns, whose hushand is an Army Captain in the South Pacific, and two sons, Army Flight Officer Francis Witchey and S1C Donald Witchey.

The bugle used by Sergeant Witchey was the one originally issued to him by the Army. The day after he blew Taps for the Unknown Soldier on armistice Day 1921, he bought it from the Quartermaster for $2.50.  He had the instrument gold-plated and a record of all the important ceremoniesat which it was blown engraved on it.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Sergeant Wichey started blowing bugles and trumpets when he was 9.  One of his comrades in the Third Cavalry said at the time of his retirement tha the was at his best in blowing Taps.  “Not many people were dry-eyed when he got through,” said the soldier.

NOTED BUGLER BURIES
Service For Sergeant Frank Witchey Is Held In Arlington Cemetery

WASHINGTON, October 4, 1945 – Taps was sounded today for former Technical Sergeant Frank Witchey, who blew Taps for the Unknown Soldier of the first World War, and also sounded at the funerals of Presidents Wilson and Taft and also of William Jennings Bryan. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Unlike the ceremony on Armistice Day 1921, Technical Sergeant Witchey's burial was simple.  Nonotables were present.  Technical Sergeant John Tunney of San Francisco sounded Taps before a gathering of relatives and friends.

Sergeant Witchey died here of a heart malady on Monday at the age of 53.

NOTE: His infantry son, Francis who died in 1922, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

WITCHEY, FRANK
TEC SGT HQ TRP, 3RD CAV USA RETD KS

  • DATE OF BIRTH: 09/11/1891
  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/30/1945
  • BURIED AT: SECTION WWW  SITE 1912-C-1
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

WITCHEY, FRANCIS S/O FRANK W

  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/28/1922
  • BURIED AT: SECTION FT MY  SITE 153
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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