17331 JOHN BRANDT LATIMER
KILLED IN AN AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT, AUGUST 22, 1951, NEAR ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, FORT RICHARDSON, ALASKA, AGED 25 YEARS.
John Brandt Latimer was born on August 13, 1926, in Washington, D. C., the youngest child of Roberts Edwin and Idaq Jarboe Latimer.
His boyhood was spent in Washington and in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland. He was always a very friendly, sociable person and a great favorite with young and old
As a youth he was an ardent gardener with a “green thumb”, and took much pleasure in landscaping our country home in Burnt Mills Hills, transplanting trees and flowers for mass color effects.
John obtained his preliminary schooling in Washington and was graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School with honors. Having decided to follow his cousin, the late Major William J. Latimer, in a military career, he prepared for West Point at the Bullis School. He received his appointment and entered the Point in 1945.
After graduation from West Point he enjoyed a good rest at home, visiting his many friends, and taking an air trip to Mexico. John was then assigned to Army Schools at Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Bliss, Texas, and then to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In July 1950 he was assigned to duty with the 867th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion at Elmendorf Air. Base, Fort Richardson, Alaska. We are so thankful that a year later, in July 1951, he was given leave and was able to come home for ten days.
The many kind and sympathetic letters received by his family from John's Army friends have been a great consolation.
His Colonel wrote, “The Army has lost one who would have proven his mettle in all respects. Never did he lose sight of our motto at the Academy which has survived through many troubled decades. ‘Duty, Honor and Country' was his to the end”.
His Major wrote: “I consider John to have been one of the finest officers with whom I have ever served. His performance of duty, his willingness to do more than his share, his loyalty to his country and his fellow officers were of such high standard as to serve as an example to others. His friendships here were many. His personal charm, sincere friendliness and physical manliness won him friends wherever he was. His dealings with the enlisted men under him were such as to bring about a whole-hearted response to his wishes and every man had a strong personal liking for him. He was in every,respect a perfect example of a superior officer, gentleman, and personal friend”.
John was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on September 5, 1951.
John was devoted to his family and friends. His tragic death grieves us all. But in the minds of those who knew and loved him, he is just away.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard