Monday, September 16, 2019

Greeley Half Cousins - WWII Weddings

I've been sharing stories about my grandfather's cousin, Harriet Greeley, who lost her first husband in WWI and lost a son in WWII.

Harriet had an older brother, Sam, who also had sons who served in the military in WWII.

Samuel Arnold Greeley, born in 1882, and his wife, Dorothy Coffin, had five children (all second cousins to my mother):
Anne (1916-1919)
Samuel (1914-2001)
Frederick (1919-2004)
Lois (1922-1995)
Dorothy (1929-1979)

The two sons served in WWII and three of the siblings were married within an 18-month period in 1944-1945.

Daughter Lois married Master Sgt. Nicholas Blatchford on June 3, 1944, when he was home on leave, but her two brothers were not in attendance:

"Wedding News," Chicago Tribune, 7 June 1944, p. 19, col. 1; image, ( : accessed 14 September 2019).

Frederick Greeley served as an Army Air Force navigator and was reported missing in action in March 1944 after a raid over Germany. He survived a parachute jump over Belgium and was rescued by the Belgian underground and stayed hidden until the arrival of Allied troops about seven months later. [1]

What an exciting day it must have been on Monday, October 16, 1944, when Lt. Frederick Greeley came home after seven months of family worry! This newspaper story acknowledged that this was a "'happy ending' to another true life adventure tale."

"Priscilla Hannaford to Be Wed to Lt. Greeley of Air Forces," Chicago Tribune, 21 October 1944, p. 15, cols. 1-2; image, ( : accessed 14 September 2019).
Frederick and Priscilla had attended North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka; I wonder if they were childhood sweethearts.

Oldest brother, Samuel Sewall Greeley (named for his great-grandfather), was on leave from the Navy when he married Irene Mares exactly a year later.

"Reception Held in West," Chicago Sun, 5 November 1945, p. 10, col. 1; image, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 14 September 2019).
The couple settled in Winnetka and were both buried in the Christ Church Churchyard in Winnetka. (See his FindAGrave memorial.)

With these many cousins and children of cousins serving the country in both World Wars, I can see why my grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, felt that he should have served his country in war, but, being born in December 1900, he was too young for WWI and too old for WWII.

[1] "Whereabouts of Chicagoans in Service Told," Chicago Tribune, 4 April 1944, p. 19, col. 1; image, ( : accessed 14 September 2019). Also, "Frederick Greeley," American Air Museum in Britain ( : accessed 14 September 2019). Also, Joseph S. Larson, "Obituary: Frederick Greeley, professor emeritus of Wildlife Biology," UMass Amherst: In The Loop (, 3 June 2004 : accessed 14 September 2019).

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