The movement of the “Living Legacies” exhibit to the county administration building prompted a new exhibit “Memories from the Families,” highlighting eleven Brazos County World War I veterans who either served from here, buried in the county or were at A&M during the conflict.
The “Living Legacies” exhibit, previously housed at the Carnegie Center for Brazos Valley History in Bryan, has expanded from its original eleven children to now seventeen and has been opened to all children of World War I veterans. The Centennial and memories of these individuals should be recorded no matter where their fathers, uncles, etc. served from. You can see the new additions on the first floor of the Brazos County Administration Building in Bryan, Texas.
Tributes were made to our fallen WW1 veterans on May 28, 2018 throughout Brazos County, which included a special observance at the Museum of the American G.I., participation in the city of College Station’s Texas Weekend of Remembrance, the placement of a wreath with the names of the county’s WW1 Gold Stars at the Bryan Public Library and a special video tribute of all the county’s and Texas A&M’s Gold Stars at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
As part of the Texas Weekend of Remembrance (TWR) chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution have created Tribute Cards of Brazos County Gold Stars and Gold Star Aggies. If you would like to create your own complete set you can download the PDF file and print them yourself.
By Greg Bailey, University Archivist, Texas A&M University
On April 18, 1918, two airplanes arrived on the Texas A&M campus after flying up from Ellington Field in Houston. The planes had brought a load of radio apparatus to support the growing U.S. Army Signal Corps School for Radio Mechanics that had been established at the College the previous spring. Radio mechanics were being trained through the Electrical Engineering Department to meet the need of this specialized skill in the U.S. Army. As more soldiers arrived to receive training, more equipment was needed for the men to train with. As a result, Signal Corps officers stationed at the College requested this additional equipment.
The radio equipment was arranged to be sent up from Ellington Field, which had been created by the U.S. Government in 1917 to become an advanced flight training base. Lt. C.D. Tuska and Lt. S.F. Kelley flew in one plane while Lt. E.N. Pickerill and Lt. B.J. Tooher flew in the second. After landing on the Drill Field the apparatus was unloaded and by that afternoon the two planes were scheduled to return to Ellington Field. As Tuska and Kelley’s plane attempted to take off, the plane clipped treetops at the edge of the Drill Field and was completely wrecked. Luckily Tuska and Kelley escaped without injury. The remnants of the plane were loaded on a train and shipped back to Houston. This caused the delay of Pickerill and Tooher’s planned return to Houston until the following morning. On the morning of April 19 Pickerill and Tooher took off from campus without incident but just about a mile southwest of campus they experienced motor trouble and their plane was wrecked. Miraculously Pickerill and Tooher also escaped the crash without injury.