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Family Tree: 1951

Family Tree: 1951

"Grace & Donald -- 11 Nov. 1951." Grace Tuttle and her soldier son Donald Cartwright (along with her Dalmatian, Sally) exactly 64 years ago in Blue Earth, Minnesota. 35mm Kodachrome by Hubert Tuttle. View full size.

School uniform

This uniformed individual is not on active duty with any branch of the US armed forces. He is wearing some sort of school version of a Class A uniform designed to represent whatever military academy he attends. While the "fruit salad" is genuine issue, it's not unusual in a military school environment to wear such accoutrements. The "brass" on the lapels and headgear most certainly aren't regulation approved by the Department of the Army to be worn with a Class A uniform (nor as well are those undersized chevrons indicating the rank of Corporal) either during the period the photo was taken nor to the best of my knowledge after that time to present day.


As has been pointed out, the blue and white ribbon in the middle is the Korean Service medal, indicated service in Korea during the Korean War. The maroon medal on the left is the Army Good Conduct Medal, implying that he has finished his first three year service obligation. The medal on the right is the Army of Occupation medal, given out in Germany and Japan after WWII until the countries were no longer officially considered occupied. This medal was still given out in West Berlin until German reunification, since the Western Allies considered the entire city (East included) as being occupied territory until that time. He is missing two medals he was or would be retroactively eligible for, namely the United Nations Korean Service medal and the National Defense Service medal, which wasn't instituted until 1953. He was probably stationed in Japan when the war broke out and was one of the first wave of reinforcements that were sent over from Japan.


That Dalmatian knows how to class up a photograph.

Cold War or Korea

A US soldier in 1951 would likely spend either a most unpleasant tour in Korea in a hot fight with the Chi-coms, or a more preferable cushy deployment to Germany shoring up our side of the iron curtain.

Home from the war?

Unless my old eyes are in error it looks like he has the Korean Service Medal. Along with his corporal stripes looks like he's been there, done that. No wonder he's smiling so big and happy to be home. He would probably be in his early 80's if still alive today, and have some pretty amazing stories to tell his grandchildren and possibly his great grandchildren.

Grace's son from her former marriage

Donald Rex Cartwright was from her marriage to Thomas J. Cartwright. Donald was born May 30, 1930. He married Janie Sue Murray on July 10, 1969, and died in Texas on August 26, 1996.

I love Grace's fashion sense!

That jacket looks like it is made from an Indian blanket, and the plaid even matches in the side seam of her skirt. I bet she made them herself.

So happy to have Minnesota Kodachromes back!

The Minnesota Kodachromes are some of the best photos on the site. I know they are newer VS most of your collection, but they sure are wonderful. Many Thanks.

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