Sunday, November 5, 2017

My Military Ancestor - Dennis Rooney

I'm continuing the Honor My Military Ancestor Challenge started by Patricia Greber. It's Day 5 so I'm highlighting my 2nd cousin 2x removed, Dennis Rooney.

Dennis was born on August 7, 1899 in Kings County, NY to John Rooney and Mary Ann Reilly. He was the oldest son. He had 6 siblings. His father was a blacksmith and owned his own shop.

When he was 18 years old Dennis enlisted on June 25, 1916 in the New York State Guard in the 71st Infantry, Supply Company. His rank was horseshoer (no surprise there given his father's occupation). You may recall that during WWI, horses were involved to transport supplies so a horseshoer was an occupation that was in need.

Dennis was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in WWI in 1935. According to a newspaper article, Dennis was wounded while serving with the 105th Infantry, 27th division on the Belgian front on August 8, 1918. He was in hospital there for seven weeks. I found a separate article that mentioned that Dennis was gassed while serving in Company G, 105th Infantry. He was gassed on October 1, 1918. His father received a letter that he was recovering in November 1918.  He was honorably discharged on April 1, 1919. According to the 1930 census, Dennis was listed as married but no wife was listed. I also haven't located him on the 1920 census yet. He died on on May 6, 1960 and was buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale, NY.

I learned that Dennis' father John served in the military as well. He enlisted the same day as his son Dennis in the 71st Infantry. He also was a horseshoer in the Supply Company. He was later transferred to Company B, 12th NY Infantry. Following his military service, he returned to his shop. He died on May 19, 1934 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Maspeth, Long Island, NY.

If you would like to pay respects to Dennis Rooney and his father John Rooney, I have included their memorial pages:

Dennis - Find A Grave Memorial 
John - Find A Grave Memorial 

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