In honor of Veterans Day 2013.

Erman Zebedee Graham was the son of William Thomas Graham and Virgie Viola Copeland. He died on 15 April 1957 in Reedley, California. His widow Jackie applied for a military headstone based upon Erman’s service in the United States Naval Reserve during World War II.

Erman Z Graham Headstone
QMC Form 646, Application for Headstone or Marker for Erman Z. Graham, 1957.

Block 1, Name: Erman’s full name entered, with his middle name misspelled “Zebdee.” After his military records were checked, it was lined-through and the correct spelling “Zebedee” written above.

Block 2, Enlistment Date: 22 May 1944.

Block 3, Discharge Date: 29 November 1945. “Hon” was later written behind the date, indicating Erman received an honorable discharge.

Block 4, Service Number: 888 44 73

Block 5, Pension or VA Claim Number: C 1759 70 68

Block 6, State: “Arkansas” was originally entered, but then struck out, with “Enl-Calif” written in above, indicating that Erman enlisted in California.

The 1940 census, enumerated in April 1940, had Erman and Jackie living in Jackson Township, Pope County Arkansas. Taken with Erman’s enlistment date, this indicates they moved from Arkansas to California sometime between April 1940 and May 1944.

Erman Z Graham block 8
Block 8, Medals

Block 7, Grade: “Seaman 2/c” – Seaman Second Class.

Block 8, Medals: “None” written in after his records were verified.

WW II Victory Medal.

Based on Erman’s period of service, he should have been eligible for the World War II Victory Medal, which was created shortly after he left the military.

Block 9, Branch of Service: “USNR SV” – United States Naval Reserve, Selective Volunteer.

Block 10, Date of birth: “8-8-18” – 8  August 1918.

Block 11, Date of death: “4-15-57” – 15 April 1957.

Blocks 12-14. The headstone ordered was a flat granite marker engraved with a Christian emblem, a Latin cross. It was shipped to Reedley Cemetery in Reedley, California.

Block 17. Claire Emerick, likely an employee of Cairn’s Funeral Home (which, per Erman’s obituary, conducted the memorial service), completed the application, signing for W. A. True on 18 April 1957.

Block 18. Jackie’s typed name and address.

Block 19. Jackie’s signature.

Jackie Graham Signature
Bottom of Block 19. Jackie Graham’s signature.

Sources Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Microfilm publication M1916, 134 rolls. ARC ID: 596118. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92. National Archives at Washington, D.C. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Jackson, Pope, Arkansas; Roll: T627_164; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 58-26. Retrieved 9 November 2013.

The Institute of Heraldry. “World War II Victory Medal.” Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Retrieved 9 November 2013.

Marshall Mountain Wave. “Ermon Graham Died in California,” published on 3 May 1957. Retrieved 4 June 2011 from the Searcy County Library, Marshall, Arkansas. Transcription.