Martha Raye… Who Knew?

I am not related to Martha Raye neither is Joe T.

Joe is my 3rd cousin, the guy from Connecticut, who sends me joke sometimes.

Joe sent me this with this comment…



It was well recognized that Martha Raye endured less comfort and more danger than any other Vietnam entertainer.
The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped.
I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried.

Somehow I just can’t see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman (and the other USO women, including Ann Margaret & Joey Heatherton) did for our troops in past wars.

Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today’s crop of activists bland whiners.
The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane:
“It was just before Thanksgiving ’67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.

All of a sudden, we heard a ‘take-charge’ woman’s voice in the rear.
There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces)
beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into
the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard.
‘Maggie’ had been visiting her SF ‘heroes’ out ‘west’.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.
As we all started unloading our sad pax’s, a ‘Smart Mouth’ USAF Captain said
to Martha…. “Ms Raye, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would
not be time for your show!”

To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said ……”Captain,
see this eagle? I am a full ‘Bird’ in the USArmy Reserve, and on this is a ‘Caduceus’
which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty….now, take me to your wounded!”
He said, “Yes ma’am…. follow me.”
Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would ‘cover’ a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.

Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.


Hand Salute! A great lady..
I did not know this about Martha Raye….
thought you might like to read it.

Finding Who?

We are never sure when we look at photographs of our ancestors.

This picture was sent by Ed, a descendant of this man Jean-Baptiste Alexandre or John B. Alexander.

Jean-Baptiste Alexandre II

It was easy to find ressemblance with other pictures sent by other people.

In 2010, J. B. was known as unknown man to Sandy and I.

young man 1

The information provided by Ed and the pictures we had were enough to link J. B. to this tintype photograph that belonged to Joe in Connecticut.

John B Alexander II

The three people who sent me those pictures have never met personally, but they share the same passion.

Then last year, lo and behold, another person joined in the search with this wedding picture: Alice Louise Alexandre and Albert Choinière.


Alice is J. B.’s daughter.

I could link it to this picture Robin had scanned of these two who were identified.


The caption is right. Cousin Amelia and her husband Ernest Sorell (Sorel).

And this one…?


And this one…?

Picture 096-2

Is she really Aunt Mary…?

Nope. The caption is wrong.

This is Aunt Mary Alexandre.


The caption is right on the button.Mary never married. She was Philomène Lagacé’s daughter, Agnes Alexander’s sister,

Agnes Alexandre

If she is, and I am sure she is, then where is Mary on this montage?

Montage Alexandre Family

She has to be with her other sisters and her mother in the middle.

So many questions?

Now what about this couple and the bridesmaid and the best man?


The best man is Ernest Sorel and the bridesmaid is Alice Louise’s sister Amelia. They would later be married.

I know all about them thanks to Fran from Connecticut…

Now if someone who is related to these people would Google their names and find this blog, I will be more than happy to share those precious pictures.