This year, on the eve of Memorial Day, I’d like to take an appropriate break from sports and honor my great Uncle Sinclair Tichenor.
My full name is Stephen Sinclair Tichenor. I was named after Sinclair and was given his purple heart after the birth of my first child, James Sinclair Tichenor.
Sinclair enlisted in the Army in 1943 at the onset of WWII and was eventually assigned to the 83rd Chemical Battalion. After basic training in South Carolina and further training in northern Africa, his battalion was assigned to join the war in Italy. On January 25th, 1944 Sinclair and his regiment boarded a landing ship in the port of Naples, Italy to join the battle at Anzio. Unfortunately, the ship would never make it to land. Early the following morning, the LST hit a mine just outside the port of Anzio. Nearly all of the soldiers on the ship perished.
Sinclair’s body was recovered in a marsh in the port of Anzio months later. He was originally buried in Follonica, Italy but was eventually interred and moved to Florence American Cemetery seven miles outside of the city of Florence. I had the honor of visiting his grave with my late father. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
In honoring Sinclair and all fallen soldiers this memorial day, the original commissioner of the American Battle Monuments Commission, General John J. Pershing said it best, “time will not dim the glory of their deeds”