Idiotarians and Fellow Travellers
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Saturday, May 25, 2002
In search of William Dennis, cont.
According to Louisiana's Northwestern State University News Bureau, Dr. William Dennis is coordinator of Northwestern's Industrial and Engineering Technology Department. I have found several current and former professors and doctors with my name. It makes me wonder where I went wrong.
Digging up another William Dennis
There is a reference to excavations at a "William Dennis Pottery site" on this site. It had no additional information.
Sometimes, you would rather NOT know ...
The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of William Dennis, convicted by a Santa Clara County jury for the 1984 Halloween night murders of his former wife and her unborn child.
In an unanimous opinion written by Justice Ming Chin, the Supreme Court rejected Dennis' appellate arguments challenging the convictions and the imposition of the death penalty. Deputy DA Pauly Kuty said that "it was a horrible crime." Dennis remains far from an execution date because he is likely to seek further appeals. A jury in 1988 found Dennis guilty of using a machete with an 18-inch blade to slay his ex-wife, Doreen Rae Erbert, and her 8-month fetus at their San Jose home. Prosecutors argued at trial that Dennis, now 47, had plotted to kill his ex-wife and her husband as revenge for the 1980 death of his 4-year-old son, who drowned in Erbert's swimming pool. The jury convicted Dennis of 1st degree murder for Doreen Erbert's death, and of 2nd degree murder for the killing of the fetus. Dennis conceded he was the assailant who donned a Halloween mask and went to the nearby home of Erbert. After his ex-wife told him to leave, Dennis struck her repeatedly with a heavy blade. Jurors said they did not hav enough proof that Dennis knew his former wife was pregnant to convict him of 1st degree murder of the fetus. Defense lawyers for Dennis argued at trial that he should not be given the death penalty because he was so tormented by the death of his son. This information was posted in 1998. I don't know whether this namesake was ever executed or not. (source: San Jose Mercury News)
Apparently, some of us William Dennises are thugs ...
His real name is, you guessed it, William Dennis. He is a member of Geto Boys, whose albums include "Loved by Few Hated by Many" 2000 and "Relentless" 2001. According to Ron Wynn of All Music Guide, William "Willie Dee" Dennis was an original member of the Houston rap ensemble the Geto Boys. Willie Dee's 1990 debut, Controversy, certainly started some with the track "F--- Rodney King," a no-holds-barred attack on King for purportedly selling out when he made his famous "Can't we all just get along?" comment. Dee followed that with "I'm Going Out Like a Soldier." What a nice guy. Courtesy of The Rap Dictionary: artist: Willie D
while some of us hob-nob with royalty
The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (UK) includes Col. Richard William Dennis. The article was posted in 2001.
A William Dennis falls to the Dark Side
This was posted on the site of the newspaper "The Sentinel." I have no idea in what city and state it is located. How sad that there is a William Dennis in politics. "News from The Sentinel Cumberland County Chief Clerk William Dennis said he will resign effective July 5 to accept a position as county manager of Frederick County, Md."
Friday, May 24, 2002
This is the earliest reference I could find to a William Dennis
William DENNIS (DENYS) was born about 1372 in Of, Glamorganshire, Wales. He married Margaret CORBETT about 1392 in Of, Alveston, Gloucestershire, England. This one was even earlier than Sir. William Dennis, the knight.
William Dennis on the Titanic
I found the following information on a Titanic Web site.
Mr. William Dennis, 26, was born in 1886 in the village of Ashbury, Devon. He was the son of William Henry Dennis (farmer) and Mary Arabella Dennis (née Sobey). He was the younger brother of Elizabeth and Olive and elder brother to Samuel. He is known to also have had a second younger brother.
In about 1888 the family moved across the boundary from Devon to Cornwall and settled at Treyeo Farm in the North Cornwall parish of Launcells. About 6 years later the family moved to live at Leigh Farm, Week St Mary, Cornwall. It was from here that William set out on his fateful journey.
William had been encouraged to emigrate to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada by his relatives Lewis Richard and Owen Harris Braund of nearby Bridgerule, Devon. The Braund's had a relative Leonard Lovell already in Canada and it was to him they were all ultimately traveling on Titanic. William, with the Braund's, his younger brother, Samuel and relatives John Henry Perkin (of Ashbury, Devon) and John Henry Lovell (of Holsworthy, Devon) all embarked Titanic at Southampton after a long train journey from North Cornwall. The party were also accompanied by Miss Susan Webber, a family friend of nearby North Tamerton, Cornwall.
William was travelling third class (ticket number 21175, £7 5s), it is probable that he shared a cabin with John Perkin. His ticket was likely obtained from the White Star agent, Mr. Hawking.
William Dennis was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
William Dennis on the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
I was researching an article on "googling," the practice of using the Google.com search engine to find all the Web sites than mention ones name. I found 6,550 sites with my name. One was a listing for "William R. Dennis" on the Virtual Wall. I was curious, so I e-mailed the man who posted the article, a man named Wade Kane.
He e-mailed me back and I explained what I was doing. This is his reply:
"In that case I will tell you a little more about him. When I first met him he was about 19, and I was 21. We both wanted to fly as crewmembers on our units Chinooks. (See my unit's Web site.
"We both got assigned instead doing miscellaneous details at our base camp at An Khe. This would have been July 1967. He was so mad about not getting to fly that he said "If they ever want me to fly I wouldn't do it now." I argued that if he got the chance to fly, he would. Well we both got to fly. We started as gunners (on the left front gun of the hook). Later we moved up to crewchief, which was the right gunner. The gunner cleaned the guns and helped with maintenance on the chinook.
" The crewchief helped the flight engineer on aircraft maintenance. On the web page he is listed as a Flight engineer, but I don't think he was af FE yet. Anyhow while flying as a gunner in Jan or Feb of 68 up at Phu Bai, a enemy bullet passed close enought to his arm to leave a welt, but not break the skin. At the time he commented "if anything like that EVER happens again, I am going to quit flying".
"He was killed 19 April 1968 on the first day of the air assualt by the 1st Air Cav into the A Shau Valley (the next year the 101st would go in to the same valley, and their fight is known as the Hamburger Hill ordeal).
"The first day our battalion lost 5 chinooks. My company lost two of them. A Flying Crane was also shot down, and well as some Hueys. The other Chinook my company lost was fortunately sitting on a LZ (later known as firebases), when it was hit in the aft pylon probably by an RPG, and the whole aft rotor came off. No one was injured. The hook (chinook) Dennis was on was seen by a Command and Control Huey to explode at about 2000 feet AGL (Above Ground Level), roll inverted, hit the jungle, explode again.
" As there was lots of bad guys on the ground, and the Cav was busy securing LZ Tiger, there was no way to try to look for survivors. The pilots recollection was of suddenly being upside down on the ground, unstrapping and crawling out of the burning hook. (By the way when a hook caught fire in the air, the flames ALWAYS blew aft to front inside. The pilots cabin is sort of separated from the cargo cabin). They could hear NVA infantry, and E&E (escape and evaded) for a day or two, and following the sound of chainsaws, made their way into LZ Tiger. They returned briefly to the unit, and then left. I don't know if they were sent to another unit or to the states. I have never doubted that Dennis died that that, and pretty quickly. That he continued to fly after the near miss, showed bravery on his part. He was the only black crewchief my unit had.
"19 April 68 my Chinook was down for maintenance so I didn't fly. May have saved my life. When I went to schools for maintenance of helicopters in the Army there seemed to be a lot more concern about how shiny the barracks floor was rather that what we learned about maintenance. Someone had stripped off a stud that held an oil filter on the combining transmission of my hook. Any Civilian Aircraft Mechanic could have fixed that in 30 minutes. As it was we had to wait till we had a slow day, and there was a hook available to fly to DaNang to pick up a spare tranmission. "For the want of a nail a rider was lost".
"Still bothers me that my friends died that day, and I didn't even fly. On the web page about Dennis, it lists him incorrectly as born in Mexico. He was born in Pittsburg PA, I think. Gonzales, who I didn't know as well was Mexican. (Americans all tho. When the bad guys are trying to kill you, everyone is just an American, skin color isn't exactly a factor.)
"Currently I am an activated Air National Guardsman."
Moments later, he sent a follow-up message:
"One final note. The A Shau was way different than anything we had done before. My first four months we worked out of An Khe, and we might get shot at with a rifle. In Oct of 67 we moved up to Chu Lai, and worked up the Que Son Valley, and occassional would be fired on by a twin .50. We went into the A Shau from Phu Bai. Take off, and go into the "soup" at a couple of hundred feet. Fly over to the A Shau between cloud layers, and then find a "hole" and decend into the valley. The NVA had radar guided 37mm cannons. Guys reported flak bursts at 8000 feet. Me I was the unMagnet Ass of the world. My hook only took one 30 hit all year. "
Bill here again: All I want to say is that I thank those brave men and women who served in Vietnam. They did their jobs, and got a bunch of crap handed to them for their efforts. At the risk of sounding silly, I am proud that I share this man's name.