Jesse Willis Tennison

1924 - 1999

Air Force
WWII

Their Story

Jesse Willis Tennison was born on May 4, 1924, in Ninnekah1 or Agawam, Oklahoma, depending on sources, to Jesse W. and Sadie (Thomas) Tennison.2 The two towns are just six miles from each other. His father was a farmer. Prior to enlisting in the United States Army Air Force, Tennison lived and worked in Texas. He was employed in civil service by the U.S. Government, War Department – Air Corps at Large, in Ellington Field, Texas.3 On April 15, 1943, Tennison enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp to serve in World War II. He served for two years, and was honorably discharged on November 15, 1945, at the rank of Private First Class.4 During his service, Tennison was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusster.5

In the early 1950s, Tennison was married briefly to Milred O. Bateman in mid-1950. In 1954, he married Wanda Goheen, who preceded him in death in 1985. On March 15, 1986, Tennison married Nancy E. Nerby in Rock Island, Illinois. He worked at the Rock Island Arsenal as an engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers from 1981 to 1995. He worked as the supervisory electrical engineer in the communications installation and maintenance branch. Tennison was also a licensed pilot and ham radio operator.6

On September 8, 1999, Tennison passed away at Trinity Medical Center, West Campus, Rock Island. He was interred at the Rock Island Arsenal Cemetery, and military honors were performed by the Milan Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He was survived by his wife, Nancy, a daughter, two sons, five grandchildren, a great-grandson, and a brother. He was preceded in death by his first two wives, Mildred and Wanda, his parents, and a brother.7

References

1 U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 – Ancestry.com

2“Jesse Tennison,” The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois.

3“Jesse Willis Tennison in the U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947,” ancestry, n.d., U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 – Ancestry.com, accessed 23 October 2022.

4“Jesse W. Tennison in the U.S., Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2019,” ancestry, n.d., U.S., Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2019 – Ancestry.com, accessed 23 October 2022.

5“Jesse Tennison,” The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois.

6“Jesse Tennison,” The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois.

7“Jesse Tennison,” The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois.