Major Francis Velaard Abell

In October of 1940, while a sergeant, Francis Abell was assigned to duty with a mobile recruiting station that operated out of a trailer equipped with cooking and sleeping facilities for three grown men. These men toured Oakland, wooing young fellows and fillies into the service just in time for World War II.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Francis was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery after his death on December 27th, 1982.


Lieutenant Colonel Christos A. Abramopoulos

Greek immigrant Christos Abramopoulos graduated from medical school in 1913, and honed his specialization in pathology and surgery at a public hospital in Kansas City until 1916. Then, when the U.S. finally entered the world war raging in Europe, this member of the National Guard was deployed to Fort Riley, also in Kansas. He went to France with a surgical unit, returning stateside in 1919 to set up his medical practice in the Phelan Building in downtown San Francisco.

After marrying Catherine Kaplanis on May 1st, 1921, the couple purchased their home at 886 25th Avenue in San Francisco’s Richmond District where they would raise four children. When world again dove into war, Dr. Abramopoulos answered his adopted country’s call for the second time, after which he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This father of three first-generation American sons who also served in times of war died on November 26th, 1960, and is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery, beside his wife.

For more information on Lieutenant Colonel Abramopoulos, as well as some fantastic family photographs, please visit the San Francisco Greek Historical Society’s website

Private George F. Abel

In 1912, George F. Abel was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco with Troop B, 1st Cavalry. A veteran of the Border War in Mexico, he had only been with this troop for six months so, perhaps, that’s why his comrades thought it a joke when Abel casually remarked that he intended to commit suicide on Monday, November 11th of that same year, the year of 1912. He was not taken seriously. Late that night Private Abel went to his quarters in the cavalry barracks on post and sent a shot from his carbine through the right side of his head. Captain J.L. Mabee called for an ambulance, but to no avail; Abel had shot himself dead.

That same night a funeral was held.  Detachments of infantrymen and cavalrymen escorted able Abel to the San Francisco National Cemetery, where he was buried with full military honors as the Sixth Infantry Band played on.

He had but one sister. She lived in Buffalo, New York and did not attend.

Herman Marion Abrams

While working as a wireless operator with the U.S. Navy in Panama, Herman Abrams met Mabelle Edith Crotchett—a government nurse toughing it out in the tropics. The two were married on April 12th, 1911. Thereafter they bounced around, as Chief Petty Officers in the Navy and their wives are want to do, and skipped from Brooklyn, New York to New Orleans, Louisiana to Washington, and, eventually, to San Francisco. This is where Herman died on October 15th, 1937, leaving Mabelle to remarry a man by the name of George Cornwall in the Spring of 1940.

Antone A. Abrego

On the eve of war, Private Antone Abrego married Marion Little of Corte Madera. The 27-year-old went to the war, the Great one, and then returned to his wife, his city. By 1924 the private played golf professionally, connected to the Santa Maria Country Club as well as the shop at Roos Bros. He was a former Claremont caddy.

He died on September 15th, and is appropriately buried not far from the Presidio Golf Course.

Sergeant Willis Clifford Abernathy

As any good southerner would, Willis Abernathy lied about his age in order to join the United States Marine Corps during World War II. Those lies left him wounded at Iwo Jima, and brought him home with a Purple Heart. As a civilian, he taught at a flight school in California before he took to the sky, permanently, on June 30th, 1995, landing at the San Francisco National Cemetery. One final touchdown, alpha bravo.