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Theodore Ronald Duarte

T/4 in 3133rd Signal Service Co


Born 1922 in CA, Died 2009

County of residence at enlistment: San Francisco County, CA
Other residence(s): Los Angeles, CA; Visalia, CA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: musicians and teachers of music
Notes: Rank changed from T/5 on GA records to T/4 per US Veterans' Gravesites; childhood name Theodore Olaeta, Duarte is mother's maiden name
Source: 3133rd Program, 15 Sept 1944; 3133rd roster from 10th Mountain Division Museum at Fort Drum

Ted Duarte was born on February 8, 1922 in Riverside, CA, the older of two children. His father was a plumber. His mother, who had been born in Mexico, was the oldest of seven children (and the only daughter) born to a San Joaquin Valley ranching family, and that family would play a prominent role in his upbringing.

The 1930 census shows him as Theodore Olaeta, living with his parents and younger sister in Tulare, CA. But by 1936, when he graduated from the Union School, southeast of Visalia, CA, he was using the name of Theodore Duarte (his mother's maiden name). Ted was the class speaker for his class of five students.

The 1940 census shows him living with his Mexican-born grandparents and working as a ranch hand on the ranch they had purchased in 1927; he is listed as Ted Duarte, and his relationship to his grandparents is listed as "son." His mother and younger sister were living in Los Angeles.

But at the same time as he was working in one family business, he also pursued another. His uncle's 2008 obituary says that "being a musical family they started a dance orchestra in the mid-30s which Bob [Ted’s uncle] headed up as Bob Duarte and His Orchestra. The band played for several years all around the Visalia area." Ted played the saxophone; a 1940 article shows him playing in the Visalia Municipal Band.

Ted registered for the draft on June 30, 1942; at the time he was living in Oakland, CA and working at Richmond Shipyard #1; by that time his mother was back in Visalia. He enlisted on June 25, 1944; his enlistment record shows him having completed one year of high school, and lists his profession as "musician/teacher of music."

Ted was originally sent to Camp Crowder, and transferred to Pine Camp as a member of the 3133 Signal Service Company in August, 1944. A newspaper article from that time says that he had been promoted to CPL, and that "he finds his work with a unit of the tank destroyers very interesting. CPL Duarte is keeping up with his music and with some of his buddies he recently received second prize in an amateur night contest in one of the Watertown, New York theatres."

Ted saw service in Europe with the unit and after the war returned to Visalia, CA where he continued his music and became active in the American Legion. He married Lily Irene Martinez on April 24, 1949; their son Ronald was born in 1950.

The 1950 census shows him working in tile setting/building construction, and a 1951 record lists him as a cabinet maker. But by 1952 he was working as an insurance salesman—a profession that permitted him the opportunity to continue working as a musician. Over the subsequent years he was written up in local newspapers leading various musical groups: the Ambassadors of Swing (1947), the Latin-American Rhythm Boys (1948), the Latin Quartette (1949), a dance trio (1951), and The Four Moods (1953). He played at clubs, restaurants, and benefit dances.

Ted died on January 7, 2009 in Visalia, and is buried at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA.


1930 census (under the name of Theodore Olaeta)

1936 article in the Visalia Times-Delta (CA) re his elementary school graduation

1940 census

1940 article in the Visalia Times-Delta (CA); he is playing in the Visalia Municipal Band

1942 draft card

1944 enlistment record

1944 article in the Visalia Times-Delta (CA) re his music in military

1947 ad in the Hanford Morning Journal (CA); he played with his orchestra at a DAV benefit dance

1947 article in the Tulare Advance-Register (CA); he has joined American Legion

1948 article in the Fresno Bee (CA); he played with his orchestra at the Policeman's Ball in Visalia

1948 ad in the Hanford Sentinel (CA) about his appearing with his "Latin Quartette"

1949 engagement announcement in the Fresno Bee (CA)

1949 marriage record

1949 article in the Fresno Bee (CA) about his marriage

1950 census

1951 article in the Tulare Advance-Register (CA); he is playing sax in a trio at Steve's Corral

1951 US Sheriff's office and jail records

1952 Dinuba city directory

1953 article in the Tulare Advance-Register (CA); he is part of a group called "The Four Moods"

1985 mother's obituary in the Fresno Bee (CA),0.3430311,0.5064917,0.47106943&xid=3355&_gl=1*znoo1t*_ga*OTA0MjAzOTE0LjE2Njk1NTc1ODY.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY2OTc2Mjg0Ni4yLjEuMTY2OTc2OTYyMS40Mi4wLjA.&_ga=2.210982034.625570505.1669762847-904203914.1669557586

1993-1996 US Public Records Index

2008 uncle's obituary in the Visalia Times-Delta (CA)

2009 Find a Grave record*1t1c3wh*_ga*OTA0MjAzOTE0LjE2Njk1NTc1ODY.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY2OTU1NzU4NS4xLjEuMTY2OTU4MTA0MC4yMy4wLjA.

2009 US Veterans Gravesites

2009 VA death record

2009 Social Security death index*wyljbc*_ga*OTA0MjAzOTE0LjE2Njk1NTc1ODY.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY2OTU1NzU4NS4xLjEuMTY2OTU4MTM5MC41OS4wLjA.

2009 death notice in the Fresno Bee (CA)

2009 obituary in the Visalia Times-Delta (CA)

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