Memorial Tribute May 2015
Veterans of Pleasant Hill
Contributed by John Thomas
In case you don't know and might be interested the flags are up at Crescent Heights Cemetery. As always they are a beautiful sight to see. This year marks two special events in our history. The 70th year of the end of World War II and the 40th year of the end of the Vietnam War.
Monday is Memorial Day. Please take time out in your own way to remember our heroes of the past who gave their last full measure of devotion and all those who risk their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy today.
Over 300 people from our little community of Pleasant Hill served in the Armed Forces during World War II. Many of them were highly decorated for valor in combat, many were wounded, some were disabled, and some never returned. Only a hand full of them are alive today. It has been a personal honor for me to have known a lot of those old Veterans who truly earned the title "The Greatest Generation"
Over 400,000 Americans gave their last full measure of devotion during World War II. We and free people around the World everywhere can never pay the debt we owe them.
And Vietnam Veterans, what can you say. To put it bluntly they were given the shaft. They never deserved the treatment our fellow Americans gave them when they returned home. At an average age of 18 years old most of them served with honor. Over 58,000 gave their lives in that awful place half way around the World.
Like Vietnam Veterans, Korean War Veterans were mistreated also but in a much different way. For the most part they were just plain ignored and forgotten and were never appreciated. They fought in unforgiving conditions. There were times temperatures reached 40 degrees below zero.
Maybe worst of all is most people don't have a clue of the sacrifices made by those who have and are serving in the United States Military and take everything for granted. As Joe McElfresh quoted at one of our American Legion Memorial Day Services, if you can't stand behind our troops, then please stand in front of them.
The following is a list of those from the Pleasant Hill Community who were lost while in the service of our country.
(+) RECIPIENT OF THE SILVER STAR MEDAL
(MIA) MISSING IN ACTION
(KIA) KILLED IN ACTION
(DOW) DIED OF WOUNDS
(NBC) NON BATTLE CASUALTY
WORLD WAR I
WILLIAM H. McCLIMEN
DR. S.B. RIBOLD
CHARLES F. MOORE
WORLD WAR II
PO/3C RUSSELL BENJAMIN - MIA - 02/28/1942 - JAVA SEA
CPL GEORGE HENRY LONG - NBC - 08/14/1944 - BELGIUM
PVT JOHN W. SPRINGER - KIA - 02/20/1944 - ANZIO BEACH
CPL ROBERT LEE JONES - KIA - 08/22/1944 - YUGOSLAVIA
PFC LAWRENCE BARTON - DOW 02/22/1944 - GERMANY
PFC WALTER STOUT - KIA - 09/04/1944 - FRANCE
PFC PAUL BARTON - KIA - 04/01/1944 - BASTOGNE, GERMANY
PFC CHARLIE MILLER - (+) KIA - 10/24/1944 - PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
LT LAWRENCE GUTHRIE - KIA - 04/05/1944 - ROMANIA
PFC EVERETTE J. WITTY - KIA - 11/14/1944 - EPINAL, FRANCE
PVT ROSS GALLOWAY - KIA - 05/25/1944 - ITALY
PFC - GERALD JOHNSON - KIA - 12/24/1944 - LUXEMBOURG
CPL DEAN YOKEM - DOW - 06/03/1944 - ANZIO BEACH
LT. ROSS B. LEMMON JR. - MIA - 01/14/1945 - NEW BRITAIN ISLAND
2/LT EUGENE LIGHTFOOT - MIA - 06/19/1944 - ST JEAN D'ANGELY, FRANCE
LT. ROBERT CLAY LONG - (+) - KIA - 02/03/1945 - ENGLISH CHANNEL
CPL NORMAN LONG - NBC - 06/20/1944 - ANZIO BEACH
PVT EMORY CAMPBELL - NBC - 03/16/1945 - CAMP FANNIN, TEXAS
PFC WILLIAM A. "GUSSIE" OGLE - KIA - 03/29/1945 - NUREMBERG, GER.
S/2C GERALD C. WINTJEN - NBC - 08/13/1944 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
SGT LAWRENCE WHITE - KIA - 04/22/1945 - PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
THE KOREAN WAR
PFC HOWARD NIEMEYER - DOW 07/31/1953 CHORWON VALLEY, KOREA
Howard died of wounds received on the last night of the Korean War just 20 minutes prior to the cease fire.
THE VIETNAM WAR
PFC JOHN DREW CAMPBELL - NBC 11/22/1965 - QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
SP4 JAY CLAYTON SHELBY - KIA - 03/01/1967 BINH DINH, SOUTH VIETNAM
CPL JOSEPH MICHAEL WILLIAMS - KIA 05/20/1968 QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
PFC DONALD WAYNE McKEE - KIA 03/24/1970 - THUA THIEN, SOUTH VIETNAM