This past Monday, May 25th, many Doddridge County citizens will have visited the graves of their loved ones who have passed on. Most of us can remember going with our parents and grandparents as they went from one cemetery to another to place flowers on the graves of their loved ones as a form of remembrance and respect. It was not uncommon to meet other friends and relatives who were doing the same.
Originally called Decoration Day, it was first practiced three years after the American Civil War on May 5, 1868 when the head of the organization of Union Veterans (Grand Army of the Republic or GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers and small American flags. Major Gen. John A. Logan declared that it should be observed on May 30th.
Although the first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, local areas had already been honoring their Civil War dead since 1866.
After WWI, the day was made to include the war dead from all American Wars.
Still called Decoration Day, it was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971. It was at this time that the day of observance was placed on the last Monday in May.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time for one minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in the service to our nation. Carmella LaSpada stated, “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.
Doddridge County’s Veterans killed in action (KIA) number 46 known young souls. They are:
1-Leo C Adams was the son of Claude E and Edna Richards Adams. He was born at Porto Rico, near Blandville, Doddridge County. Before joining the military, Leo was employed by the Hope Gas Company. Leo served in the U.S. Army during WW2 and drowned on April 30, 1943 at the Warner Brothers Ranch when the boat he was in capsized during a news documentary. He was stationed at Camp Cook, CA. Leo is buried in the IOOF Cemetery at Troy.
2-Talmage Dee Berkhouse was the son of Wilkie Talmage and Dee Butcher Berkhouse of Greenbrier District, Doddridge County. Talmage enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He was killed in Luzon, the Philippines on March 9, 1945. No record of spouse or children were found.
3-Kenneth Blake was the son of Alfred Goff and Lura Lipscomb Blake. Birth records state Kenneth’s birth as June 18, 1919, his U.S. Army enlistment records list his birth year as 1920. He served with the 101st Inf, 26th Division and was killed on October 24, 1944 in France. Kenneth is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.
4-Gale Carson Bland was the son of Arthur C and Julia Sutton Bland. He was born in Blandville on September 30, 1920 and enlisted in the U.S. Army during WW2. He served with the 337th Engineers, Co. D, His tour took him to North Africa and Italy where he was killed on September 14, 1943. He is buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.
5-Cecil Orr Britton was the son of Daniel Webster and Sarah Wade Britton of Summers, Doddridge County. He served in the U.S. Army with the 305th Trench Mortar Btry, 80th Inf Div, during WW1. He was killed in action on October 11, 198 in France where he is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, near Verdun, France.
6-Archie Carpenter was the son of Stephen Ellis and Myrtle Husk Car penter. He was born on June 27, 1917 in West Union. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 168th Inf. Co. M of the 34th Infantry Division during WW2. Archie had taken part in five major battles and for four days was a prisoner of the enemy before making his escape and finding his way back to his company. He was killed in action on Jun 1 1944 near Cisterna di Littoria (now Latina), Italy, when a shell landed only a few feet from him while he was carrying ammunition to his squad through heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire. Previously,
7-Herbert Denver Carroll Jr. was the son of Herbert Denver SR and Hazel Ash Carroll. He was born at Ashley, Doddridge County on December 5, 1921. He joined the U.S. Army on November 30, 1942 and served with the 339th Inf. Regl, 85 Inf Div during WW2 where he was killed on November 3, 1944 in Italy.
8-Samuel McArthur Cavins was the son of Charles L and Bessie Chipps Cavins. He was born on April 10, 1942 at Central Station and joined the U.S. Marine corps, Combat Engineers. He was killed on September 30, 1968 in Vietnam. Samuel is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery at Crystal Lake near West Union.
9-Harley Charles Childers was the son of Harley Z and Alma Merryman Childers. He was born on March 27, 1922 in Blandville and was living at New Milton when he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 60th Inf Bn, 9th Armored Div. He was killed in action on March 16, 1945 in Germany just shy of his 23rd birthday.
10-Cecil Claud Cox was the son of Jacob M and Emma Willis Cox. He was born on February 25, 1919 at New Milton. On June 8, 1940, he married Helen Ingram and they were blessed with 3 children. Before Cecil joined the U.S. Navy and served on the USS LSM ®-190 during WW2, he was a defense worker at Hinton, WV. He was killed in action when
11-Marion Omer Davis was the son of Havens L and Della Hyde Davis. He was born in Doddridge County on August 9, 1895 and lived near New Milton. Before joining the U.S. Army, Omer was a farmer for Leeman Maxwell. He served with the 119th Infantry, Co C, in the 30th Division during WW1. Omer is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.
12-Russell Edwin Ferrebee was the son of Betty Lee Ferrebee. He was born at Elk Lick, McClellan District on February 5, 1948. He joined the U.S. Army and served with the 5th Bn, Co A, 7th Cav. Russell was killed in action on November 24, 1966 in Vietnam and is buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery, at Shirley. He was 18 yrs. old.
13-William T Fox was the son of William A and Otia McKeown Fox. He was born on August 18, 1911 at Morgansville and lived on Buckeye Run. He joined the U.S Air Force and served with the 41st Reclamation and Repair Sqdn during WW2. He died on April 11, 1944 in an American hospital in England following an illness. He was buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery, England.
14-John L Frey was the son of Henry and Mary Ahouse Frey. He was born at New Milton on June 4, 1922 and joined the U.S. Army with the 328 Bomb Sqdn, 93 Bomb Gp. Following his induction into the Army in October 1942, Sgt Frey attended radio school at Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Casper, Wyoming, and gunnery school at Kingman, Arizona, where he received his wings. He was deployed to the European Theater as a radio operator on a B-24 Liberator Bomber. On November 13, 1943, while returning from a mission over Bremen, Germany, accompanying aircraft received a radio message from his plane advising that they were about to make a crash landing. But their position was not given, and their aircraft and personnel were never recovered. A memorial for T/Sgt John L. Frey is found among the Tablets of the Missing at the Camridge American Cemetery in England. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
15-Linden Lewis Gain was the son of James P and Jane Batton Gain. He was born on March 26 1891 in Doddridge County. Before he joined the U.S. Army and served with Co D, 119th Inf, 30th Division, Linden worked on the family farm. He died of wounds he received in France. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3408 in West Union chose Linden Gain as their namesake.
16-Darrell G Griffin was the son of Leroy E and Lulu Davisson Griffin. He was born on January 20, 1921 at West Union. He joined the U.S. Army during WWII. He was killed in action on December 3, 1944 in Germany. Darrell is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union.
17-Orval L Griffin was the son of Leroy E and Lulu Davisson Griffin. He was born in on May 9, 1919 in West Union. Orval enlisted in U.S. Army in 1942. Then on December 22, 1943, he married Mabel Nicholson before deploying to the European Theater. He was killed less than one year later September 22, 1944. They had one child who is still living.
18-James Alfred Haught was the son of John C and Annie Smith Haught. He was born on March 23, 1892 on Brushy Fork near New Milton. James was the nephew of Silas P Smith of West Union. He joined the U.S. Army and served with Co F, 16th Inf, 1st Inf Division. James was killed on October 9, 1918 from wounds he received at the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Battle of the Argonne Forest) in France. He was 18 years old.
19-William Guy Heflin was the son of Hugh L and Diora Davis Heflin. He was born on December 24, 1894 at Smithton (now Smithburg). William worked on the family farm at the time he joined the U.S. Army. He served with Co D, 119th Inf. William died of wounds he received in France. He is buried at Blockhouse Hill Cemetery (IOOF Section), West Union. He was 23 ½ years old.
20-Fred W Hurst was the son of William F and Gladys Harris Hurst. He was born on April 3, 1925 on Lower Long Run near Greenwood. Fred joined the U.S. Army and served during WWII in France and Italy. He was killed in action in France on August 25, 1944. Fred is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union.
21-Aubrey G Hutson was the son of Israel B and Cora Hurst Hutson. He was born on September 14, 1918 at Cascara near Salem. He was assistant manager for the West Union Feed & Supply before going to the military. Aubrey joined the U.S. Army and served with Co B, 28 Inf Reg, * Inf Div. He was wounded once before he was killed and recovered to continue serving. On March 4, 1945, Aubrey was killed in action in Germany. He is buried in the IOOF Cemetery, at Salem. He was 26 years old.
22-Boyd Haines Jones was the son of James M and Stella Nutter Jones. He was born on November 16, 1918 at Oxford. Boyd attended Doddridge County High School. He joined the U.S. Air Force where he was aviation gunner expecting to go overseas at the end of his training. He was killed in a plane crash during combat training. Boyd is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union. He was 26 years old.
23-Earl Maxwell Jones was the son of Benjamin Franklin “Frank” and Margaret Maxwell Jones. He was born on September 28, 1893 at Smithton (now Smithburg). On June 11, 1914, He married Arah Kinney and they were the parents of one child (son), Elbert Maxwell Jones. Earl Maxwell joined the U.S. Army on March 5, 1918 and served with the 13th Ambulance Co, 1st Division during WWII. He was died on October 25, 1918 from wounds he received in France. He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, near Verdun, France.
24-Delmer Paul Kelley was the son of Brooke E and Mettie Jackson Kelley. He was born on August 7, 1918 at Sugar Camp near New Milton. He joined the U.S. Army and served with the 361st Inf. 91st Div. He was killed on September 18, 1944 in Italy where he was buried in the Florence American Cemetery in Italy. He was 26 yrs. old.
25-Joe W Kimball was the son of John A and Mary Leasure Kimball. He was born on May 24, 1893 in Tyler County. Living in Canton, Doddridge County at the time he joined the U.S. Army and served with Co E, 119th Inf, 30th Div. during WW1. He married Samantha Zeigler and they had an infant daughter, Ruth. He died on October 6, 1918 of wounds he received in battle in France.
26-Dan James King was the son of Walter S and German born, Anna Apfelbacher. He was born on June 26, 1925. Dan joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. He was killed in action at Okinawa, Japan on May 12, 1945. Dan is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, HI.
27-Okey Leeson was the son of Stonewall J and Martha Haught Leeson. He was born on June 30, 1894 at Berea, Ritchie Co. He was living at Oxford when he joined the American Expeditionary Forces and served as Bugler, Battery D, 314th Field Artillery. He was killed in action on October 19, 1918 in France. He was 16 years old.
28-Bernard H Lipscomb was the son of Hobert and Lelah Zahn Lipscomb. He was born on September 7, 1921 at Sherwood. He was living at Morgansville when he joined the U.S. Army and served with the 116th Inf Reg, 29th Inf Div. He was killed in action on June 6, 1944 at Normandy, France where he was buried at Normandy American Cemetery, France. Bernard was 23 years old.
29-Jason Nicholas Marchand was the son of Debbie Underwood Parsons of Greenwood and William Marchand, M.D., Salt Lake City, Utah. He was killed on October 5, 20007 in Baghdad, Iraq while serving in the U.S. Army Infantry when a building he was surveying exploded north of Baghdad. He is buried in the Center Point Christian Church Cemetery, Center Point, WV.
30-Denzil David McClain was the son of William D and Ida Snider McClain. He was born on April 19, 1923 at Miletus near Salem in Doddridge County. Denzil joined the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Quincy during WWII. He was killed on August 10, 1943 and was buried at sea. His memorial is at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines. Denzil McClain was 20 years old.
31-Arzie McIntyre was the son of Joab A and Hattie Morgan McIntyre. He was born on July 31, 1920 at Ashley. When Arzie enlisted in the Army, he provided the birth date of his brother, Argil, which was June 15, 1918. He was only 16 years old instead of 18. He served with the 319 Inf Regt, 80 Inf Division in Europe where he was killed on April 2, 1945 and was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Holland. He was 15 years old.
32-Arley Curtis Parks was the son of Thomas and Anna Richards Parks. He was born on December 10, 1906 at Summers. Arley married Mona Husk in 1934. They had an infant daughter who died near birth. He was working at the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Gas Co at the time he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 8th Regt, 1st Cav Div. Arley was killed in action on March 20, 1944 on Manus Island in northern Papua, New Guinea and is buried in the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines. He was 37 years old.
33-Rexal Dane Reed was the son of Everett and Laura Bunting Reed. He was born on November 1, 1926 in Grant Dist. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves as 2nd Class Seamen. He drowned on January 24, 1946 when he slipped from the deck of the ship at Tocloban, Layte, Philippines. He is buried in the Manilla American Cemetery, Philippines. He was 19 yrs. 4 months old.
34-Walter D Reed was the son of Elmore and Phebe Reed. He was born on July 17, 1892 at Leopold. He worked for Jake Cox at New Milton doing farming and sawmilling before joining the military. Walter lived at Oxford. He joined the U.S. Army where he served in Co L, 118th Inf, 30th Div. Walter died on October 30, 1918 of disease in England. He is buried in Brookwood American Military Cemetery, Surrey, England.
35-Harley Drexel Roberts is the son of John A and Bertha Underwood Roberts. He was born on February 19, 1920 at Morgansville. He was on the football team and graduated from DCHS. Harley lived at Nutters Fork in 1940 before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1942. He was employed by
Braden & Creighton Oil Co. He was killed in action on January 25, 1945 in France. He is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union. Harley was just shy of his 25th birthday.
36-Cecil Blaine Robinson was the son of Albert and Addie Willis Robinson. He was born on August 31, 1891 at Blandville. He attended Salem College in 1917 before joining the U.S. Army where he served with the 83rd Co, 6th Reg. Cecil was killed in action on July 19, 1918 at the Battle of the Marne in Soissons, France. He is buried in the Grafton National Cemetery in Taylor County. He was just shy of 27 years old.
37-Forest Beecher Seckman was the son of Charles and Martha Swiger Seckman. He was born on May 18, 1930 at Salem. Forest was killed in action on March 27, 1953 in Korea. He is buried in the Center Point Christian Church Cemetery. Forest was 22 years old.
38-Charles E Shannon Jr. was the son of Charles and Anama Weekley Shannon. He was born on June 26, 1921 at West Union. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force as 1st Lt. Flight Officer where he served with the 25th Photo Sqdn, 6th Recon. He was a pilot on a P-38 plane of the Photographic Reconnaissance Division, US Army Air Force, and was enroute to Indo-China when his plane was lost. Initially classified as Missing in Action, he was later officially declared dead. Charles was 24 years old.
39-Lee Roy Snyder was the son of George and Cora Loar Snyder. He was born on October 27, 1920 at Richwood, Nicholas Co. and moved to Southwest District, Doddridge Co. Lee joined the U.S. Army and served with the 101st Inf. Reg. 26th Inf Div. He was killed in action on November 17, 1944 in Lorraine, France where he is buried in Lorraine American Cemetery, St Avold, France. He was 24 years old.
40-Robert Sheldon Strickling was the son of Flavius and Lydia McMullin. He was born on February 14, 1918 at West Union. Robert was on the DCHS football team in 1938. He attended Shenandoah College at Dayton, VA. Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was killed in a military plane crash on August 30, 1943. He is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union. Robert was 23 years old.
41-Stanley H Stutler was the son of Cleorous and Icie Highland Stutler. He was born on March 12, 1923 on Long Run. He worked at the A&P Grocery in West Union before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps and served with Battery G, 1st Marines, 3rd Div. Stanley was killed in action on October 13, 1944 at Peleliu Island in the Pacific. He is buried in the Masonic Memorial Park Cemetery, Crystal Lake near West Union. He was 21 years old.
42-Dorsey Otis Warner was the son of Alvin and Prudence Johnson Warner. He was born on April 1, 1889 at Market. He was a store clerk as a teen and became a Doddridge County Constable in 1917. Dorsey joined the U.S. Army and served in Co C, 319th Infantry. He was killed in action on August 1, 1918 in France. He is buried in Blockhouse Hill Cemetery (IOOF section) at West Union.
43-James Earl Weekley was the son of Samuel and Stella Ireland Weekley. He was born on February 20, 1924 at West Union. He was inducted into the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Halligan. James was killed in action on March 26, 1945 at Okinawa, Japan. He was buried in the Wilbur Cemetery, Wilbur, Tyler Co. James was 21 years old.
44-Charles Albert Wells was the son of Sam and Edith Smith Wells. He was born on March 2, 1923 at Middlbourne, Tyler County, but grew up on Hugle Run off Lower Long Run near Greenwood. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and served with the 91st Air Svc. Albert married Bessie “Billie” Ivers in 1943 before deploying to Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands where he was killed in a Jeep accident. He was 22 years old.
45-Charles Alton Williamson was the son of Isaac and Dalla “Dollie” Hart Williamson. He was born on December 7, 1925 at Greenwood. He married Opal Harris in 1948. They had 5 children. He joined the U.S. Army and served as STRATCOM FAC in Alaska. He was killed in action on June 25, 1965 in Vietnam. Charles is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery at Greenwood. Charles was 40 years old.
46-Lawrence O Yeater was the son of Harry and Bertha Shuman Yeater. He was born on July 1, 1931 at Shirley, Tyler Co. He lived in Center Point before joining the U.S. Army and served with the 8th Cav Inf, 1st Cav Div Inf. Lawrence married Hazel Cunningham and they had 1 child together. Lawrence was killed in action on September 3, 1950 in Korea. He is buried in Grafton National Cemetery, Taylor Co. Lawrence was 19 years old.
God Bless and Stay Well
Patricia Richards Harris