Hometown Heroes

Louisburg area Hometown Heroes are proudly presented by the American Legion John P. Hand Post 250, Louisburg Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Louisburg.

These banners, honoring current and past members of the military, will fly on light poles in historic Downtown Louisburg in the weeks leading up to Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Find our heroes and their stories here.  Click on the image to read the heroes’ bios.

 

 

 

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Jake Allen

A Private First Class in the Marines from 1972-1978, Jake Allen attended boot camp at Parris Island, S. C. He was then sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif., for advanced infantry training. Afterward he was stationed in or based out of Okinawa while he also spent time patrolling the jungles of India and the Philippines, the East and South China seas, and the Indian Ocean. Jake was aboard the USS Okinawa, the USS Inchon, the USS Coronado, and the USS Fairfax County. His next duty station was in Camp Lejeune, N.C. While stationed there, Jake was also sent on patrols of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the English Channel. 

Banner sponsored by the Allen Family.

 

Walter Fred Barnes

Sargeant Walter Fred Barnes served in the Army Air Force from 1942-1945 and was stationed in the United States. He was a member of the Louisburg American Legion. For many years Fred operated his own plumbing business in Louisburg. His great-grandson, Brandon Drew, has served in the Navy since 2009.

Banner sponsored by Joyce Virgin.

Kenny Barnes

Kenny Barnes was in the 11th Armored Cavalry Blackhorse Regiment of the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1966-67. Kenny was a Purple Heart recipient. After returning home, he worked for USD 416 for 27 years and was noted for keeping the grass on the football field in pristine condition. He graduated from Wea High School in 1963.

Banner sponsored by the Family of Kenny Barnes

Leonard Bauer

Leonard Bauer, born in 1918 and raised in Louisburg, served in the Army Air Force from September 19, 1941 through September 9, 1945. He was assigned to the 446th Army Air Force Base Unit at McChord Field Washington and attended school for airplane mechanics at Kessler Field in Mississippi. Leonard achieved the rank of Staff Sargent in his role as an Airplane Mechanic Crew Chief. He received the Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, and American Defense Service Ribbon. As a lifelong Louisburg resident, Leonard was a member of the American Legion John P Hand Post 250. Leonard was a carpenter for many years and later an insurance salesman before passing away in 1978.

Banner sponsored by Gary Bauer, Karen (Bauer) Flournoy, and Paula Bauer.

Eddie Bauer

Corporal Lawrence Edward "Eddie" Bauer was a Louisburg native and the first man from Louisburg to be killed in Vietnam just 14 days after his 23rd birthday on April 16, 1969. He proudly served in Gun Section 4, B BTRY, 3rd BN, 18th Artillery, Americal Div, USARV Army of the United States. Eddie was a graduate of Louisburg High School and was employed at Taylor Forge in Paola until his National Guard unit was called to active service. He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church in Louisburg and of the John P. Hand Post #250 of the American Legion.

Eddie entered the service in May 1968 and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., before leaving for Vietnam on Jan. 24, 1969. On the afternoon of April 30, 1969, Corporal Bauer was serving as a gunner on a self-propelled howitzer, which was moving to a new location near the village of Phuoc Nich, northeast of Tam Ky City, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of South Vietnam. Eddie received a fatal wound when the howitzer detonated a concealed enemy land mine. Eddie was an exemplary soldier who gave his life assisting his fellow man and in the service of his country. Eddie was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, and Marksmanship Badge with Automatic Rifle Bar. He served three tours in Vietnam. Information was provided by Trish Ward, American Legion Auxiliary and former Louisburg resident.

Banner sponsored by the American Legion John P. Hand Post 250.

 

Art Beasley

Art Beasley was drafted in November 1966. His boot camp training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) was at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. The following May, Private First Class Beasley was shipped to Germany. Of the 187 soldiers in his troop, he was one of 14 who went to Germany while others went to Vietnam. He was a combat engineer with the Flotation Bridge Company and spent much of his service building pontoon bridges on the Rhine. Art’s bride Glenda came to Germany with him and got a job teaching high school on the Mannheim military basis. Art laughed and said Glenda’s job as a teacher had a higher monthly income than Art received! All non-military employees on base were assigned a non-military rank that would be equivalent to a military rank and Glenda’s rank was lieutenant while Art was a lowly private. He was promoted to sergeant while in Germany. During his career, Art landed with Panhandle Eastern Pipeline. He and Glenda were transferred to Louisburg in 1980 and it’s been home ever since. 

Banner sponsored by the Beasley Family.

Carl Bilyeu

Carl Bilyeu was drafted into the Army in January 1961 and was discharged in January 1966. He spent most of his time in Germany and is the proud father of Scott & Steve Bilyeu.

Banner sponsored by the Bilyeu Family.

Justin Bussell

Staff Sergeant Justin Bussell has served six years in the Air Force. He has been stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Eielson Air Force in Alaska. Justin is a 2014 graduate of Louisburg High School.

Banner sponsored by Brooklyn Southard Bussell.

Richard Chandlee

Richard Kenneth Chandlee joined the Navy in 1941 at the age of 17. He served on the USS Minneapolis for the entire six years he spent in the Navy. By the end of the war, the Minneapolis was tied for second place with its sister ship, the USS San Francisco, for most World War II battle stars, with 17. Only the carrier USS Enterprise had more. Richard was just leaving Pearl Harbor on his carrier when the bombing started. He observed the enemy planes flying over. On Dec. 10, he entered Pearl Harbor to take on supplies. He always said it was a sight he would not forget. He obtained the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

He is the husband of Lorraine Chandlee and father of Denise German, Donna Casement, and Debbie Chandlee. He and his family have called Louisburg home since 1971. Richard passed away in 2005.

Banner sponsored by the Chandlee Family

Dustin Crawford

Lieutenant Commander Dustin Crawford, a native of Louisburg, enlisted in the Navy in 1996 where he volunteered for submarine duty. He made two deployments onboard USS Cheyenne as a conventional machinist mate and went on to become an instructor in San Diego, teaching submarine firefighting and damage control. In 2003 as a First-Class Petty Officer, he was selected for the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program. He obtained his commission in 2008 after graduating with a bachelor’s in finance from Jacksonville University.

After receiving his commission, he served onboard USS Farragut as the Strike Officer where he made two deployments and earned his Surface Warfare Officer pin. The first deployment was in support of Counter-Narcotics Operations in the Caribbean and South America and the second was with the Eisenhower Strike Group where he conducted Anti-Piracy Operations as the flagship for Combined Task Force-151. He then became the Navigator onboard USS Robert G. Bradley where he navigated the ship to numerous West African and Mediterranean ports during an African Partnership Station deployment. As a department head, LCDR Crawford served as the Combat Systems Officer and Operations Officer for LCS Crew 213 onboard USS Omaha and USS Jackson.

LCDR Crawford attended the Defense Language Institute earning an associate degree in Spanish and attended Navel Postgraduate School where he earned a master's in Operations Research.

LCDR Crawford’s awards include three Navy Commendation medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Outstanding Volunteer Service medal as well as various unit and campaign awards. A 1995 graduate of Louisburg High School, he is married to Angie Crawford, a physical therapist.

Banner sponsored by his mother Becky Berg.

James L. Davis

James L. Davis joined the United States Navy in 1954. He was aboard the U.S.S. Frontier from 1954-1959. He traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia during these years. He was a 50-year Sheet Metal International Association Local No. 2. His Navy and construction career allowed him to travel the world including Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. He was married to his wife Dettie for 57 years. He retired in 2002 so he and Dettie could spend time together at the Lake of the Ozarks. He had three children Billy (Tammy) Davis; Jan (Augie) Hurst, and Traci (Pat) Storey along with 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandsons. He passed away on December 23, 2016. His grandson Patrick Storey is currently serving in the Air Force.

Banner sponsored by the Davis Family.

Dennis DeVrieze

Dennis DeVrieze served in the Navy from 1969-1971 as a Boat Coxswain. He began his service to our country in the Navy in 1969 and spent 12 weeks at boot camp in San Diego. He completed his training in Norfolk, Virginia, and was then stationed on the USS Santa Barbara (AE-28), an ammunition ship. The ship was commissioned in July 1970. After serving in the Navy, Dennis returned home to Miami County.

Banner sponsored by the Kim Carter family & the Keri Johnson family

Brandon Drew

Brandon Drew joined the U.S. Navy on February 18, 2009. He attended boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., a 4-week Naval Aircrew School, the five-week Aviation Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, Fla., and then a two-week brutal SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) school. He graduated Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 2, also known as the "Fleet Angels" in Norfolk, Va., before joining Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 (HSC-22) Crusaders "Sea Knights" where he served from 2010 - 2015.

Brandon deployed to the 5th fleet on USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) during Operations Enduring Freedom. During this deployment he received a Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (NAM) for outstanding professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties, acknowledging that he demonstrated outstanding leadership and management abilities along with technical knowledge.

His next deployment was to the 5th fleet on the USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8). During this sea duty, he earned three Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

In 2016, he was selected for HSC-2 Naval Aircrewman Instructor duty. While serving in this position from 2016-2019, he developed the HSC-2 Fire Scout (UAV) program for aircrew payload operations and earned two more Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Brandon has spent the last 4 ½ years continuing to serve as a Search and Rescue Swimmer (SARS) in Norfolk, Va., in Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 "Tridents". HSC-9 is attached to Carrier Air Wing Eight and deploys aboard USS Gerald R. Ford.

Brandon’s great-grandfather, Walter Fred Barnes, served in the Army Air Force during WWII.

Banner sponsored by Dan & Susan Drew

Shawn Fitch

Army Captain Shawn Fitch served from 2010 to 2019. Shawn went to boot camp in 2010 and served in the Kansas National Guard until 2012. He then commissioned into Active Duty Infantry and served at Fort Riley, KS. Shawn deployed to Djibouti in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2014 as an Infantry Platoon Leader. Shawn transferred to the Adjutant Corps and served at Fort Campbell, KY until his separation in late 2019. Shawn and Reba, along with children Levi and Emma, chose Louisburg as their home after Shawn’s military career.

Banner sponsored by the Fitch Family.

Jeremy George

Jeremy N. George enlisted in the U.S.  Air Force in November 1996 and graduated from Air Force basic military training in May 1997. From June 1997 until July 1998, Jeremy attended technical training schools in Arizona and Florida to become a certified Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) operator. Upon graduation from tech school, Jeremy was shipped off to Elmendorf Air Force base in Alaska for his first duty station. From July 1998 until January 2001, Jeremy served as a proud member of the 381st Intelligence Squadron performing strategic intelligence operations. In 2001, Jeremy transferred to the 150th Fighter Wing at the New Mexico Air National Guard. He was sent back to technical training school to become a database administrator and data analyst. In 2008 Jeremy transferred to the 302nd Airlift Wing in Colorado Springs, Colo. After serving two years in Colorado, Jeremy was selected for a special duty assignment to be an instructor at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School at Kirtland AFB New Mexico. From 2012 to 2015, Jeremy served as the cyber systems superintendent and traveled all over the country teaching courses on radiological incident response. It was during his time at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School that Jeremy earned the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. In late 2015, SMSgt George was selected for another special duty assignment. From 2015 to 2017, he served as a regional liaison for the U.S. Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol Southwest Region. In the summer of 2017, and after 20 years and 6 months of service, SMSgt Jeremy George decided it was time to shift his focus and priorities to spending more time at home in Louisburg Kan., with his wife and three daughters and retired from the U.S. Air Force.

Banner sponsored by Sarah George

Charles Golba

Charles L. Golba enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 2, 1965. He was sent to Lackland AFB for basic training. He was then sent to Lowry AFB for training in the munitions field. In January 1966, he went to Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah, where he x-rayed the Minute Man missiles.

He was given leave to go home for 30 days in November 1966 before being sent to Bien Hoa AB at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. He handled thousands of tons of munitions that were loaded onto aircraft for bombing and air support missions after arriving in Bien Hoa in December.

In December 1967 he was assigned to Peterson Field, which is currently Peterson AFB, where he delivered supplies to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs.

He left the “regular” Air Force in January 1969 and joined the Air Force Reserves where he served for two years at Richards Gebauer AFB in Kansas City, Mo.

Chuck has a couple of memories that stand out during his time in service. “About four days before I left Vietnam, I was able to see the Bob Hope USO Show at Bear Cat, South Vietnam, on Christmas Day. Bob Hope, along with Raquel Welch, Phil Crosby, Barbara McNair, and Miss World Reita Faria of India, were guests. They brought a lot of joy and great entertainment for a couple of hours to the troops.

“Prior to that, in November 1967 during Thanksgiving, I was able to take an R&R trip to Hawaii. It helped that I had cousins living there who gave wonderful tours. The best memory was I finally was able to call my parents for the first time in 11 months!” 

Banner sponsored by the Golba family.

 

Chuck Golladay

Chuck Golladay, Naval Reserve, DT2, joined the service on Nov. 10, 1967, and was released from active duty July 10, 1971, and retired from the service on Nov. 10, 1987. He went to Dental Technician Class A School in October 1968. From July 10, 1969-July 10, 1971 he served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger CVA-61 and made two tours in Vietnam from October 1969  to June 1970 and October 1970 to June 1971. He remained in the U.S. Naval Reserves attached to a hospital mobile unit until retired in November 1987 after 20 years of service. He began his teaching career in August 1971. Chuck was an educator and principal in Louisburg schools for 37 years. In 2004 he was named Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year.

Banner sponsored by Suellen Golladay.

John W. Hahn

John joined the Air Force in 1955 and completed basic training at Sampson AFB  in Geneva, NY. He was stationed at Lowry AFB in Denver for tech school. In 1956 he was stationed at Eglin AFB in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. While there, he was a weapons specialist on the F-102 plane. It was during his duty at Eglin that John met and married Louisburg native Margaret Haefele, who was also in the Air Force stationed at Ft. Walton. His next assignment was at Spangdahlem AFB in Germany attached to the F-102 and F-104. At each base, he was a weapons specialist. He also spent time in Libya, Africa, on three 30-day tours. His next station was at Seymour-Johnson AFB in North Carolina. From there he went to Adana, Turkey, then a year in Thailand during the Vietnam War. His next station was at George AFB in California. Margaret said they were stationed there a good three years with John serving as a crew chief. Uncle Sam next sent John, Margaret, and their three children to Tehran, Iran, from 1970-1972. After Iran, they returned to Denver where John was an instructor at the tech school at Lowry AFB. He was next sent to Korea where he continued to work in weapons. While on a 30-day leave home, John decided his family was growing up too fast and decided to retire from the military after 21 years 2 months & 16 days in September 1976. While on leave he had talked to Chuck at Chuck's Market located on the west side of Broadway just off Amity and got a job. When he returned to Korea, he told his commander that he was retiring and had a job lined up at the market back home. John followed the grocery when it moved across the street. When that store closed John applied for and was hired on the spot as a night custodian at the old high school. John spent 20 years working for USD 416 with time at LHS and Circle Grove. During retirement, John drove a van for the Louisburg Senior Center. John, who grew up in Pennsylvania, settled with Margaret in her hometown where they raised their family. John was a member of the Louisburg VFW and the Knights of Columbus.

Banner sponsored by the John Hahn Family

John P. Hand

John P. Hand was the first Louisburg area resident to die in a foreign war. Army Private John P. Hand, who was assigned to Company K, 60th Infantry, 5th Division after his enlistment, was killed in action on Oct. 14, 1918, not long after he landed in France and just 28 days before Armistice Day. His family was not notified of his death until about two weeks after Armistice Day. Private Hand is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, located in the Meuse region of Northeastern France.

John enlisted in the Army on June 5, 1917. In April 1918, John along with a Louisburg buddy, Lawrence B. Connor, left for training at Camp Funston, located at Ft. Riley. John and his buddy were separated shortly after arriving at the camp. John soon received his orders and went to New York, where he transferred to Company A of the 49th Infantry and was then shipped out to the European front. The soldiers landed in France in August 1918. He fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive which took place Sept. 26, 1918, under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. Troops attacked German soldiers along the Meuse River and the Argonne forest.

 John was born April 5, 1892, on the family farm near Louisburg the only son of C.E. and Belle (Cole) Hand. He had seven sisters. He was a 1911 graduate of Louisburg Rural High School. The local American Legion Post is named in Private Hand’s honor: The John P. Hand Post 250.

Lois Rosner, who would be John’s niece, traveled to France to the cemetery in 1999 following in the steps of her grandmother Belle Hand who traveled to France as a Gold Star Mother in 1930 to see where her son was buried. Lois kept records of her preparation for the trip and noted that 116,000 Americans died in France during WW1 and more than 14,000 of them are buried in the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery.

Information was provided by his great-niece Sharon Rosner Wise. John was a brother to Sharon’s grandmother Nelle Hand Jones.

Banner sponsored by Louisburg American Legion John P. Hand Post 250.

Earl Eugene (Gene) Kern

Gene and three Louisburg high school friends enlisted in the USAF after graduation in 1963.  They attended basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas.  After basic, they did not see each other again until four years later when they were honorably discharged from service. Gene completed training at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas, an aircraft maintenance school, and was certified as an aircraft mechanic for C130 aircraft. His assigned permanent station was Dyess Air Force Base.  He served in Okinawa, Vietnam, Thailand, France, and England.

After his Air Force service, he attended TWA commercial aircraft school in Kansas City but he decided to work at General Motors, then for the Boilermakers Union, and later, Behm Corporation.

In 1974 he enlisted in the US Army Reserve Unit at Olathe Naval Base as an aircraft mechanic for Chinook and Hewey helicopters.  He was also employed as an Army civilian aircraft mechanic full-time at the base.  He traveled extensively for training, prepping helicopters for shipment overseas, and flew on new Chinooks to Panama for model upgrades during the Noriega siege.  Gene served for 26 years until 1996 when he retired.

Banner sponsored by his wife Linda and their children.

Henry Kircher

Henry attended boot camp in Colorado as a basic airman. He went to F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming in April 1953 to be an installer cableman. In late 1953 he was sent overseas and was stationed in Germany as a lineman. While in the Air Force, Kircher earned three medals: National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal & Army Occupation Medal (Germany). He was honorably discharged in 1956.

Banner sponsored by Dennis Kircher and Lisa Mincks.

Welby Knop

Welby Knop was a Tec 4 with the U.S. Army 3119th Signal Service Battalion. He was a radio operator and served in the Battle of Luzon, the second largest battle in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. He was awarded the American Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, WWII Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. His father Arthur served in WWI.

Banner sponsored by the Knop Family.

Wayne Knop

(Arthur) Wayne Knop was a Specialist 4 with the 155th Tras. Co and was a 62M20 equipment operator and 11B20 infantry training. He trained at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., and Ft. Polk, La. He served in Vietnam from January 1970 to April 1971. He was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal 2/0S Bars. His grandfather Arther served in WWI and his father served in WWII. He is a lifetime member of the Louisburg American Legion John P. Hand Post 250.

Banner sponsored by the Knop Family.

Walter Knop

Walter W. Knop was a sergeant in the 130th Infantry, RQT squad leader. He served in the Battle of Luzon in the Pacific Theatre, the second largest battle in the Pacific during WWII. Walter was awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Gold Star, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal.  He was a charter member of the Louisburg American Legion John P. Hand Post 250. His grandfather Arthur served in WWI and his son Wayne served in Vietnam.

Banner sponsored by the Knop Family.

Arthur Knop

Arthur Knop served during WW1. He was the father of five sons, four of which later served in times of war, including Walter and Welby, who are also recognized with a Hometown Hero banner.

Banner sponsored by the Knop Family.

Scott Koechner

Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Koechner was in the U.S. Navy from 1982-1986 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CUN 69. His awards include the Navy Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, and the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon.

Banner is sponsored by the Koechner Family.

Ralph Kueser

Ralph Kueser, Shortie, as he was known, enlisted in the Army in 1943. He served as a Corporal in Italy and was headed to Japan when they received notice that the war was over and the ship turned around to come home. His first tour ended in 1946. Then in 1948 Shortie volunteered for active duty as an Escort with the Graves Registration Unit of the Army. This was the first time that the government was sending home the remains of all who had died or been killed in WWII. His job was to accompany the remains of the deceased from the quartermaster depot to the assigned funeral home.

Most assignments were for 5 days: 1 day for delivery, 3 days at the destination, and 1 day to return home. He usually had one assignment per week. That year of escort duty was one of the most learning experiences of his life. He served as an escort for one year in 1948-1949. Shortie was a proud veteran and a member of the Louisburg American Legion for many years. He served as a Chaplain for Post 250 as long as he could.

Banner sponsored by the Ralph Kueser Family

Mike Lesher

Commander Charles Michael Lesher, United States Naval Reserve

Commander Mike Lesher graduated from the University of Kansas in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Ensign Lesher was commissioned in January 1990 through the Navy ROTC program. He spent his first 18 months in Pensacola, Fla., where he earned his designation as a Naval Aviator. His next six months of training was in Norfolk, Va., at Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 the Fleet Replenishment Squadron flying the MH53E. Lieutenant Lesher then reported to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 for sea duty in January 1993. In addition to qualifying as Mission Commander in the MH53E, he also served as Legal Officer, Tactics Officer, and 300 Division Officer during his sea tour and completed one deployment to the Western Pacific.

In January 1996 Lieutenant Lesher reported for shore duty at Airborne Mine Countermeasures Weapon Systems Training School as an instructor pilot and also served as Training Officer and NATOPS Evaluator. During his tenure, the school was responsible for training over 300 pilots and aircrewmen for the Airborne Mine Countermeasures community.

Upon leaving active duty in February 1999, Lieutenant Lesher reported to reserve duty aboard Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 114 (MUIWU 114). Soon after reporting, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. During his four and a half years with MIUWU 114, he served as Electronic Materials Officer, Communications Officer, and Admin Officer. In December 2002 he was mobilized with MIUWU 114 for six and a half months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom providing seaward force protection for ports in Kuwait and Iraq. After demobilizing in June 2003 he resumed reserve duty with MIUWU 114 until November 2003 when he reported to Supreme Allied Command Transformation Det. 118 (SACT 118) in Kansas City.

During his year with SACT 118, Lieutenant Commander Lesher served as AT and Mobilization Officer coordinating unit support of NATO exercises. In October of 2004, Lieutenant Commander Lesher was selected to be Commanding Officer of NR NSF Yokosuka Detachment Kansas City which augments Anti-terrorism and Force Protection for Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka. He served as Commanding Officer until October 2005 when he transitioned back to SACT 118 as Training Officer. He spent the next two years in SACT 118 supporting NATO exercises until the unit was disestablished in November 2007. In December 2007 Commander Lesher was chosen to be Officer in Charge of Operational Support Unit 1349 in support of NOSC Kansas City. 

Commander Lesher served for one year as OIC of OSU 1349 and then was assigned as a Reserve Force Officer in NR SELSERV SYS 125 with his area of operations being the state of Kansas.  In December of 2010, CDR Lesher was again assigned to NR SELSERV SYS 125 this time being assigned as an RFO for the state of Missouri. In March of 2011, CDR Lesher was selected to be Executive Officer of NR SELSERV SYS 125 and served as XO until May 2013.

He is married to Deana Lesher and has three children Garrett, Grant, and Gracen. Commander Lesher’s civilian job is Manager of Video Product Development at CenturyLink Communications.

Commander Lesher’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3), Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), and various other campaign and service awards. His daughter Gracen is in the Army National Guard.

Banner sponsored by the Lesher Family

 

Gracen Lesher

Private First Class Gracen Lesher enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2019 at 17 years old. She is currently assigned to the 1077th GAC as the unit's supply specialist. Her journey in the National Guard has just begun and she is extremely grateful for the honor and opportunity to serve our country. Her father Mike is a commander in the U.S. Navy. She is a 2020 graduate of Louisburg High School.

Banner sponsored by Lesher Family

Clarence Lewis

Clarence Lewis grew up a farm kid in the Wea community and graduated from Louisburg High School in 1965. After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1968 and became a C-130 Hercules pilot.

First Lt. Lewis’ plane, from the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron, 374th Tactical Airlift Wing, 7th Air Force, was struck by an enemy rocket while on a resupply mission at the Kontum Airfield. Three of Clarence’s fellow crewmen died in the crash on May 17, 1972. Co-pilot Lewis was rescued and evacuated to a U.S. Army hospital in Japan where he died of his injuries on May 21, 1972. Information is taken from The Wall of Faces from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.

Banner sponsored by the Louisburg American Legion John P. Hand Post 250.

William McClintock

William McClintock was a Private First Class in the Army and served in Germany from 1944-1946 during WWII.

Banner sponsored by his granddaughter Olivia Clark.

John Paul McEwen

John Paul McEwen was born on June 7, 1983. He was raised in Louisburg Kan.. attended the USD 416 school district and graduated from Louisburg High School in 2002. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2003 and did his basic training in San Diego at the MCRD Depot. He served in New Orleans in 2005 when Katrina struck. He was deployed and stationed at ECP1 (Entry Control Point #1) in Fallujah, Iraq, during the surge from August 2006 until April 2007. He was deployed to Central and South America in 2008 and 2009. He drilled out in 2009 with the rank of Lance Corporal and was in inactive status for 2 years following. 

Banner sponsored by the McEwen Family.

Sarah McMullen

Colonel (R) Sarah A. McMullen was first introduced to the Army in the winter of 1986 at Ft. McCoy, Wisc. when she volunteered to be a ski instructor for an ROTC cadet event while she was a college student at the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point (UWSP). She enjoyed the experience so much that she discussed it with her parents and decided to join. While still a student at UWSP, she served as a cadet at her local reserve unit until she was commissioned as an officer in 1988. Sarah served in numerous locations and various positions (active and reserve) over her long career including Ft. Knox, Ky.; Ft. Lewis, Wash.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Ft. Gordon, Ga.; Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., and Salt Lake City, Utah. She was deployed to Egypt and Kuwait. In total, she served in the Wisconsin Army Reserve, the Kansas Army National Guard, and the Kansas Army Reserve in addition to serving on active duty during her career. The opportunity to serve her community and country while also serving her family as a mother and wife has been the honor of a lifetime for Sarah. Sarah retired from active duty at Ft. Riley, Kan., in August 2020, having served 34.5 consecutive years of service.

Banner sponsored by the McMullen Family.

Michael M. Miller

Michael M. Miller was stationed in San Diego, Calif., for boot camp through Christmas 1977. He was sent to Camp Pendleton for training and did the majority of his training in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

After training, he worked with the 24th Marines. Upon arrival to the 24th Marines his superiors found out he had two semesters of typing in high school (he says because the teacher was good looking) so he was assigned to Administration where he worked on all personnel records (SRB's-Service Record Books).

He was promoted and was a Sergeant at 5 years. His service ended in August 1983.

Banner sponsored by Mike Miller.

DeVere Mossman

DeVere Mossman was born in 1928 in Kansas City, MO. He spent much of his growing up years in the Cleveland, MO., area. In 1946 DeVere entered the service as a member of the Army Air Corp. He served for 19 months in Germany. He also served in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, he served as part of the funeral party for General John J. Pershing.

Upon his return home, DeVere married Rosemany Rosner. They had four daughters and 11 grandchildren. DeVere worked as a manager for Long Bell Lumber before starting his own company. That company later became known as Mossman Lumber. He developed the subdivision known as Countryside East and designed and built many homes. He was well known for his keen business mind.

DeVere was active in the Louisburg community. He was on the board of directors at First National Bank, Louisburg Planning Commission, Louisburg Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Louisburg American Legion Post #250.

Banner sponsored by the Mossman family.

 

Bill Murphy

William “Bill” Murphy attended Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego, Calif., in 1994. While serving in the Marines, Bill was stationed in Kane’ohe Bay, Hawaii; Quantico, Va.; Joplin, Mo.; and Camp Pendleton, Calif. He deployed to Japan, South Korea, Alaska, Kuwait, and Iraq. Bill earned many awards throughout his military career. While stationed in Iraq, Bill was injured which eventually ended his active duty career in the Marines. Bill was medically retired from the Marines in July 2007.

Banner sponsored by Charles and Kathy Lewis.

Don Newman

Don joined the Navy on Sept. 12, 1960. He attended boot camp in San Diego. He was assigned to the USS Princeton, which was home ported in Long Beach, CA. He was part of the aviation fuel division four. He served aboard that ship until January 1963. The ship made two tours in the Pacific and was stationed in the Philippines. The Princeton took two tours to Vietnam delivering Marine squadrons and their helicopters. While aboard the Princeton, Don was stationed near Johnston Island where testing was being conducted on nuclear and atom bombs. The crew was responsible for transferring unnecessary personnel off the island and to the Princeton during testing. He received recognition for participating in the 1962 nuclear tests in the Pacific from the Navy Task Group, Joint Task Force Eight. Don was transferred to the Brooklyn (NY) naval yards and was assigned to the new USS Vancouver, which was being built at the yard. The ship was outfitted in Norfolk and went through the Panama Canal to San Diego. While stationed on the USS Vancouver, Don was in charge of all the aviation fuel systems. It was an amphibious ship, the second of a new design. It carried Marines, helicopters, and amphibious vehicles. The ship’s main responsibility was to ferry troops to designated locations. Don received a letter of commendation from the commanding officer for his 19 months of service onboard the USS Vancouver and for contributing to the training and readiness of the fuels gang and the fuels systems. He was instrumental in solving a design flaw in the fuel systems of this new ship. Don finished his Navy service as aviation boatswain fuel second class, leaving the service on Sept. 9, 1964. Don joined the Naval Reserve in 1967 and was stationed at the Olathe naval station still working in the fuels system divisions. Don, who grew up in Blue Mound, and his wife Linda have lived in Miami County for about 40 years.

Banner sponsored by Linda Newman

LeRoy Niebaum

LeRoy Niebaum served in the Navy from February 1943 to February 1946. He was an electrician on the USS Mississippi in the Philippines. His ship was invited to the ceremonial signing of the official surrender. LeRoy started the Avenue of Flags at the Louisburg and other area cemeteries. Many of the flags were stored in special shelving he made to hold each flag.

Banner sponsored by the Niebaum Family.

Stephen Pierce

Colonel (Retired) Stephen Pierce was deemed a Distinguished Military Student and Graduate and was commissioned as a Regular Army Officer in 1971 from the Pittsburg State University ROTC Program. Colonel Pierce served a total of 30 years commissioned service on Active Duty, US Army Reserve, and Kansas National Guard. He served 3½ years in Germany in an Air Defense Artillery Chaparral/Vulcan Battalion. His duties included Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. He was promoted to Captain while attending the Air Defense Artillery Officers Advanced Course and was assigned as a Battery Commander in the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell, KY. 

After leaving active duty, Colonel Pierce joined the Kansas Army National Guard where he served until his retirement in 2001. While in the Kansas Guard, his key assignments included Executive Officer and Battalion Commander in the 169th Support Battalion, Plans Officer in the 35th Infantry Division, Executive Officer in the 69th Infantry Brigade, and, finally, as the 35th Infantry Division Chief of Staff until his retirement.

Colonel Pierce attended multiple military schools including Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, and the US Naval War College for senior military officers in Newport, RI.

He was promoted to Second Lieutenant, on July 30, 1971; First Lieutenant, on July 31, 1974; Captain, on July 31, 1976; Major, on March 29, 1984; Lt. Colonel, on Oct. 17, 1991; and Colonel, on Sept. 26, 1997.

Col. Pierce and his wife Sue retired to Louisburg to enjoy small-town living.

Banner sponsored by Stephanie Anglin

Ron Pope

Ron Pope moved to Louisburg in 1958. He graduated from LHS in 1966. He received his draft notice and was inducted into the Army on March 19, 1968. He did his basic and advance training at “Tiger Land” at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He often said training was done there to get troops used to the heat, swamps, and mosquitoes.

After a month leave, he headed to Vietnam on Aug. 29,1968, his wife Virginia’s birthday. He was in the 199 LIB, Company B, Battalion 3. He served in Vietnam until October 21, 1968. By staying two extra months in Vietnam, he was eligible to discharge immediately on return to the states instead of staying in the service for six additional months. Ron was a sergeant when he was discharged.

Ron received the National Defense Service Medal;  Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; and the Army Commendation Medal while serving in Vietnam.

Ron passed away in February 2013 from kidney and liver failure, both side effects from Agent Orange used in Vietnam.

Banner sponsored by his girls, Virginia, Jenny, Amy, and Beth.

Billy Dean Pottorff

Billy Dean Pottorff, born July 5, 1951, was a life-long native son of Louisburg. Ks. graduating from LHS in 1969. In December 1968, at the young age of 17, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. Billy served 2 tours in Vietnam with the 162nd Aviation Helicopter Co. known as "The Copperheads."

On April 26, 1970, Billy suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 25% of his body when the helicopter he was aboard crashed near the Mekong Delta over the capital Province of Ben-Tre, South Vietnam. In June 1971, after a year’s recovery state-side, Billy deployed for his 2nd tour in Vietnam where he once again courageously and heroically served his country. During his two tours, Billy served as Door Gunner, proceeding to Maintenance Repair before his advancement to Crew Chief. During the span of his two tours, Billy was awarded 2 Purple Hearts, numerous “Awards of the Air Medal”  and  Bronze Stars.

After proudly serving his country in Vietnam from 1969-1972, Billy enlisted in the Kansas National Army Guard. While serving with the 127th Alpha Battery, Billy reached the rank of E-6 Staff Sargent, completing his 12 years of military service to his country. 

Banner sponsored by the Billy Dean Pottorff Family

Gilbert Raney

Gilbert Raney was drafted along with many others to serve in the Korean War. His basic Army training was conducted at Fort Chafee near Ft. Smith, Ark. After basic training and additional training school, Gilbert departed San Francisco onboard a troopship and headed to Korea. He served with the 48th Field Artillery Battalion during the war. During his deployment to Korea, he attained the rank of Sergeant. After two years of service in Korea, Gilbert returned to the states and reported to Fort Carson, Colo. It was here he was released from active duty service and placed into the standby reserves as part of the XVI U.S. Army Corps. He was honorably discharged from all service in April 1961. During his service to his country, Gilbert received written commendations from his superiors and the following medals: Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

Banner sponsored by Terry (Raney) Shockey, Sherry (Raney) Manary, and Greg Raney.

Cody Richardson

Specialist Cody M. Richardson was born in Louisburg, Kan., and graduated from Louisburg High School in 2014. He enlisted in the United States Army in December 2014 and served until 2018. Upon graduation from basic training in Fort Benning, Ga., Cody was assigned to the fourth infantry division second brigade 2-12 infantry regiment, Chosen Company. He was stationed in Fort Carson, Colo. His first assignment was as a grenadier, he later became a fire team leader.

Cody was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2016 in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

Banner sponsored by Kelly and Mary Margaret Richardson.

Julius S. Rosner

Julius S. Rosner was born in 1892 in Lenexa, Kan. He grew up in the Greeley and Wea communities. In 1918, Julius proudly joined the Army to serve his country. He served with the Armed Forces in France and worked as an interpreter. He was awarded the Silver Star for carrying a wounded comrade to safety amidst heavy artillery. Julius advanced to the rank of Sergeant before returning home in 1919.

Upon his return, he became active in organizing the John P. Hand Legion Post of which he was a charter member. He was a dedicated Legionnaire, serving as commander of the Post several times. He also served as County Commander Service officer while helping many servicemen secure hospitalization.

Julius was presented the silver star by General John J. Pershing. The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat award given to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and is awarded for gallantry in action while engaged in combat against an enemy force. 

In August 1919, Julius married Mary Helen Peuser. They lived most of their married life in Louisburg where Julius owned and operated Rosner Motors, located in the building that houses the Louisburg Library, as well as serving as an agent for Farmers Insurance Company. Julius and Mary had four daughters and 10 grandchildren.

Julius was known for being an honest and keen-minded businessman as well as a civic leader. He served as mayor for many terms and headed many community projects. He was an active member of the Catholic Church. He passed away in 1969.

Banner sponsored by Julie Rand, Jana McKinley, and Jenny Edwards

Herman Edwin Rosner

Herman Edwin (Ed) Rosner was the first casualty in WWII of the 34 boys on the Holy Rosary honor roll at Wea, Kan.

Seaman First Class, U.S.N.R., Ed was killed in action on July 22, 1945, while onboard the USS Marathon when it was hit by a suicide submarine in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Japan. Ed was the third son of Herman and Anna (Kelly) Rosner of Wea.

Ed was born Feb. 18, 1926, at home in Wea, where he graduated from Wea grade school and attended two years of high school in Bucyrus. He enlisted in the Navy on June 8, 1944, and received his boot training at Great Lakes, Ill. Following boot training, after his only leave home, he was sent to Camp Perry, Va., and then to the base at Seattle, Washinton. Ed was assigned to a troop and cargo ship and saw active duty in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Russell Islands and Okinawa Island.  He received the Purple Heart posthumously. Information was provided by Sharon Rosner Wise, whose father Francis Rosner was Ed’s brother.

Banner sponsored by Sharon (Rosner) Wise and the Rosner Family.

Terry Rucker

Captain Terry Rucker served in the Navy from 1983 to 2010. Captain Rucker entered Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla., in January 1983 and was commissioned a Naval Officer in May 1983. He was designated a Naval Aviator. He flew helicopters aboard multiple aircraft carriers. In 1996, Captain Rucker earned his coveted jump wings at Army Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Ga. Following that, he attended the Army Command General and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

In August 1997, Captain Rucker served as the Assistant Deputy Director of Operations on Operations Team Three in the National Military Command Center for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. From June 2000 to June 2003, he served as the Executive Officer followed by the Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District Kansas City. From September 2003 to January 2006, Captain Rucker was assigned as the Navigator of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). During the aircraft's homeport transit from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, Calif., the USS Ronald Reagan became the first nuclear aircraft carrier in the Naval history to transit the Straits of Magellan.

Captain Rucker was assigned as a Navy Liaison Officer in Colorado Springs, Colo., for Navy Network Warfare Command until his retirement.

Terry is a 1973 graduate of Louisburg High School

Banner sponsored by his mother Dorothy Rucker.

David Sander

David R. Sander joined the US Army in 1989 and attended basic training at Ft. Jackson, S.C., before being sent to Ft. Gordon, Ga., for Advanced Individual Training where he earned his military skills in the field of radio communications. His first duty assignment was with the 440th Signal Battalion in Darmstadt, Germany, which also included a deployment in 1991 to the Persian Gulf to assist with base communications and to help in the reconstruction and security efforts in Kuwait after the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm. David returned to Germany and in 1992 moved to Ft. Carson, Colo., where he was assigned to the 124th Signal Battalion in support of units with the 4th Infantry Division.

In 1994 David transitioned from being on active duty in the Army and took a position with a U.S. Army reserve component in his hometown until late 1995, before ending his term in the military where he had achieved the rank of Sergeant during his time in service. David has been employed as a police officer since his separation from the military in 1995. He and his family moved to Louisburg in 2008 where he works for the Louisburg Police Department.

Banner sponsored by Kristi Sander and family, Seaera, Erin, Wyatt, Jack, Kodie, and Josie 

Wayne Scott

Army Private Wayne Scott was a heavy weapons infantryman during the Korean War after training at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Banner sponsored by Dina Kircher and Diane Jordan.

Terry D. Scott

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, USN (ret)

Raised in Louisburg, Kans., Master Chief Terry Scott enlisted under the delayed entry program in December 1976. He completed Basic Training in October 1977 and went on to attend Submarine School and Missile Technician "A" and "C" schools. He graduated with academic honors from the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, R.I., in 1990 and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University.

Master Chief Scott served aboard the submarines USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620) and USS JAMES MADISON (SSBN 627) as Missile Division Leading Chief. Additionally, he served as the Squadron Missile Technician at the forward-deployed base in Holy Loch, Scotland, assigned to Submarine Squadron 14 embarked in USS SIMON LAKE (AS 33). He was "Chief of the Boat" aboard the fast attack submarine, USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN 699), and served as Command Master Chief of Strike Fighter Squadron 192 (VFA 192) based in Atsugi, Japan, deploying aboard USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) and USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63).  During his career, he completed a total of 15 deployments and patrols to the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, western Pacific, North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean.

Ashore, Master Chief Scott served as Advanced Missile Flight Theory and Checkout instructor for Poseidon and Trident at the Submarine Training Center, Charleston, S.C.; Senior Enlisted Nuclear Weapons Technical Inspector for Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and  Command Master Chief at Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor, Maine. In November 2000, he was selected to serve as the CNO-Directed Command Master Chief for Naval Forces Central Command and Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain (an assignment which included Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan). He served as the 10th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy from April 22, 2002, until July 10, 2006 (a timeframe which included Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom - Iraq)

His personal awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (five), Navy Achievement Medal (four), and various service and campaign awards.

Banner sponsored by Doreen Scott

 

Patrick Storey

Patrick Davis Storey graduated from Louisburg High School in 2013. He joined the Air Force in March 2014 and currently still serves as a Staff Sergeant. He completed basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, attended technical school at Sheppard AFB, and later leadership school. He was stationed at Langley AFB in Virginia for 4 years. He deployed to United Arab Emirates in Al Dhafra Air Base in 2018 during Operation Inherent Resolve. He also went to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska and Beale AFB in California. He joined the National Guard in 2018 after active duty and still serves at Forbes Field in Kansas. His career field is munitions systems where he builds, inspects, maintains, and delivers everything explosive from small arms to bombs and missiles. He and his fiancé Nichole Seibel will marry in April 2022. Patrick’s grandfather Jim Davis, for whom he is named, served in the Navy from 1954-1959. Patrick’s uncles, Mark, Tim, and Roger Storey all served in the Air Force.

Banner sponsored by the Pat & Traci Storey Family.

John Wesley Town

John Wesley Town served in the Marines from 1944-1946 during WWII in the Pacific Area-Occupation of Japan. He joined the Marines after he graduated from Louisburg High School in 1944. Private First Class Town was stationed in the Pacific area, specifically Hiroshima, Iwo Jima, Nagasaki, and Okinawa. John received the honors of Expert Rifle Marksman, Sharpshooter, and the Good Conduct Medal. While serving, he was involved with explosives in the demolition of tunnels/caves and mine detection/detonation. This probably explains his passion for roaring bonfires/fireplaces and accidentally blowing the tops off several charcoal grills. After returning home, John worked for Mokan Dial-in Louisburg leading to his career with American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) installing coaxial and telephone cables and constructing microwave towers, and later becoming an office manager for AT&T in KCMO and retiring after 32 years in 1982. John enjoyed the outdoors with a lifetime of hunting, fishing, target shooting, raising and training English Pointers, cutting and selling firewood, raising and selling beef cattle, playing cards, and having good times with his family and friends. He brought joy to many and would always be there to offer a helping hand to whoever needed it. John was always a Marine, always honoring his fellow veterans and always respectful of the United States flag.

Banner sponsored by Steve Town and Family

Harry Truman

Harry A. Truman was inducted into the U.S. Army as a private in the 44th Division, 157th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery C in February 1943. He arrived in Cherbourg, France, on Sept. 15, 1944, and saw combat in Northern France, Central Europe, and the Rhineland as part of a 155mm Howitzer crew until VE Day on May 5, 1945. During his enlistment, he rose to the rank of Sergeant and was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Ribbon with 3 Battle Stars, Good Conduct Ribbon, and the WWII Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 19, 1945, in Grandview, Mo. 

Banner sponsored by Nathan and Cindy Apple.

Mike Waite

Mike Waite graduated from LHS in 1968 and entered the Navy that fall. He did his basic training in San Diego and was stationed on the USS Richard S. Edwards DD-950. He was a boatswain but did a lot of different jobs while onboard including loading guns and weapons. His ship was in Vietnam for about four months. He remembers being on watch for six hours on and six hours off. He joined with his brother Mark through the Navy’s buddy system program. The brothers did not go through basic training together but did meet up later when Mike’s ship, affectionally called the Reddie Eddy, picked up Mark who was in Hong Kong. Mike was discharged in February 1970 and separated from the service during a Reduction in Strength operative. He returned to Louisburg after service and has lived here ever since.

Banner sponsored by Pam Waite

Chester Watrous

Chester E. Watrous was an Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AOM2c), in the U.S. Navy during WWII, 1943-1946

Chester reported for duty on May 24, 1943, at the age of 18 at the U.S. Navy Training Station (USNTS) in Farragut, Idaho, for basic training. Upon graduation, he attained the rank of Apprentice Seaman (AS) and was sent to the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) in Norman, Okla., for training to become an Aviation Ordnanceman (AOM). Upon completion of this training, Chester attained the rank of Seaman First Class with the AOM designation (S1cAOM) and was transferred to Naval Air Station (NAS) Vero Beach, Fla. Chester's duties at NAS Vero Beach, as well as at all of his future postings, was to load bombs, torpedoes and install belts of machine gun ammunition on a wide variety of U.S. Navy carrier-based combat aircraft. Chester was promoted to Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class (AOM3c) and was transferred to NAS Hutchinson, Kan., to await orders for transfer to the Central Pacific Theater of Operations. He was eventually assigned to Carrier Air Service Unit (CASU) 32. The members of CASU 32 consisted of a wide variety of sailors with the specialties needed to maintain and arm combat aircraft of the U.S. Navy. CASU 32 was activated on Sept. 1, 1943, and was garrisoned at NAS 27 near the then village of Kahului on the Hawaiian island of Maui. NAS 27 became Kahului Airport after the war with the airport code of OGG. Millions of post-war tourists have flown into this airport not knowing its vital importance during WWII. Chester was still at NAS 27 when the surrender of Japan was announced by President Harry S. Truman on Aug. 15, 1945.

Chester remained at NAS 27 until he had enough points to be mustered out of the Navy, attaining his final rank of Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class (AOM2c). Chester was honorably discharged on April 2, 1946, at the U.S. Navy Personnel Separation Center (USNPSC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Chester was given final separation pay of $87.37 along with a travel allowance of $16.05 for a total of just more than $100.00 to pay for his trip home. Chester's final service ribbons included the Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.

Banner sponsored by his daughters: Cheryl, Debby, Pat, Tammy, Chris & Michelle

Ron Weers

Ron Weers, Army Staff Sergeant, Gun Captain, was stationed at Fort Carson and served in Vietnam.  He received a Bronze Star for his courageous actions. His military service spanned from 1965-1970.

Banner sponsored by Heather Burch.

Clarence Whitaker

Clarence A. Whitaker was born Oct. 2, 1924, and grew up on the family farm north of Louisburg, near Cleveland, Mo. He graduated from Louisburg Rural High School in the class of 1942. Clarence was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1944, proudly serving his country during WWII, until being honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of T/5 Sgt. 

He was recognized as a lifetime member of the Louisburg American Legion Post #250. His decades of membership in the VFW, NARF, and ALB were flanked by his unwavering reverence as an Honor Guard and Color Guard whether honoring the passing of his fellow War Veterans by firing volleys into the heavenly blue skies or marching down his hometown Labor Day parades carrying our country's "Old Glory," he did so with the deepest devotion, respect, and love of his country.

Banner sponsored by Family of Clarence Whitaker

Vernon White

Vernon White was S Sgt in the Army and was stationed in Tennessee. He served 10 months in Rhineland North Apennines Po Valley Air Combat Balkans located in northern Italy.

Vernon was the owner/operator of the Conoco station in Louisburg for 40 years.

In 1979, he and his nephew, Keith White, became owner/operators of White’s Muffler and Tire in Louisburg. Vernon retired in 1990. The business is still operating under the ownership of his great-nephew, Nick White.

Vernon was a life-long member of the Louisburg community until his death on April 21, 2004.

Banner sponsored by Pamela Vohs.

Keith White

Keith White was in the Army, SP4, Army National Guards of Kansas from 1966-1970. He served in Vietnam from January 1969 to December 1969 in the Vietnam Central Highlands with Battery A, 6th Battalion, 32nd Artillery – Charlie Company. He graduated from Louisburg High School in 1964. In 1979, Keith and his uncle Vernon White opened White’s Muffler and Tire located on S. Metcalf Road. White’s Automotive still operates in the same location by Keith’s son Nick.

Banner sponsored by the Keith White Family.

Karl White

Karl Albert White entered the U.S. Army on April 10, 1944, and was discharged on May 11, 1946. After the service, he was an employee of Panhandle Eastern Pipeline at Louisburg, Kan., for 38 ½ years retiring in April 1975. He also farmed and liked to hunt with his dogs. He was married to Dorothy Windisch. Karl and Vernon White were brothers, and Nick White is Karl’s grandson.

Banner sponsored by the Nick White Family.

Dale Wise

Louisburg native Dale Wise enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1943 and served until he was honorably discharged on March 28, 1946.

Banner sponsored by the Wise Family

 

Earl Wood

Earl Wood, a lifelong resident of Louisburg, served his country proudly during World War II. Earl received a commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and ultimately flew more than 50 sorties as a B-24 Liberator pilot in the European Theater of Operations. As a result of demonstrated heroism, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Banner sponsored by the Wood Family.

Junior York

Junior Lewis York entered into military service with the U.S. Army on Aug. 25, 1950, just 2 months after the start of the Korean War. Junior was eventually sent to Korea and after returning home was assigned to the 9301 TSU Ordnance Climatic Test Detachment and was sent to Yuma Test Site (now Yuma Proving Grounds) in Arizona. The purpose of this unit was to operate and test various new weapons, ammunition, and machinery in the hot desert environment. After a three-year tour of duty, Junior attained the final rank of Technical Sergeant and was honorably discharged Aug. 26, 1953, at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Junior was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars and the United Nations Service Medal.

Banner sponsored by his sons: Jim, Tom & Jack