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.

 

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

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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 2 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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

 

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