Friday, September 24, 2021

Celebrating our Heros

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans who served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces.    It was created to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.   Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Our troops have fought in major conflicts, including World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghan Wars. They fought in smaller actions around the world, such as Somalia, Bosnia, and Grenada. They deserve our thanks on Veterans Day and on every day of the year.

“On Veterans Day, put out your flags, cheer the marchers at parades, and go to tributes.  But when you wake up the next day… remember that it’s still Veterans Day for our veterans — and it will be every day of their lives.”                           — Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)

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Boozman Shares Service Memories of 99-year-old WWII Veteran

Click here to watch excerpts of the interview with Ray Randall.

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the service and sacrifice of World War II veteran Ray Randall in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Randall was born in Glendale, California on February 18, 1922 and was named after his paternal grandfather. His dad was a World War I veteran who wasn’t involved in his life. He was raised in Chicago in the same neighborhoods where his mother grew up and he even attended the same elementary school where she was once a student.

As an athlete, Randall played several sports and found success in track and field as well as cross country. “I was undefeated in my races in Chicago,” he said. His accomplishments earned him a scholarship to the University of Chicago where he was a member of the track team.

During his senior year of college, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet, but deferred so he could finish his degree, but the military had other plans for him. “They called me up,” he recounted, around his birthday. Randall wore the present he received throughout his time in uniform – a Movado watch that he still owns.

Randall served  here to watch excerpts of the interview with Ray Randall.as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He trained in many locations stateside including the Newport Army Air Field and Blytheville Army Air Field which served as a flight training school.

“When I went to basic flight school in Newport, Arkansas, my instructor, he had two students, we were his first students after he got his wings. We flew a PT-19,” Randall recalled. His previous instructors had taught him some maneuvers that he showed his new teacher. “I thought, I’m going to have fun with this guy. He’s a real nice kid, not much older than me, but a big guy. I put it in a spin and held it in there until 3,500 feet and pulled it out. I thought he was going to die. I was just having fun.”

On May 23, 1944, Randall received his wings and days later he was on his way to New York to be processed for overseas deployment. He flew from the Big Apple on July 3, 1944 and stopped in several locations for refueling including Algiers where he was able to meet with his brother-in-law.

Randall was assigned to the South-East Asian Theater. He served as a pilot of C-47 and C-46 transport aircraft over “The Hump.” These dangerous transport missions over the Himalayas provided supplies to American and Chinese forces fighting Japan and were typically parachute dropped in. He flew 220 missions.

“This is jungle, but you had bare spots every once in a while. It might be a very small area a couple hundred feet wide and you’re supposed to drop these things above treetop level,” Randall said. “The pilot had to signal when the guys would drop them.” He said sometimes it was a “guessing game.”

Early in his military service, Randall was responsible for reporting intelligence information such as foreign interference or traitors. He suspects this is why he had the opportunity to fly missions for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime intelligence agency and precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. He was also selected to participate in an OSS-sponsored jungle survival school.

One of Randall’s most frightening experiences as a pilot occurred while taking off with a plane full of injured troops along a river. “You had to use all kinds of ingenuity.” He remembers getting as far back in the field as possible, revving up the engine and the half flaps on the wings.

“I was judging what we had to do but I was getting closer to that river and a lot of rocks. We just got flying speed enough to stay out of the water,” he said. “That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

When the war ended and Randall was able to return home, he made the journey on a troop ship to New York. “We dropped anchor in the harbor. We could see the lights and the cars and everything. It was because we were the first ship back and they wanted to have a big parade the next morning,” he said. After he disembarked, he placed a call to his wife Shirley and his mother.

“I was glad to do what I did and I was glad to get back,” Randall said.

Following the war, Randall had a successful career working for Libby’s and Allen Canning Company, which brought him to Rogers. “It’s the greatest place in the world to live.”

“As a member of the Greatest Generation, Ray honorably served his country and has remained humble about his time in uniform. I’m grateful for his service and sacrifice to our nation and his willingness to share his memories for future generations of Americans,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Randall’s entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans.

John Tidwell

Headmaster

Lacey Corley

US Army E-2

Matt Corley

US Army E-4

5 Generations of Service

(Standing left) Lacey Corley, US Army E-2; (Flags) Great-Great Grandfather Milton Downs E-4 US Army WWI machine gun battalion in France; Great Grandfather M.C. Frachiseur E-5 US Army Aircorp WWII Okinawa; Great Grandfather Erwin Anderson US Army E-6, WWII, Korea & Vietnam; Grandfather Roger Corley US Navy E-5, Vietnam; (Standing right) Father Matt Corley, US Army -E4

The following photos were featured in the De Queen Lions Club 2011 Salute to Veterans Calendar.  Photos used by permission.

Sterling Daniel

US Navy Helmsman - WWII

He served 3 years. It was his duty to steer the ship. He also operated smaller vessels from ship to shore. He finished up his Navy hitch aboard the battleship Missouri. One of his cruises included a voyage from Brazil back to the United States in which President Harry S. Truman was a passenger on the Missouri.

Dale Janes

US Navy-WWII

He joined the US Navy in November 1944. He was still in electronics training when the atomic bombs ended WWII in the Pacific. he completed his service and use the GI bill to go to college and get an engineering degree.

Coleman McRae

US ARMY-WWII

Drafted in April 1944, Coleman served under Gen. Geore Patton. He had been in Europe oly four months when a sniper's bullet hit him in the neck. He spent 11 months in a hospital in Missouri before he returned home to Sevier County.

Loy Poag

US Army-WWII - Gen. Patton's Third Army

He was a member of the field artillery and fought in the Battle of the Bulge when it began. He survived several close calls, including a motar explosion that sent him to a field hospital. Poag said his feet were frozen in the brutal winter cold and he also got to meet Gen. Patton.

Dave Lynch

US Navy - WWII Pearl Harbor Survivor

(Pictured left) Lynch was a machinist on the USS Whitney when the Japanese attached Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. His ship was not hit in the attack and he went on to serve on 5 ships over a 20-year Navy Career 1941-1960.

Herman Jackson

Pictured left is his brother Claude, Herman's hitch in the Navy took him all over the South Pacific during WWII. His ship, the USS John Rodgers, landed troops in Guam, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Later the ship escorted soldiers into Tokoyo. After leaving the Navy in 1946, he went back home to Booneville, AR and a bank job. He moved to De Queen in and worked at First National Bank until he retired in 1987.

J.D. Bartlett

US Navy--WWII

Bartlett parlayed a skill learned from the US Navy into a career as a medical lab technician. After he was discharged, JD returned to school at Horatio and finished the last three years of high school in one year. He worked at De Queen Clinic as a lab technician for 42 years.

Loyd Elliott

US Air Force

During his 21 1/2 years of service, LP was stationed in 19 different countries and served one tour of duty in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. He ended his Air force career at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana where he was transportation superintendent.

Robert Miller

US Army

Robert served April 1944-May 1946. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge before he was wounded and spent 90 days in an English hospital. He was in combat for 41 days. He returned to the war for limited duty as a truck driver and saw seven countries.

Ruel Archer

US Army-WWII

He was decorated with the Purple Heart & Bronze Star in WWII. Archer survived a chilly plunge into the English Channel on Christmas eve 1944, when his ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. The USS Leopoldville was hit at the waterline and sank. He caught some shrapnel during another attach. A radio operator, he called in the position of enemy artillery and enabled US artillery to silence the enemy's guns.

Rusty Durham

US Marine Corps-WWII & Korea

O.H. "Rusty" served in US Marine Corps in two wars. During WWII, his travels took him to the Caribbean, Marianas, Saipan, Okinawa and, finally, the occupation of Japan. He was among the American soldiers who entered Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was deployed. He was recalled to active service during the Korean War and served as an instructor in the United States. He later served 12 years as Sevier County Judge.

Ivy and Eldo Roberts

WWII

These cousins both served during WWII. Ivy spent three years as a gunner in the Pacific fleet. Eldo only served one year, one month and one day. When he was drafted, he was married with two children. But with the war winding down, he did not go overseas.

Donald Farrow

Navy

1950-1953 Korean Conflict

Jesse Jefferson Cashion Jr

Marines

James Earl Logan

US Army

Mack A. Smith

U.S. Army

Vietnam

R. B. Young

US Army

Vietnam

James Overturf

Navy

Jeff Overturf

National Guard

Doyle Johnson

US Army 1942-1945

WWII

Roy B. Taylor

PFC - US Army

June 7, 1956 - June 6, 195

Math C. Frachiseur

US Army Air Corp E-5

WWII

J. Wallace Bunyard

Merchant Marines

WWII-Korea

William Elory Sharp

US Navy Medical Corp

WWII

Oren J. Lindly

US Army Paratrooper

Vietnam

David E. Frachiseur

US Army

Vietnam

Jay W. Lindly, Jr.

US Marines

Currently serving

James J Eakin

Us Navy

Currently serving

Walter Lenard Smith (Center)

US Army

Korea

Alvie Evans

US Army

Vietnam

John Oliver

US Army

Vietnam

Gerald T Ernest

US Navy 1940-1960

Chief Yeoman

Tom Ernest

US Navy OM2 1967-1971

Submarine Squadron 16

John Ernest

US Marine Corps 1991-1995

Lance Corporal

Rodney Young

US Army 1969-2007

Command Sergeant Major

Charles Loftin

US Army - 20 years of service

Major

Joe Compagna

US Air Force 1952-1972

Master Sergeant

Mike Walker

US Navy 1946-1968

LTJG

Grady Finney

SGT US Army

1968-1969 Vietnam

Joe Lovell

US Army 1965-1967

Medic

SSG Thomas McDonald

Hershel Janes

US Army 1969-1971

Vietnam

Claude T. Dorsey

US Army

WWI Two Purple Hearts

Lyde B. Williams. Sr.

US Army

WWII

James F. Williams

US Army

Vietnam

Roger Tolison

US Marine Corps

Vietnam

Tony Spigner

US Navy 1948-1952

RM3

We would LOVE to post a picture of your veteran on this page.

Just e-mail a picture along with name, branch of service, war or conflict to numberonecountry@yahoo.com or stop by our studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive in De Queen between 7 am & 4 pm week days and we will scan your photo.