County VA to unveil Korean War memorial

SPENCER McCOY/THE EXPRESS Army 1st Sgt. Paul Bennett, left, and Marine Sgt. Lawrence Truax will unveil a Korean War memorial next Saturday. The two are pictured standing at the future home of the memorial, at Veterans Park in Lock Haven.

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County will unveil and dedicate a new memorial in Veterans Park, across from the courthouse in Lock Haven, honoring the 20 military members from the county who were killed or missing in action in the Korean War

Everyone is encouraged to attend the ceremony at 11 a.m. next Saturday, and show their respect for the local troops who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The county Veterans Affairs Office is hosting the ceremony for this local initiative. Light refreshments will be provided.

Joby Topper, historian and the director of library and information services at Lock Haven University, will speak about each of the military members to be remembered, and two Korean War veterans, Army 1st Sgt. Paul Bennett and Marine Sgt. Lawrence Truax, will unveil the memorial.

Every Korean War veteran at the dedication will be presented with a Challenge Coin.

“It’s to thank them for their service in this war,” said Clinton County Veterans Affairs Director Bill Bechdel.

The Korean War is often referred to as “The Forgotten War.” It was fought from 1950 to 1953. In it, 36,574 American soldiers died, and 7,747 are still unaccounted for.

In 1953, all sides signed an armistice, but no peace treaty has ever been signed, causing many to say the Korean War has never officially ended.

The county’s Korean War memorial was created by Brownie’s Signs and will be placed next to the Vietnam War memorial.

“A memorial for these veterans is needed, because they are not yet honored in Veterans Memorial Park,” Bechdel said.

Donors who made the memorial possible are: La Society des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux Voiture Locale No. 903 at Lock Haven, Martin-May American Legion Post 284 at Avis, American Legion Remembrance Post 442 at Renovo, Bitner-Bechdel American Legion Post 623 at Beech Creek, Bland J. Rossman VFW Post 1630 at Lock Haven, and Pifer-Leathers-Lucas VFW Post 8269 at Howard.

The men who were killed or are listed as missing in action are:

r Pfc. Donald Raymon Abel of Westport, MIA near Unsan

r Pvt. Landis L. Button of North Bend, KIA in Hoengsong

r Cpl. Boyd W. Cassidy of Drury’s Run, POW, died while captured near Kunu-Ri Gauntlet

r 2nd. Lt. Edward Merle Crays of Lock Haven, KIA plane crash near Pusan

r Sgt. Donald Arthur Edwards of Avis, POW, died while captured near Kunu-Ri Gauntlet

r Sgt. Ellery A. Fenstamaker, Jr. of Rauchtown, KIA in South Korea

r Pvt. William A. Hager, Jr. of Lock Haven, POW, died while captured at Kum River/Taejon

r Cpl. Raymond Earl Heaton of Beech Creek, KIA in Tongduchon

r Pfc. George David Heichel of Salona, KIA in Chochiwan

r Pfc. Homer A. Heichel of Salona, KIA in Chochiwan

r Pfc. Milford George Lowe of Pine Creek Township, POW, died while captured near Kunu-Ri Gauntlet

r Pfc. Thomas Francis Mazzulla of Renovo, KIA in South Korea

r Pfc. William Reuben McGill of Lock Haven, POW, died while captured during Task Force Smith/Osan

r Pfc. Gene Fulmer Riggle of Hyner, KIA, Taegu area

r Pfc. Karl Lee Riggle of Hyner, KIA, Taegu area

r Sgt. 1st Class John Edward Smith of Lock Haven, KIA in a vehicle crash near Sogwi-Ri, Chejudo

r Cpl. Paul E. Snavely, Jr. of Avis, KIA in North Korea

r Pfc. William Franklin Traxler of Salona, KIA during Operation Ripper

r Cpl. John Wilson Wadsworth of Woodward, KIA in Hungnam, North Korea

r Pvt. Donald L. Welsh of Lock Haven, KIA in Chorwan area.

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