HARDEE COUNTY HOMETOWN HEREOS

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Merle L. Albritton

Merle L. Albritton

Captain

Biography

Former Captain of the U.S Army Air Corps, Merle L. Albritton served between the years of 1940-
1946 during WWII. Captain Albritton flew 52 missions in the European Theater – one of these
missions included a second raid over Ploesti in which he lost three out four of his engines. He
piloted B-24 a Liberator Bomber and did not lose a single member of his crew made up of 11 men.

George Wash Boney

George Wash Boney

T5

Biography

George Wash Boney a T5 during WWII served in the U.S Army as a military policeman. He served
one year overseas and 2.5 stateside.
His awards include:
1. American Theater Service Medal
2. Good Conduct Medal
3. E.A.M.E Service Medal
4. World War II Victory Medal

Lee Carter

Lee Carter

1st SGT

Biography

First Sergeant Lee Carter, has been serving the U.S Army since 2004 and served during the
Global war on terror. Carter was stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. His badges include:
1. Ranger badge
2. Tanker badge
3. Airborne badge
4. Combat Action badge

Jerry Conerly

Jerry Conerly

Sergeant

Biography

Jerry Conerly was a Sergeant for the US Air Force. He served during the Vietnam conflict in
1970-1974.
His medals include:
1. Good Conduct

2. National Defense SA

3. Outstanding Unit

Jessie Conerly

Jessie Conerly

Pvt

Biography

Private Jessie Conerly served in the U.S Army between the years of 1942-1945 during the WWII
Era. He holds medals such as:
1. Purple Heart
2. Good Conduct
3. Overseas
4. Combat Infantry

H.A. "Dave" Davis

H.A. "Dave" Davis

CPL

Biography

H.A. “Dave” Davis served in the U.S. Army as a CPL for three years during WWII. While stationed in Avon Park, where he worked as a mechanic for a B-17 airplane, he met his wife at a USD dance.

Charles C. Dickey Jr

Charles C. Dickey Jr

Lieutenant

Biography

Lieutenant Charles C. Dickey Jr served for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict era. Dickey was commissioned in the infantry upon graduation in 1965 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. He completed airborne and ranger training, and he earned his private pilot’s license, jumpmaster status, company executive officer, and returned to west point to train cadets at Camp Buckner. Upon arriving in Vietnam, they assigned him to be a recon platoon leader. He was killed in action by enemy fire in March of 1967 while in Tay Ninh province on operation Junction City. After his passing, they awarded him the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding service in Vietnam, and he was also the recipient of the Purple Heart. He led a life of dedication and pride when it came to servicing his beloved nation.  

Larry Eures

Larry Eures

Pvt

Biography

Former Captain of the U.S Army Air Corps, Merle L. Albritton served between the years of 1940-
1946 during WWII. Captain Albritton flew 52 missions in the European Theater – one of these
missions included a second raid over Ploesti in which he lost three out four of his engines. He
piloted B-24 a Liberator Bomber and did not lose a single member of his crew made up of 11 men.

Billy Grace

Billy Grace

CPL

Biography

Billy Grace, a seaman for the U.S. Army, served during the Korean War era. He holds several medals which include,

  • China Service
  • Korean Service
  • United Nations
Donald Gray

Donald Gray

Sergeant

Biography

Staff Sergeant Donald Gray served for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. He was stationed in Central Highlands in South Vietnam.

 

Edward Hager

Edward Hager

Pvt

Biography

 Edward Hager, a hero to his wife and kids, died in the line of duty. He was an SPC who served for the U.S. Army and held several medals such as:

  • Army Commendation
  • Army Achievement
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Combat Infantry Badge
  • Parachutist Badge
Jeremy Hand

Jeremy Hand

CPL

Biography

Sergeant Jeremy Hand served in the U.S Marines during the Global War on Terror and stationed at MCAS New River in Jacksonville, NC. Sergeant Hand held multiple military occupational specialties, including CH-53E Helicopter Mechanic, Helicopter Aircrewman, and Quality Assurance Representative. While based in North Carolina, he was deployed twice to Djibouti in the horn of Africa. He holds awards such as Two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and four Air Medals.

Doc Robert Helveston

Doc Robert Helveston

Sergeant

Biography

Sergeant Doc Robert Helveston served for the U.S Marines during the Vietnam Conflict as a wireman. He used his GI Bill to earn a degree, which he used to serve Hardee County as a Chiropractor.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

Pvt

Biography

Janet Jackson was PVT for the U.S. Army. Jackson held a medal for National Defense Svc. She served from 1974 to 1975 as a MOS 71Q20 information specialist and served as an Assistant Editor of ARMOR Magazine. Fort Knox, KY.

Thomas D. Larrison

Thomas D. Larrison

CPL

Biography

Sergeant Thomas D. Larrison served during the Korean War for the U.S Marines.

Donnie McGowin

Donnie McGowin

SP 4

Biography

Donnie McGowin a SP 4 served during the Vietnam conflict and earned three medals such as the National Defense Svc, Sharpshooter M-14, and 2nd Missile Man during his time in the US Army.

Joseph Bert Milligan

Joseph Bert Milligan

Pvt

Biography

Joseph Bert Milligan served during WWII as a U.S. Army Corp. He fought in the 127th Army Battalion in the 3rd Army command by General George Patton.

His more notable battles include:

  • Battle of Bulge in Belgium  
  • Ardennes in Central Europe
  • Normandy
  • Omaha Beach
Caleb "Doc" Mink

Caleb "Doc" Mink

SPC

Biography

Specialist Caleb “Doc” Mink served for the U.S Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom in which he did 2 tours. His awards/medals include:

  1. Combat Medic Badge
  2. 3 Campaign Stars
  3. Army Good Conduct
Thurman Moye

Thurman Moye

Staff Sergeant

Biography

Staff Sergeant Thurman Moye was stationed in England during WWII. While he was there he met Audrey Shaw his war bride who came into the U.S in 1946.

Charles Shannon Newman

Charles Shannon Newman

SRA

Biography

Shannon Newman is a U.S Air force Veteran who was active during the Global war on terror era. He was stationed in Yokota, an airbase in Japan, where he worked in Air Transport as a special handler. He also traveled to New Zealand to work on Operation Deep Freeze where they would aid in the transportation of scientists and their equipment. He was also involved in operation  Cobra Gold where they got Marines out of the jungle in order to fly them back home.

BJ Norris

BJ Norris

T5

Biography

BJ Norris served for the U.S Army during World War II as a T5 and was involved in the European Campaign and Battle of the Bulge.

Roy H. Petteway

Roy H. Petteway

Sergeant

Biography

Sergeant Roy H. Petteway from the U.S Army, served in the 85th Calvary, Reconn Squadron, 8th Armored Division and received a Purple Heart. While in the liberation of Luxembourg, he was fatally shot patrolling the perimeter of the city.

Frederick Dale Rickels

Frederick Dale Rickels

Private First Class

Biography

Private First Class Frederick Dale Rickels was enlisted into the Marines in March 16, 1967. He was assigned to a 3rd combined action group – 3rd Marine Division. He participated in three major campaigns near the North-South Vietnam border. He was killed in action in May 12, 1968 in the Thur Thien Province of south Vietnam.

Ralph Rickels

Ralph Rickels

CPL

Biography

Private First Class Ralph Rickels of the U.S Army-Ac served in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Scotland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. He served in the Army of occupation in Germany and France in which he transported Russian displaced persons who were freed from POW and concentration camps by ambulance to the Airfields in Czechoslovakia and flown back to Russia. Rickels was awarded a Bronze Star and many other World War Hero medals. He was later honorably discharged in Camp Bowie, Texas.

Clarence Rickels

Clarence Rickels

Private First Class

Biography

Private First Class Clarence Rickels, served his time in the Army at the same time WWI was occurring. He belonged to Company “C”, 166th infantry, 42nd “Rainbow” Division. He participated in campaigns such as:

  1. Mihiel
  2. Meuse-Argonne
  3. Aisne-Maarne
  4. Chateru-Thierry
  5. Defesive Sector Campaigns

Rickels was wounded at Chateau-Thierry in July 29, 1918 and later returned to the U.S in April, 1919 where a month later he was honorably discharged. 

Wilbur Robertson

Wilbur Robertson

Sergeant

Biography

Sergeant Wilbur Robertson, served in the Marines during 1952-1960.

Mike Rouse

Mike Rouse

Sergeant

Biography

Sergeant Mike Rouse served in the U.S Air Force for 4 years between the years of 1967-1971 during this time he was involved in the Vietnam Conflict.

Gilbert Rouse

Gilbert Rouse

WT3

Biography

Gilbert Rouse, a U.S Navy WT3 served on the Destroyer Escort, USS Earl V. Johnson in the sea around North Africa during WWII.

Brian Samuels

Brian Samuels

Sergeant

Biography

Brian Samuels served in the US Army for eight years, during this time the Persian Gulf War was going on. Samuels was awarded with an Army Service Ribbon and the title of Rifle M-16 (Expert).

 

Donald Samuels

Donald Samuels

First Sergeant

Biography

Donald Samuels is a 1st SGT, US Army veteran who served during the Cold War and Vietnam Conflict Era. He was honorably discharged after 24 years of service.   

Kurt Shackelford

Kurt Shackelford

CPL

Biography

Kurt Shackelford served during the Persian Gulf War era. He was a part of the U.S Army and held a CPL rank.

Shackelford holds medals such as:

  1. SW Asia Service Medal
  2. Natl Defense SVS Medal
  3. Army Achievement Medal
  4. Oversea SVC Ribbon
Roy E. Shaw, Jr

Roy E. Shaw, Jr

Captain

Biography

Captain Roy E. Shaw Jr served during the Vietnam war for the U.S Army. Captain Shaw was an Infantry Unit Commander. He served with the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, B company.

He was on his 3rd tour of duty when he experienced a traumatic event which resulted in the loss of his life on December 6, 1970. He died because of an explosive device in South Vietnam, Quang Ngai Province.

Joe Skitka

Joe Skitka

CPL

Biography

Joe Skitka was CPL for the U.S Army. He was a part of the 504th Military Police Battalion

Lee Sperry

Lee Sperry

HTC

Biography

Lee Sperry served in the U.S Navy for 21, he was active during the Global War on Terror era.

Sperry has several awards which include

  1. 3 Navy Commendation Medals
  2. 3 Navy Achievement Medals
  3. 1 Army Achievement
  4. 1 Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Sperry was also responsible for several commands throughout his career which include:

  1. USS George Washington (CVN 73)
  2. SIMA Mayport
  3. Camp Bucca, Iraq Naval Provisional Detainee Batalion 2
  4. USS Klakring (FFG 42)
  5. NPTU Charleston
  6. USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)
  7. NPTU Ballston Spa
Arthur L. Stanton

Arthur L. Stanton

Chief

Biography

Chief Arthur L. Stanton served the U.S Navy during WWII. He went missing when his submarine struck a mine off the northern coast of Honshu Japan during a combat patrol which killed Stanton and the other 84 crew members. Chief Stanton received a Sliver Star and Purple Heart

Donald K. Thomas

Donald K. Thomas

Sergeant

Biography

Sergeant Donald K. Thomas served from 1968-1972, in the U.S Air Force. Between 1969-1970 he was stationed on Nakon Phanom an Air Force base located in Thailand. Sergeant Thomas was a part of the secret war that the U.S wouldn’t admit existed until 1985. He was awarded the Vietnam service medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Virgil Weed

Virgil Weed

Private First Class

Biography

Virgil Weed is a retired Marine who served during the Korean War.

 

Herger Williams

Herger Williams

PVT

Biography

Herger Williams was the first boy in Wauchula to give his life in France. He died from wounds suffered in action and was buried at Lemogne Heights on the Marne River in France. His remains were returned home in the spring of 1921, and he was buried in Oak Grove cemetery with full military honors. (Page 114 – Watch Wauchula Win by Margaret Stringer)

Jim Zajicek

Jim Zajicek

Staff Sergeant

Biography

Jim Zajicek who belonged to the 79th Division, 314 Infantry of the U.S Army served for 3 years during WWII. At the time of WWII, he was stationed in Normandy, Omaha Beach in June of 1944. He was also involved in 3 major battles in France, including Perot Forest.

He holds several awards such as

  1. Purple Heart
  2. Bronze Medal
  3. European Theater Ribbon
  4. 3 Major Battle Stars

Zajicek was also stationed at,

  1. Camp Miles Standish- Mass
  2. Camp Blanding-FL
  3. Camp Pickett-VA
  4. Desert Training – AZ
Bobby Zebendon

Bobby Zebendon

PFC

Biography

PFC Bobby Zebendon was a Marine who served during the Korean War Era and received a medal for National Defense.

Eric Baker

Eric Baker

SSG

Biography

Staff Sergeant Eric Baker holds a Purple Heart and a Bronze star for his brave work during their time in the U.S Army. They held the position of military police and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom.