2013 lest we forget

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2013 lest we forget, veterans, military


  • www.issaquahpress.com

    Lest We ForgetLest We ForgetLest We ForgetWednesday, May 22, 2013

    By Christina Corrales-Toynewcastle@isspress.com

    Before Issaquah resident Lou Ortiz boarded the USS Lexington and conducted mis-

    sions all around the Pacific, the World War II veteran had to fight a different bat-tle one with his mother.

    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the eager 16-year-old was determined to enlist in the U.S. Navy, despite the fact that he was underage.

    I was so upset with it that I just kept saying to my mom, Mom, I want to help. Youve got to let me join, he said.

    Ortizs mother finally gave in to the unrelenting teen, reluctantly signing papers to allow the then 17-year-old to join the Navy.

    I was patriotic enough to join when I was just a young man and I still feel the same way, Ortiz said.

    Sitting comfortably in his Klahanie home, Ortiz fondly reflected on his time as an aviation gunner and radio-man with the U.S. Navy during World War II.

    Taking flightOnce enlisted, Ortiz did

    not hesitate for a second when asked what role he wanted to assume.

    I wanted to fly, the now 88-year-old said in a recent interview as a grin stretched across his face and he pointed toward the sky.

    After spending a sig-nificant amount of time mastering naval communi-cation processes, including Morse code, Ortiz was sent to Long Beach, Calif., where he was paired with a pilot. Ortizs pilot, Robert Smith, or Smitty as he was called, manned the planes flight, while Ortiz, as a gunner, controlled the aircrafts weapons and communica-

    tions.In 1944, Ortiz and his

    bomber squadron were assigned to the aircraft car-rier USS Lexington.

    By Dan Aznoff

    Richard Murphy is at a dif-ficult age.

    At 90 years old, he can still remember the pain in his leg from the crash-landing on Sakhalin Island in December 1944. He still remembers his crew sitting down to dinner with their Russian captors while they were being held as prisoners of war.

    Murphy is also aware that the early stages of dementia have taken away his ability to remember what type of plane he flew, who operated the POW camp, his rank or how he

    escaped. He becomes frustrated when he is unable to recall his wifes name or how many chil-dren they had together.

    The former bomber pilot still wears his pilot hat when he comes down to dinner at the Spiritwood Retirement Commu-

    Staff sergeant, U.S. Army Air Force, 375th


    Squadron, 308th Bomber Group, Heavy; reported MIA between

    January and April 1944; crew of plane was never found. Tablets of the missing are at Manila American

    Cemetery, Manila,


    Second lieu-tenant, U.S.

    Army Air Force,443rd Bomb Squadron,

    320th Bomb

    GroupMIA Oct. 23,

    1943, over the Tyrrhenian Sea near Giannuitri Island. The crew of the downed B-26 was seen in life rafts but Air-Sea Rescue boats could not locate them, and no one from the crew was ever seen again. Tablets of the missing are at Florence

    American Cemetery in Florence, Italy.

    Staff sergeant, U.S. Army

    Air Force, 589th Bomb Squadron,

    387th Bomb Group

    Shot down near Mayan,

    Germany, where his crew was

    attacking a rail-road viaduct, on Dec. 23, 1944.


    U.S. Army Air Force,

    481st Service Squadron, 46th

    Air Service Group

    Born: Nov. 28, 1920

    Killed April 18, 1945, in accidental bomb explo-sion. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Captain, U.S. Air ForceBorn: July 27,

    1939,MIA May 31,

    1966, Declared dead: Feb. 11,

    1975Missing in air loss/crash in North Vietnam.

    (Remains never recov-


    Second lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force, 737th Bomb Squadron,

    454th Bomb Group

    Shot down in Croatia on April

    21, 1944.

    Second lieutenant

    U.S. Army Air Force

    45th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter

    GroupMIA June 1, 1945, some-

    where between Iwo Jima and Osaka, Japan; weather may have been

    the reason for the loss.

    Private first class, U.S. Army,

    infantry,Born: Feb. 17,

    1926 Died: June 14,

    1945184th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. KIA by a grenade attacking Hill 181 in Ryuku,

    Okinawa, Japan. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Private, U.S. Army, 18th Engineer Regiment

    Died: Aug. 10, 1918

    Buried in Suresnes American Cemetery,

    in Suresnes,

    France. From the Sept. 27, 1918, Press: A large con-gregation

    attended the memorial ser-vice Sunday afternoon at Issaquah in

    honor of Peter Erickson, the first of the boys from Issaquah to die in the service of his country. The oration delivered by the Rev. S. V. Warren

    touched a high note of patrio-


    Woman Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)Died in a

    training exer-

    cise over Sweetwater, Texas, in May 1944. Buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle.

    Because WASPs were considered civilians, she never received

    a military burial. She was recently awarded a

    Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama.

    Corporal, U.S. Army, Scotch

    Platoon, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry

    Regiment, 1st Cavalry DivisionBorn: March 7,

    1949Died: June 18,

    1969KIA in Tay Ninh, South

    Vietnam. Buried in Greenwood Memorial Park,

    Renton.Sergeant, U.S. Army, 8th Infantry

    April 7, 1925 July 15, 1944Graduated from Issaquah High School in 1943.

    KIA in Normandy,

    France. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Private, U.S. Army,701 T.D. Battalion

    July 9, 1924 May 31, 1944Graduated from Issaquah High School in 1942. KIA in Anzio, Italy. Buried in Hillside Cemetery.

    Corporal,U.S. Army,C Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry,

    9th Infantry Division

    Died at age 21.Born: May 6,

    1946 Died: July 29,

    1967 He was shot in early 1967, but recovered; was back in action only a few days when he was killed in Dinh Tuong

    Province, South Vietnam. Buried

    in Hillside Cemetery.

    Freedom isnt free. Since the birth of this country, men and women have been willing to fight and die for Americans to be free to live their lives as they choose.

    And the number of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice is staggering. More than 1.3 million men and women have died in wars fought by or on behalf of this country since 1775.

    Men and women have also been willing to sacrifice their personal time, by serv-ing in times when war was not on or imminent. They have done all types of jobs that people in the civilian sector do, but instead did them in service to this coun-try while they stood ready to defend our lives, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    We at The Issaquah Press salute, honor and thank the men and women from our community who have paid all types of sac-rifices to keep themselves, their families and everyone else free. We hope you will do the same.

    Remembering the 19 who gave the ultimate sacrifice

    Paul Alfred Ambrose

    Robert Arndt

    Robert Baskett

    Jack McQuade

    Peter Erickson

    George C. Larsen

    John Raymond Smart

    Information is incomplete and/or conflicting for the 19 local veterans killed while serving in wartime. Photos also could not be located for three of them. If you have information or pho-tos, email editor@isspress.com or call 392-6434, ext. 227.

    Clifford Benson

    Elizabeth Erickson

    Robert Philp

    Robert Watson

    James Patrick Brady

    Laurence J. Lortie

    Emmett R. McDonald

    Flight officer, U.S. Army Air Force, 422nd Bomb

    Squadron, 305th Bomb GroupKilled Aug. 6,

    1944, when the B-17 he was co-piloting was hit by flak and crashed near Vollradisroda, Germany.Interred in

    Germany; later brought home to Greenwood Memorial Park,


    Joseph Albert Tondreau

    Fireman first class, U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve

    MIA or buried at sea Dec. 18,

    1944.Tablets of the missing are at Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.

    Louis Petersen

    Carl Albert LarsonCorporal, U.S. Army 361st Infantry

    Regiment, 91st DivisionDied Oct. 9, 1918

    Buried in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, in Romagne, France.

    (no photo available)

    Robert HoskinsLance corporal (mortarman),

    U.S. Marine Corps, H&S Company 5, Mar 1 Mar Div

    Born: Sept. 14, 1949 Died: Nov. 25, 1968

    KIA in Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Buried in Hillside

    Cemetery. (no photo available)

    Harold GleasonPrivate first class, U.S. Army, 301st Infantry Regiment, 94th Division

    Born: Feb. 6, 1916 Killed March 2, 1945, while

    serving as a medic near Serrig, Germany. Buried in Hillside

    Cemetery. (no photo available)

    I was patriotic enough to join when I was just a young man and I still feel the same way. Lou Ortiz, World War II veteran

    By Christina Corrales-toyLou Ortiz proudly displays the medals he earned in the U.S. Navy during World War II in his Klahanie home.


    See TRIBUTE, Page C6

    World War II vet recalls the days he took to the air as an eager teen

    ContriButedIssaquah resident Lou Ortiz served as an aviation radioman and gunner in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

    Bomber pilot shares vivid memories of POW camp, raids over Japan

    See PILOT, Page C6

    By GreG FarrarRichard Murphy (left), wearing his bomber jacket and Army Air Corps cap, and his son Kevin share one of their get-togethers with a visit at Spiritwood Retirement Community at Pine Lake.

    Any landing is not a crash if you can walk away. Richard MurphyWorld War II veteran

    Flintofts Funeral Home and Crematory is proud to honor our communitys veterans.