Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame to induct seven new members


BUCYRUS — The Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame will induct seven new members on Nov. 11, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Bucyrus High School 900 W. Perry St. Bucyrus.

The ceremony will include the massed Crawford County high school bands, speaker Deborah Ashenhurst, director of the Ohio Department of Veteran Services and local speakers. This will be the 13th class to be inducted, bringing the number inducted to 72.

David Allen Bauer was born Nov. 22, 1948 in Crestline, Ohio to the late Floyd “Bud” Bauer and Priscilla Schwan. He is a 1967 Crestline graduate. He began studies at the Mansfield branch of The Ohio State University, but circumstances changed, and he joined the U.S. Navy in January, 1968. David served for four years that included two tours in Vietnam. He earned the Vietnam Service Medal W/1 Bronze Star; Vietnam Campaign Medal W/Device; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Combat Action Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

After leaving the Navy, David returned to Crestline and was employed by Geauga Plastics for a year and a half. While in the Navy, David was introduced to fire training and was greatly encouraged to take the Civil Service Exam, which he passed. He was hired by the Crestline Fire Department on Jan. 5,1974. On June 6, 1976 David became the youngest fire chief in Ohio>h was 27. After 31 years of service to fire and squad runs, David retired Jan. 5, 2005.

David also was known to man the squad — or make sure it was available — for the VFW Huck Finn fishing derby on Labor Day. David followed in his father’s footsteps and would dress as Emmett Kelly’s clown, Weary Willie and attend children’s functions to entertain and pass out candy.

On June 29, 1991 David married his wife Karen Wyer and They still live in Crestline. He has two stepsons and four grandchildren. He is a life member of VFW Post 2920 and a member of Eagles Aerie 859 in Crestline.

David James Robertson was born in Bucyrus, Ohio on Dec. 17, 1947 to the late Rosemary and C.E. (Bud) Robertson. He attended Bucyrus City Schools and graduated in 1966. At a young age, David delivered papers for the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum. After school, he assisted with lawn care at Oakwood Cemetery. From 966-67, he worked at General Electric in shipping and in the maintenance department from 1966-1967 before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. During Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. He trained as an aircraft mechanic at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. While stationed at Robbins Air Force Base, in Warner Robbins, Georgia he worked on T-29s from October, 1967 to November, 1968. He arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam on Christmas Day, 1968 and was there until December, 1969. He was then stationed at Beale Air Force Base, in Marysville/Yuba City, California, working both pre-flight and recovery of KC-135 tankers, which flew in support of the SR71 (Blackbird) and B-52s. among other aircraft. He remained there until being Honorably Discharged on June 4, 1971.

He returned to General Electric and worked there until being hired at the Bucyrus Police Department in 1973, then he entered the Ohio State Patrol Academy in 1973. He was sworn in April 1, 1973,one day after his father retired as Chief of Police. He served with the Bucyrus Police Department for 23 years as a patrolman, walking the downtown beat and serving as the records and communications officer. He retired March 31, 1996. David was office manager for Ziegler’s Electrical Service from 1995-2016.

David is active with American Legion Post 181, where he has been a life member for 49 years. He has held many offices at Post 181: Post Commander 1985, Post Adjutant from 1989 to present, SAL Advisor from Charter to present, Post Color Guard, Firing Squad, most offices at the Crawford County Council, Division Commander, District Adjutant two terms. He maintains Veterans Points, is a member and financial secretary of Bucyrus Memorial Society, is a member of Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame as American Legion representative. David is a life-member at American Legion Post 181, AmVets Post 27, VFW Post 1078, And DAV Chapter 100.

Donald E. Schearer was born in Chatfield Township on July 10, 1924. He was the third of six children. The family moved to Bucyrus, where he graduated in 1942. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps on Aug. 12, 1942. His specialty was carrying the BAR Browning Automatic Rifle, and then he went to airborne school. After airborne school he went to the west coast as a Marine Raider, part of the Fifth Marine Division. On Aug. 12 1944 he was moved to the Pacific Theater. In early 1945 the Fifth Marine Division and others invaded Iwo Jima. He was wounded the second or third day, but he didn’t talk about his service. He was wounded in the left arm and foot. He received the Purple Heart and was discharged after the war was over.

Upon returning home he married Velma L. Kern, and they had two children, Donald J. and Chris. He was a fireman on New York Central steam engines. Later, he drove truck for the Cobey Company, taking farm equipment to shows and state fairs. He then at Timken until he retired.

He helped form and was Scoutmaster for Troop 40, leading the troop to Camp Owens in the summer. Troop 40 hiked just about all the trails in Ohio. The troop bought an old bus and it was repaired and painted by the troop dads. It was used to take about 40 scouts to Gettysburg and Washington D.C. in 1962.They stayed at the Navy Yard in D.C. He managed minor league and Little league baseball teams and umpired. He divorced in 1965 and later married Mary Lou Naufzinger, and she survives. He has two stepsons and many grandchildren. He passed away June 26, 1984.

Lattie L. Graves was born May 18, 1917 in Allen County, Kentucky to Robert Graves and Mrs. Georgia Bordens Graves. He attended school in Kentucky and was a farm hand in his early years. He moved to Crawford County in 1938 and worked on the farm until he was drafted. He was the second draft number pulled out by the president, but was given a deferment because of harvest season. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on Feb. 10, 1941. He left May 26, 1942 for the Asiatic Pacific Theater as an infantryman. He was with the 37th Division when the battle for Bougainville began. In March, 1943 his unit, the 148th Infantry Regiment, came up against stiff resistance of enemy pill-boxes. The rocket launcher or bazooka had not been fired in action by the 148th. Staff Sergeants Jim Spencer and Lattie Graves told Lt. Oliver Draine that they would volunteer to take a crack at it. Preceding the company until they reached a shallow trench 20 yards from the nearest enemy pill-box, they selected their target, and with much anticipation they launched their first rocket. Although this round completely missed the target, the men were so pleased with their partial success, that they immediately reloaded the weapon, aimed more carefully and launched a second rocket. This time they scored a direct hit and demolished the pillbox.

Spencer and Graves dodged from one covered position to another, blasting away, either killing the occupants of the pillboxes or frightening them into flight. During the intervals between loading and firing the launcher, Graves blasted away with his M-1 rifle. Spencer and Graves fired the bazooka periodically for three hours. Lattie was wounded later in the battle for Manila.

He received the Silver Star for his action with the bazooka. He also received the Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon w/2 Bronze Stars, American Defense Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon W/1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct Ribbon, and Distinguished Unit Citation. He was Honorably Discharged on Aug. 9 1945. He returned to Bucyrus, and was employed by Swan Rubber. On Feb. 4, 1946 he married Arleta Schiefer. Sadly, on June 7, 1949, Lattie was killed in a car-train accident.

Richard Paul Schmidt was born Nov. 9, 1927 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Gus Herman and Regina M. Roetker Schmidt. He had a sister and brother, Mary Josephine Meyer and Robert Herman Schmidt. He attended St. Joseph School and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1946. He registered for the draft while in high school and received orders to be called up in his senior year. He graduated in 1946 and join the Navy. He served as active duty and in the reserves for almost seven years.

He joined the Navy in Oklahoma City on June 18, 1946 with basic training in San Diego. He was assigned to the USS St. Croix APA-231 from Sept. 28, 1946 to Jan. 2, 1947, then transferred to USS Henrico APS-45, where he served Jan. 2 to Feb. 26, 1947. Next was a cruise up the west coast, then on to Pearl Harbor, where he seved shore duty on Ford Island from Feb. 26, 1947 to Jan. 14, 1948. He requested to be transferred to the USS Valley Forge CU-45 on Jan. 14, 1948, and took part in Goodwill Cruise to nations of the world to build alliances for freedom. He was discharged June 18, 1948. He received the World War II Victory Medal. He also served in Navy Reserves in Oklahoma City. He was discharged June 16, 1953.

Following discharge, he returned to Oklahoma City and under the GI Bill, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma in Norman from September 1948 to June 1949. He transferred to Oklahoma A&M at Stillwater, attending from Sept. 1949 to Jan. 1953 and graduated with a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering. He received an offer from General Electric Co. for their new engineer test program, which took him to half a dozen different plants for training and then a permanent job in Bellevue, with GE Lamp Division. He was with GE for 38 years and retired from Bucyrus Lamp Plant in 1991.

Richard married Janett Catherine Reffing on May 12, 1956 at Immaculate Conception Church in Bellevue. His children are Richard Paul Jr., Scott David, Rebecca Joan, and Jennifer Marie.

Roger L. Willis was born Jan. 18, 1949 in Galion, Ohio. He graduated from Galion High School in 1967. Roger was inducted Feb. 12, 1969 at Fort Hayes, in Columbus. Basic training was at Fort Jackson South Carolina, where he qualified as an expert on rifle and machine gun. His next tour of duty was in Chu Lai, Vietnam, where he served with the 16th Combat Aviation Group, the D Troop, 4th Squadron, 1st Cavalry, the Saber Blues. Roger carried the M-79 grenade launcher with the Armor Cavalry Unit and flew 120 missions. Roger earned the Vietnam Service Medal W/2 Bronze Service Stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Expert Rifle Badge.

While Roger was home on leave from basic training, he married his high school sweetheart Susan, on June 28, 1969. Both still reside after 50 happy years in Galion. They have two children and one grandchild.

After discharge from service, Roger came back to Galion and worked for Covert in Galion for 20 years as a machinist. He worked his way up to supervisor. He then joined W.E. Lott and traveled internationally as a business industrial engineer manager, including back to Vietnam in 2008-2009. He also made several trips to China on business.

Roger owned Zips Ice Cream in Galion in the mid 1980s. He sponsored the first Galion Today Day, where a 3,000 pound banana split was made on the square of Galion. The governor of Ohio had the first sample. Roger raised $1,500 thanks to that banana split and donated it to the Galion Children’s Home. With this event being such a great success for uptown Galion, Roger was voted president of Uptown Association. Roger is a Life Member of VFW Post 2920 Crestline.

Thomas Wynn Schiefer was born in Shelby, Ohio on July 30, 1949. He lived in Tiro and attended Buckeye Central School, graduating in 1967. He was employed by General Electric Bucyrus Lamp Plant in August 1967. On March 10, 1969, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After basic and advanced training. he was sent to Vietnam, where he was assigned to Company C 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, Old Guard. He served in Vietnam from 1969-1970. His awards included Bronze Star medal w/V, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/ Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Service Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, CIB, Old Guard Medal.

Thomas returned to Bucyrus, and General Electric, where he was employed for 42 years with 4 years at HWH Engineering Consultant. He has numerous awards from General Electric for safety, managerial and productivity.

He is a member of American Legion Post 181 and is on the Honor Squad, DAV Chapter 100, Bucyrus Elks Lodge 156, Past commodore of the Bay Point Yacht Club, past member/board of directors for Bucyrus Jaycees. He also established a computer lab for Holy Trinity Catholic School. He spent more than 2,000 hours creating the lab.

Thomas was married to his Vickie on July 9, 1983, and they have three children: Sami, Isaac and Chelsea. They have four grandchildren. Thomas passed away Oct. 17, 2019.

File photo
The Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame is inducting seven new members. The program is Nov. 11 at Bucyrus High School. It starts at 7 p.m. photo
The Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame is inducting seven new members. The program is Nov. 11 at Bucyrus High School. It starts at 7 p.m.
Program starts at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Bucyrus High School

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