BUCYRUS —Nine county veterans will be inducted into the Crawford County Veterans Hall Of Fame for the class of 2016 at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Bucyrus High School. Fifty veterans have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame and this year’s class will be the tenth class to be honored. The public is invited to see this ceremony and to honor these Veterans and all Veterans. The ceremony includes guest speakers, county high school bands, bag pipes, taps, and firing squad.
Chuck Christman of the Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame board said there is still time to order a paver to honor a Veteran that will be placed at the monument to be constructed at the Crawford County Courthouse in the spring of 2017.
William L. Chapman-World War II
William Chapman was born on June 2, 1921 in Tiffin, OH, to Harry and Ruth Baily Chapman. His brothers and sisters include Robert, Paul, Kenneth, Walter, Gladys (Morrison), Betty (Travis), Francise (Kieffer) and Mary (Wagonblast). William attended Tiffin Columbian High School and Oklahoma A&M. He was in the Infantry and the 101st Airborne Division. He participated in the invasion of Normandy, Battle of St. Lowe, Aragon Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. Through his involvement in these battles, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Emblem, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WW2 Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (West Germany Clasp), Combat Infantry Badge and Honorable Service Lapel Button WW2. The Oak Leaf Cluster to the Bronze Star is based on the award of the Combat Infantry Badge and Parachute Wings indicating an interesting and dangerous combat record. His military service was from Dec. 12, 1942 to Oct. 8, 1945 and May 28, 1946 to Feb. 15, 1947. He then served from Aug. 25, 1950 to Sept. 7, 1951 and Sept. 8, 1951 to Feb. 19, 1954, when he was discharged at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
William has eight children including Robert, James, Larry, Shirley, David, Debra, Randall and Michael. He was a taxidermist, operating Chapman Taxidermy for over 40 years. His work was displayed at Walther’s Hardware as they had a full size Black Bear at the entrance of their store. During the Crawford County Fair, a large display of mounted local animals would be on display in their natural habitat. William was an electrician at Swan Rubber for 12 years and with Bigley Electric in Findlay. He was a member of Good Hope Lutheran Church. Prior to his passing, he lived in Florida and had reconnected with members of his unit. William passed away at the Veterans Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on March 24, 1996.
Thomas (Mike) Clayton-Vietnam
Thomas “Mike” Clayton was born on Feb. 9, 1949 in Bucyrus. He attended Bucyrus City Schools and graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1967. He worked at General Electric and Lone Pine Dairy before being drafted into the US Army in 1969. In 1971, after service in Vietnam, he was discharged. In 1974, Mike enlisted in the US Navy and was discharged in 1993 as a Petty Officer 1st Class. He received training as an EMT, EVOC, X-ray technician, corpsman school and Leadership Management training. He received the Good Conduct Medal (4th) award, Expert Rifle, Navy Achievement Medal (second award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (second award), Vietnam Campaign Medal, Purple Heart and Bronze Stat Medal with V Device.
After retiring from the Navy in 1993, Mike worked at Swan Rubber until he retired in 2011. Mike is a Life Member of VFW Post 1078, Life Member of Amvets Post 27, and American Legion Post 181. He has been Commander of VFW Post 1078 six times and received the All-State Post Commander Award. He has organized the Christmas Party for children of the VFW, passed out food cards to needy people in Bucyrus, helped distribute quilts to Veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky and helped build a ramp for a disabled child.
Kenneth L. Javens-Vietnam
Ken was born October 6, 1947 in Brighton, PA. He grew up with six brothers and six sisters in Mansfield and then moved back to Pennsylvania. While living in Pennsylvania, he met his future wife Sandy in 1964 and was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Vietnam. He returned home in 1967 from Vietnam, married Sandy and moved to Galion where they raised two daughters. His awards include the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Sharpshooter Medal (M14 Rifle).
Ken was employed at Galion Amco for 23 years, making shell casings for the government and was employed at United Technology in Marysville. He lived in the same residence for 37 years. He liked to hunt, even though he wouldn’t eat anything he brought home. He spent time with his three grandchildren and one was born just after he passed away in 2006.
Shawn Edward Leonhardt-Desert Storm
Shawn was born February 23, 1972 in Galion and is the son of Dwight Leonhardt and Mary Jo Carle. He has two siblings, Leslie and Travis. He grew up in the Leesville area until the age of eight, when the family moved to the Sulphur Springs area. During his school years, he participated in swimming, cross country, track and Vision Show Choir. He is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Sulphur Springs.
Shawn entered the U.S. Army at Fort Hayes in Columbus with the split option program. The summer between his junior and senior year of high school he completed Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and after graduation from high school, completed AIT at Fort Lee, Virginia.
His first deployment was to Saudi Arabia to advance into Iraq for Desert Shield/Storm in 1990. He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Service Star, Overseas Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Liberation Medal –Government of Kuwait. He was discharged in 1992 and returned home where he was in the Army Reserves and began working at Swan Rubber in Bucyrus. He re-enlisted later in 1992.
He was stationed at Wiesbaden, Germany, and was deployed to serve with NATO in Peace Keeping in Bosnia and Kosovo. Shawn has always helped others and during his time in Bosnia, had family and friends send hats, gloves, and toys to hand out to the children. He also participated in training with NATO in Turkey and Poland. He was medically discharged from the Army in 2001 from Wiesbaden, Germany. Other awards include National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/2 Bronze Service Medals, Army Service Ribbon and Driver and Mechanic Badge.
During his time in Germany, he met Petra Dofkova, who was from the Czech Republic and they married in 1998. He has one daughter, Kimberly Sue, who resides with him. Shawn likes to fish, camp, hike and attends his daughter’s school and sport actives. He worked for the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in Juvenile Division as a Corrections Officer at facilities in Marion, Delaware and Mohican. He left the department in 2014. Shawn is enrolled full time at Rhodes State College, Lima and Marion Technical College studying to be a respiratory therapist.
David Keith Oswalt-Peace Time
David was born November 12, 1959 in West Milton. He graduated from high school in 1978 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 1980, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired in 2000 after 20 years of service. He was employed at Oakwood Cemetery from 2000 to 2005, and is now employed with Vulvan Products, where he started in 2005. His training in service included Recruiting Retention School, Drill Sgt. School, Master Fitness course, Primary Non-Commission Officer course and Advance Non-Commission officer course, French Commando School, Air Assault School, NBC School, Basic Non Commission Officer School and Combat Engineer School.
His awards include the Army Commendation Medal 3 awards, Army Achievement Medal 2 awards, Gold Recruiter Badge with 3 Sapphires, Good Conduct Medal 6th award, Overseas Ribbon 2nd award 6 years in Germany, Expert Rifle Badge, Air Assault Badge, French Commando Badge, Non-Commission Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal and Armed Forces Community Relations Council, (Service Person of the Year 1997) Columbus, OH. He is a 20-year member of the American Legion, 12-year member of the VFW, three times Commander of the American Legion Post 181, member of the Post 181 Color Guard, Lifetime member of the Amvets and Lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.
He lives in Bucyrus with his wife of 33 years, Sylvia, and has one daughter; Judith, three grandchildren; Layla, Jackson, David Jr. and two Schnauzers; Buddy and Bucky.
George D. Stratton, Jr.-World War II
George was born in Portsmouth on Jan. 22, 1925, the oldest of 10 children born to George Sr. and Lula Stratton. The family moved to Vanceburg, Kentucky and then later to Galion. He attended school in both Vanceburg and Galion and also North Central Ohio Technical Institute for electrical maintenance, obtaining a journeyman card for electrician. George Sr. was a WW1 Navy Veteran and George wanted to serve in the military, so he joined the USAAF shortly after his 18 birthday. He entered military service with the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 and was honorably discharged in December 8, 1945. While in the service, he was a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. His awards include American Theater Ribbon, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon w/1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct medal and WW2 Victory Medal.
George returned home after his discharge and met a waitress at Pop’s Sweet Shop Restaurant in Galion by the name of Katheryn Parker. He married Kate on July 8, 1948 and they had three children; Mary Jo, Larry and Jenny. They were married 42 years when Katheryn passed away in 1990.
He was employed from 1942 to 1943 as an assembler of truck bodies and truck driver at Galion Lumber Company, an automotive equipment operator for 22 months and a heavy automotive equipment operator for seven months while in the USAAF. From 1946, George worked at Crawford Steel Co. in Bucyrus and Monroe Steel Company (formerly Crawford Steel Co), as a crane operator, Bucyrus Steel Company as a crane operator/electrician, Mansfield Tire and Rubber Company in Mansfield as a maintenance/electrician. He was at each of these companies when they closed operations. He worked at Crestline Memorial Hospital as a maintenance/electrician until he retired in 1990. He was president of the UAW for the local union while at Crawford Steel and Monroe Steel. He coached and played men’s softball for Crawford Steel for five years. He helped organized family activities for union members and families. He participated in American Legion activities. George passed away on Jan. 21, 2009.
Douglas E. Wilson, Sr.-Peace Time
Douglas was born on Feb. 4, 1942 in Nevada in Wyandot County. He attended Bucyrus City Schools and graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1960 and Sawyer College Dayton with Real Estate Certificates of Completion in 1989. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in March 1960 and served in Battery D and B 1st Battalion, 136th Field Artillery as an enlisted man until July 2, 1966, then received a Commission as Second Lieutenant OHARNG on July 3, 1966. He was promoted to First Lieutenant OHARNG in 1969, Captain OHARNG 1972, and Major OHARNG 1978, LTC OHARNG 1986, LTC USAR 1988, LTC United States Army Ready Individual Ready Reserve 1994 and LTC United States Army Reserve Retired 2002. His service totaled 41 years, 10 months and 5 days. During his time in service, he served in many capacities and completed many training schools provided by the Army. Douglas’s awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal/4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ Second Hourglass, Army Service Ribbon, Ohio Faithful Service Ribbon w/Oak Leaf Clusters, Award of Merit w/ First Numeral and Ohio Army Guard Basic Training Ribbon.
Doug is a Life Member of The National Guard Association of The United States, a Life Member of the Ohio National Guard Association, a Life Member of the 37th Infantry Division Veterans Association, Life Member of DAV Chapter 100, Life member of the Public Employee Retirees, Incorporated, Past Commander of American Legion Post 181, President of the Bucyrus Area Landlords Association, President Elect of the Bucyrus Rotary Club, member of the Mansfield Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service, member of the Executive Committee of American Legion Post 181, member of the Mansfield Board of Realtors, member of the National Association of Realtors, the 5 District of the American Legion Past Commanders Club and a member of the National Rifle Association.
Doug served as President of Bucyrus City Council for 10 years and served as Mayor of the City of Bucyrus from 1996 to 1999. Doug has served on many boards and committees in his career. Doug owned and operated Doug’s Toggery men’s and women’s clothing stores in Bucyrus, Galion and Mansfield. Doug is a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of United Bank. He received his license as a realtor in 1989 and serves in the Bucyrus Office of Craig A. Miley Realty and Auction.
Doug married the former Cara Sue Bishop in 1962. They have one son; Douglas E. Wilson Jr. and daughter-in-law; Susan Elain Wilson and two grandchildren; Nicklas Taylor (Deceased) and Cara Nicole Wilson, 13. Doug lives in Bucyrus with his wife Sue.
Rollie C. Wilson-World War II
Rollie was born on June 19, 1920 in Crawford County, to the late Howard and Harriett Wilson. His siblings were Kenneth, Ralph, Mina, Hazel and Margaret. He was a 1938 graduate of North Robinson High School. On Aug. 25, 1946 he married Esther (Nungesser). Before entering the service, he was a farmer. During his time in the U.S. Army Air Force, he was assigned to the 95th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force, where he was a Staff Sergeant and tail gunner with unit 334. He also served as a trainer for gunners in Ireland. His awards include the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew 38 combat missions as a tail gunner.
After the service, he was employed with Crawford Construction. He is a former member of the Crawford County Fair Board, was involved with Crawford County Harness Racing, the Community Foundation Scholarship and Colonel Crawford Girls Softball Organization. He has been honored as a 20+ year supporter and donator of Crawford County Harness Racing, honored for 10+ years as Colonel Crawford Girls Softball score board operator and for raising the American Flag before all home games. Rollie resides at Magnolia Terrace in Galion.
Rodney Warren Wise-OIF/OEF
Rodney was born in Bucyrus on June 10, 1969. He graduated from Bucyrus High School in June of 1987 and enlisted into the U.S. Army the same month. He retired as a Sergeant First Class /E7 after 22 years of service. His training includes Chemical Operations Specialist, Battle Staff Operations, Biological Integrated Detection Course, Instructor Supervisor Course, Advance Leadership Course (ANCOC), Combat Lifesaver, Antiterrorism Officer Course, Air load Planners Course, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with Columbia College and a Master’s Degree in Disaster and Emergency Management with American Public University.
His awards include the Category II Civilian of the Year, Air Force Global Strike Command A4/7, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal 4th Award, Army Commendation Medal 4th Award, Army Achievement Medal 10th Award, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal 7th Award, National Defense Medal 2nd Award and Armed Forces Expeditionary Award. He has served in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and SWA.
After he retired, Rodney has worked for the Department of the Army, Red River Army Depot (2009-2012) Plans and Operations Officer for Emergency Services; Air Force Strick Command, Barksdale Air Force Base (2012-present) Response Task Force Deputy Program Manager. He is Vice-president Epsilon Pi Phi Honor Society for American Public University, Secretary for Cornerstone Homeowners Association for Cornerstone Estates, Lifetime member of the VFW, Lifetime member of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Lifetime member of the 24th Infantry Division Association, awarded honorary membership into the Order of the Dragon for distinction within the Army’s Chemical Corps. Awarded the Commander’s Award for Distinguished Service with Red River Army Depot, member of the Epsilon Pi Phi Honor Society For Academic Excellence in Emergency Management, Major General Gilbert Award Winner for top Civil Engineer for the U.S. Air Force for 2013. Rodney makes his home in Haughton, LA.