World War II Memorial & VietNam Honor Roll
Mayfield, Graves County, KY
This park sits in the wedge area created by the divergence of US Route 45 as it splits to one way streets on the north edge of Mayfield. It has plenty of parking and I think the parking area itself is more popular than the monument.
The "eternal flame" feature of the monument stone is distinctive, a sculpted sleight of hand that evokes the meaning of the flame without be forced to actually create something that must be hooked up to a gas source.
The four sided monument, like many commemorating WW II, does not feature the U.S. Coast Guard seal, "Semper Paratus is our Guide, our Fame, our Glory too!"
PFC Robert Emerson was serving with 1st Cav Division, 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, Company B. A normal in-country tour in VietNam was expected to be 12 months. Emerson arrived July 8, 1965. He died July 8...
PFC William Gordon Fleming was working as a helicopter rotor mechanic, serving with C Company, 15th Transportation Battalion 1st Cav. He arrived in-country August 10, 1966. He was killed September 17th. Online remembrances of Fleming refer to "... that horrible night." Thirty men of the 1st Cav died that day, although I have not been able to piece together the circumstances of Fleming's loss.
SP4 Joe Edd Hester served with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He arrived in VietNam June 20, 1968 and was killed in action at Binh Duong Province on February 9, 1969.
SFC Bobby Joe Lawrence was Regular Army... a career soldier posted to Advance Team 91, an Advisor unit of Miltary Assistance Command, VietNam. Advisors were the guys that went into the field to train and guide the ARVN troops. Lawrence arrived April 13, 1967 and was killed by small arms fire at Binh Duong Province on December 28th of that year.
Sgt Floyd Stanley Franklin arrived to fight wiith A Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Inf, 101st Airborne on August 26, 1968. He was killed in action at Thua Thien Province on March 30, 1970. The guys in the Company knew him as Mule Skinner. One the night he died he was the first to realize they were being attacked and he was killed as he tried to let everyone know the sappers were incoming.
Cpl Kenneth Wayne Pease served with C Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Inf, 11 Inf Brigade. Family and friends knew him as "Pea Vine," he arrived in-country to begin his tour on July 22, 1969 and was killed by small arms fire at Quang Ngai Province on September 16th.
Sgt William O. Walters arrived in-country in time to celebrate the 4th of July 1968. He was killed in action March 3rd, 1969 at Binh Duong Province while fighting with Company D, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He had been out of Lone Oak High School long enough to state his occuplation as "farmer" on his income tax forms and was attending junior college. He, like the rest of the men honored here, was just a young man from a small town in Kentucky. From a place where your friends still remember you 50 years later and by families that continue to mourn the loss.