Tryansylvania County Honor Rolls
Main St at Broad St
Brevard, Transylvania County, North Carolina
"In honor and menory of
who sacrificed their lives
in the defense of our country
Dedicated July 10, 1983
World War I
World War II
Global War on Terrorism"
Brevard is a mountain town on a seasonally busy US Route. Come for a visit during summer and the streets are busy, noisy and crowded. Spring and fall are reasonable and winter is almost the opposite. Travelers to the area don't have a chance to compare the impact of their visit, but the locals live by the ebb and flow of their economic inputs.
That seasonal flow probably hasn't changed in the last 80 years. The Loftis brothers, Jack, Edward and Marshall, were all in uniform during World War II and without doubt they could have described every hill, creek and river to any who cared to listen. Jack and Ed joined the Army and Marshall, the youngest of the three, went into the Navy.
In the summer of '44 word came that PFC Edward T Loftis had been killed on the 16th of July while serving with the 349 Infantry Regiment, 88th Inf Division.Jack was killed during Thanksgiving week, on November 22nd. Marshall was a Navy flyer and survived the war. He came home with two Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
On the 26th of July '44 Seaman 1st Class Clarence Masters, US Navy, was aboard a trans-Atlantic flight to England. The aircraft never arrived and all aboard were classified as missing, presumed dead. His older brother, PFC Woodward Masters was killed in France on 5 September 1944.
Several others that fell in World War II were close relatives, usually first cousins; Harimon and Joseph Merrill, and John, Harold and Althon Norris among that list.
Another Merrill family member, Sgt First Class Weldon B Merrill, US Army, was killed by small arms fire in VietNam on 16 March 1968. His hometown friends knew him as "Digger," a reference to the years he spent as a well driller with his father. He originally served with the 101st Airborne, had a break in service and came back to serve mulitiple in-country tours with the 503rd Infantry. He left behind a widow and child.
Many brothers that fall are not related by blood, but by experiences. Cpl Verrell D. Stiles, USMC , has eleven brothers - they died with him on March 28, 1967, in VietNam. The group of Marines from 1st Marine Division, 7th Engineer Battalion, A Company, were receiving instruction on anti-personnel mines when the demonstration unit exploded. The oldest among them were their instructor and a 2nd Lt, both 24 years old. The youngest was just short of his 19th birthday. The rest of them were only 19 years old.
Although they died in a combat zone, these men earned no Purple Heart. They died due to a training accident and little recognition of their loss is offered beyond their listing upon monuments of this type. The families of Stiles and his military brothers; Ellis, Dye, Davidheiser, Bekiemps, Hawkins, Jones, Laird, McCarty, Payne, Porter and Shockley all received a folded flag and an insurance payment. The federal government has fulfilled its obligation and the rest, the promise to remember them at home, remains with us. Without our remembrance these men are truly lost to a mis-understood war on foreign shores.