Montgomery Twp Honor Rolls
"Those that gave the
This stop was made in early evening and to say that the place was deserted would be a generous statement. The honor roll of the fallen contains 37 names and the enclosed service roll runs from the Spanish-American War to the Persian Gulf wars. It appears the local desire to honor these men is strong, as that section of the monument was once destroyed by a storm and then rebuilt.
Pvt John Dike was the first man of Gibson County to be killed in France, on 19 July 1918. The 30 year old had departed New York aboard a troop ship on June 3rd, leaving two children to mourn him. He remains at rest in the American Cemetery at Meuse-Argonne.
Pvt Athol Church was becoming well established in the community when he was called up to serve in World War I. He was a member of the Odd Fellow lodge and proudly stated he was willing to serve. He died 1 Oct 1918 in France, but his battle had been against pneumonia.
Three days after Church succumbed to disease Pvt John Roberts Jaquess, USMC, made the supreme sacrifice on 4 October. He had volunteered in 1917, leaving behind a good job at the Goodyear Tire factory in Akron. He too remains at rest in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.
Of note on the service roll listing is John Jaquess' brother, Fletcher. He served with the Rainbow Divsion in World War I and came home to attend college and take up a career in teach. He kept his attachments to the military, however, as a member of the Indiana National Guard. He was 40 years old when his unit was called up for World War II and it's likely he could have asked to be excused, but he didn't even ask. In fact, after WW II he remained interested in service and joined the Air Force when the Korean War began. When he retired at the end of that conflict he was a Colonel, proud to have served in three major wars.
Fletcher Jaquess was 16 years older than 2nd Lt Ival Butler, but I still wonder if they knew each other. Butler had enlisted in the Air Corp and became a pilot. He was lost on 18 March 1944 not far from Toxal Island near the coast of the Netherlands. He had been flying a P-38J fighter while escorting a bomber attack into Germany. He ran low of fuel, ditched, and wasn't heard from again. Air/Sea Rescue conducted a very short search for the pilot before departing the area.
Pvt Grover Neaveille, US Army was 26 years old when he was killed on 10 Aug 1944. He had been serving with 318th Regiment, 80th Infantry and is buried at the Brittany American Cemetery in Normandy, France.
SSgt Gene Eckerty, US Army, was attending Indiana University when he answered the call to duty. He was killed in action in Germany on 25 Feb 1945. He was 29 years old.
I will leave the other gold star listings for you to research and ask that you keep this in mind. Each of the men I related were well established in their communities when they enlisted. They were not kids just out of high school - each of them left behind jobs, families and futures full of promise. We never know when our country will call for us to serve, but we should always understand that when that call is made we should understand that community attachments are something for us to protect - not something that protects us.