PO2 Benjamin A. Myra

2018-6-30 Myra

I enlisted Feb 14, 2011 and was honorably discharged May 31, 2018. I was an Avionics Technician which is someone who troubleshoots, diagnoses, repairs and replaces electronic on aircraft like radios, radar, and navigation. My highest ranking was a 2nd class petty officer. I went to boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. And then “A” school in Pensacola, FL. I was first stationed in Kaneohe, HI to VP-4 and than transferred to VP-47 and than transferred to Whidbey Island, WA to FRCNW. I was deployed 4 times, 2 with “4” and 2 with “47”. Totaling 28 months of being oversees. Countries been deployed to Italy, Greece, Djibouti, El Salvador, Japan, Philippines, and Curacao.

We honor you, Benjamin Myra.

(Submission written by: Benjamin Myra)

MSgt Catherine G. Murray

2018-6-29 Murray

The first female Marine to retire from the U.S. Marine Corps was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on [January 23, 2018].

Catherine G. Murray, who passed away last month at the age of 100, enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1943 after hearing President Franklin D. Roosevelt announce the Pearl Harbor attack over the radio. She transferred to active duty five years later.

Her first assignment was as a motor transport Marine during World War II. After the war, she was one of the first female Marines transferred to Hawaii.

During her service, Murray was a fierce advocate for women, once standing up to two colonels after she felt they were not giving female Marines enough credit, according to her YouTube channel.

In 1962, Murray was the first woman to retire from the Corps, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant.

Even after her retirement, Murray continued to serve her country, becoming the first enlisted woman to join the Fleet Marine Reserves where she served until 1972.

Murray passed away December 20, 2017.

 

We honor you, Catherine Murray.

(#Repost @ABC News)

Holsey Gillis

2018-6-28 Gillis

Holsey Gillis was born in Georgia and was one of six brothers and two sisters in the family. His father had a farm and Holsey learned to work at an early age. Between climbing pecan trees to knock down the nuts to milking cows, Holsey kept busy. After graduating from high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. At that time, there was a quota of accepting seven African Americans a day at Ft. Benning, GA. Holsey went with two other friends and was the final cut for that day. He did his Basic Training at Montfort Point, NC, which was very tough. For example, if one person made a misstep in marching, the group would stop in formation until the person ran to the river, crossed it and returned. All of this in the hot North Carolina sun. However, one accomplishment at the base was having these Marines set records for target shooting with their 150 mm guns.

After Basic Training, Holsey was sent overseas aboard a Landing Ship Tank (LST) through the Panama Canal with the 10th Depot Company. He still remembers the engineering feat of going through the locks to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. After almost two month of riding the rough waves, Holsey made it to Guadalcanal, which was secured by this time and then he was sent to New Caledonia. Holsey was in Guam during the Invasion of Saipan. Next, he was sent to the Invasion at Okinawa and, in a pouring rain he descended from the ship on ropes into very rough water to board a small boat to get to the beach. He stayed here until the end of the war and was sent back to Montfort Point. Hoping to be home for Christmas, Holsey missed out by a few days and was finally discharged at the age of 21.

After attending Morehouse College for a few semesters, Holsey decided to get back to what he enjoyed, working with his hands. He moved to Philadelphia, PA and worked in a tailor shop, a service station and ended up as a Firestone Tire Manager in Hyattsville, MD. In June 2012, Holsey was one of about 400 African American Marines throughout the country that received the Congressional Gold Medal from Congress in Washington, DC for their service during World War II.

We honor you, Holsey Gillis.

(#Repost @AFRH)

RM2 Julius Heinrich Otto “Henry” Pieper

2018-6-26 Pieper

Julius (pictured left), born of German immigrant parents, worked together with his twin, Louie, for Burlington Railroad and enlisted together with him in the Navy. Both were radio operators and both were on the same unwieldy flat-bottom boat, Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), making the Channel crossing from Falmouth, England, to Utah Beach 13 days after the June 6 D-Day landings.

The LST-523 mission was to deliver supplies at the Normandy beachhead and remove the wounded. It never got there.

The vessel struck an underwater mine and sank off the coast. Of the 145 Navy crew members, 117 were found perished. Survivors’ accounts speak of a major storm on the Channel with pitched waves that tossed the boat mercilessly before the explosion that shattered the vessel.

While his brother Louie’s body was soon found, identified and laid to rest, Julius’ remains were only recovered in 1961 by French salvage divers who found them in the vessel’s radio room. He was interred as an “Unknown” at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neuville, Belgium, also devoted to the fallen of World War II, in the region that saw the bloody Battle of the Bulge.

Julius’ remains might have stayed among those of 13 other troops from the doomed LST-523 still resting unidentified at the Ardennes cemetery. But in 2017, a U.S. agency that tracks missing combatants using witness accounts and DNA testing identified him.

The Pieper family asked that Louie’s grave in Normandy be relocated to make room for his twin brother at his side.

“They are finally together again, side by side, where they should be,” said their niece, Susan Lawrence, 56, of California.

We honor you, Julius Pieper.

(Submission by: Miah Parry. #Repost @MSN news)

RM2 Ludwig Julius Wilhelm “Louie” Pieper

2018-6-26 Pieper

Louie (pictured left), born of German immigrant parents, worked for Burlington Railroad with his twin brother and enlisted together with him in the Navy. Both were radio operators and both were on the same unwieldy flat-bottom boat, Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), making the Channel crossing from Falmouth, England, to Utah Beach 13 days after the June 6 D-Day landings.

The LST-523 mission was to deliver supplies at the Normandy beachhead and remove the wounded. It never got there.

The vessel struck an underwater mine and sank off the coast. Of the 145 Navy crew members, 117 were found perished. Survivors’ accounts speak of a major storm on the Channel with pitched waves that tossed the boat mercilessly before the explosion that shattered the vessel.

Louie’s body was laid to rest in what now is the Normandy American Cemetery.

We honor you, Louie Pieper.

(Submission by: Miah Parry. #Repost @MSN news)

SPC Dane R. Balcon

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SPC Dane R. Balcon was born on 27 April 1988, at Luke AFB, Arizona. In 2007, he enlisted in the Army as a Fire Support Specialist, following graduation from Sand Creek High School. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery Regiment, at Fort Sill, OK. Upon graduation from AIT, SPC Balcon received his first assignment to 3rd Squadron 8th Cavalry Regt., 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, TX. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Balad, Iraq on 7 July 2007 and on 5 September 2007 he completed his mission-doing what he loved-serving his country.

Awards and ribbons that SPC Balcon earned while serving his country include: The Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Weapons Qualification Badge – Expert w/Rifle.

We honor you, Dane Balcon.

(#Repost @legacy.com)

CPL Patrick D. Tillman

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Died April 22, 2004, serving during Operation Enduring Freedom.

27, of Chandler, Ariz.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.; killed April 22 when his patrol vehicle came under attack near Spera, Afghanistan.

(#Repost @https://thefallen.militarytimes.com/army-cpl-patrick-d-tillman/263007)