Cpl Ralph Racacho

2017-10-15 Racacho

Racacho served with  D Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Corporal Racacho was wounded on 24 August 1968 while he was leaving the helicopter he was on and was hit in the right arm by a gunshot. Later he received more wounds to his neck and head from shrapnel.

We honor you, Ralph Racacho.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Valor)

Sgt John L. Cockburn

2017-10-5 Cockburn

John Cockburn had been a Marine for nearly eight months on December 7, 1941, when he was stationed on the USS Maryland in Pearl Harbor. His most memorable experience in the war came as part of an artillery company that landed on Iwo Jima on its D-Day, February 19, 1945, when the Marines suffered over 6,000 casualties. Cockburn took some shrapnel in his arm but only missed a few days of action; he saw the raising of the flag on Mt. Surabachi from the deck of a ship while recuperating.

We honor you, John Cockburn.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

 

GySgt Henry “SKI” W. Andrasovsky

2017-9-26 Andrasovsky

“SKI” as he was always known, grew up in Ohio and joined the Marines, six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor at the age of 17. During WWII he participated in action against the enemy at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942; New Guinea Operation in 1943; Cape Gloucester, New Britain in 1943 & 44; and Peleliu Island, Palau Islands in 1944. During the Korean War, he participated in the assault and seizure of Inchon, Korea and the “Chosen” (frozen) Campaign in Northern Korea in 1950. He retired from the Marines in 1961 and retired again from the Post Office in 1982. Everyone who knew him loved his stories, great ‘one-liners’ and jokes.

We honor you, Henry Andrasovsky.

(#Repost @Russon Mortuary)

Col John Howard LaVoy

2017-9-24 LaVoy

December 7, 1941 shocked the nation, and he immediately drove to San Francisco to enlist in Naval Aviation Training…after a short wait he was told to report to Pre-Flight School at St. Mary’s in Moraga, CA as a Seaman Second Class and later as a Cadet. He moved to E Base at Livermore, CA…The E stood for Elimination and the Indoctrination Officer informed the Cadets that they’d either leave by the front gate as pilots, or the back gate in a casket. Corpus Christi, TX, and training at Cudahy Field, and fighter training at Kingsville followed. In May 1943, he graduated as a 2nd Lt., choosing USMC aviation. Following receiving his Gold Wings, he went to Great Lakes Naval Station for carrier training and to Jacksonville, FL for combat training.

Overseas orders soon followed, and he arrived in American Samoa to fly SBD’s in VMSB-151. This tour flew patrol around the Ellis Islands and moved with the fighting to the Gilbert and Marshall Islands and raids on the Carolina Islands.

Returning to the U.S., he married Marian Hennen La Voy on September 26, 1944 at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral with their dear friend, Rev. Luigi Roteglia officiating. They had been married 9 months and were living at Cherry Point, NC when overseas orders arrived to report to Malabang (Mindanao) Phillipines to do air support of both Army and Navy ground forces. Flying SB2C’s, the squadron moved to Okinawa to prepare for the invasion of Japan. The war ended and VMSB/244 moved to Tsingtao, China where pilots flew the China Wall patrol and bombed railroads to check Mao Tse-Tung’s moves on Chiang Kai-shek forces. Returning to the states, “Big John”, as he was fondly known decided to make the Marine Corp his career. He was stationed at MCAS El Toro-MB Quantico and MB Camp Lejeune where he was sent to Ellingson Field at Pensacola FL for helicopter training. Shortly thereafter, he received orders to Korea and joined VMO-6 and spent a year on the front lines evacuating wounded Marines and Soldiers.

Returning to El Toro for four months, he was deployed to Gifu, Japan for over a year as there was a fear that Chinese troops would once again be deployed to Korea.

Kaneohe MCAS was next and he was CO of Headquarters Sqdn. The Honolulu newspaper honored him with a headline that referred to him as “Mr. Rescue” for all the downed pilots and civilians that he rescued off the coast of Oahu. Sikorsky Corp. also honored him for his bravery.

Edenton MCAS and Cherry Point found him back in fixed wing aircraft. He next “Bootstrapped” at The University of Nebraska at Omaha, receiving flight time at Offutt AFB. He graduated in 1962 with a BS in Military Science and moved on to Senior Officer School in Quantico, VA.

Vietnam beckoned, and as CO of HMM-364, he took a squadron of young helicopter pilots to Da Nang. Their heroics are legendary and not one man in the squadron was lost. The Legion of Merit with combat V was presented to him by USMC Commandant Major General Wallace Greene at the historic H and I base in Washington DC. He ended his career at the Pentagon where he worked for the Secretary of the Navy in The Office of Program Appraisal until 1969, and then became President of The Naval Examining Board. He retired in 1970.

We honor you, John LaVoy.

(#Repost @Reno Gazette-Journal)

Sgt Phyllis Marie Aloisio Capelle

2017-9-12 Capelle

During World War II, 21-year-old Phyllis Aloisio was working in a factory but determined she could better help the effort by joining the WACs. Told she was too young, she joined the Marines, and when she tested well enough to become a machinist’s mate, she was sent to Memphis for an accelerated course in mechanics. She worked on a wide variety of aircraft and was one of only 13 women during the war to draw flight pay. Discreet about whether she broke regulations by dating officers, she does talk about meeting aviator Charles Lindbergh and sharing a plane with actor turned Marine Tyrone Power. After the war, she wanted to attend aeronautical school but was told no one would hire a woman pilot, so she became a flight attendant for TWA, a job with as many rules and regulations as the military.

We honor you, Phyllis Capelle.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

 

PFC Giles G. McCoy

2017-9-9 McCoy

After surviving three of the Pacific Theater’s most harrowing campaigns and a kamikaze attack, Marine Giles McCoy thought the worst was over when his ship returned to the States for repairs in the summer of 1945. But that ship, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, had one more mission to perform, whose aftermath-hundreds of men stranded for days in shark-infested waters–was an event whose horrible consequences still reverberate.

On July 30, 1945, the U.S.S. Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser that just completed the top secret mission of delivering the components for the Atomic Bomb dropped on Japan, was torpedoed in the Philippine Sea. Of the 1,196 men on board, about 900 survived into the water. After four days of relentless shark attacks, only 316 were left alive to be rescued. Due to the nature of their mission, the existence of the Indianapolis was not acknowledged. Only by happenstance did an American aircraft spot the survivors, one of which was the Marine Corp’s Private First Class Giles McCoy.

We honor you, Giles McCoy.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History project and @Legacy.com)

Cpl Paul Alexander Steppe Jr

2017-8-21 Steepe

Paul enlisted in the Marines in 1950 and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. “Paul Steppe, a Marine infantry corporal serving in Korea, saw fierce action, punctuated by long nights when he and his foxhole buddies alternated two-hour watches. Wounded by a grenade on Christmas Eve 1951, Steppe was evacuated to a hospital, narrowly escaping death when his transport plane lost its landing gear on takeoff.”

We honor you, Paul Steepe.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)