Veterans to be Honored Today

Veterans to be Honored Today

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Sammy Linebaugh reporting It's Veteran's Day, which means millions of servicemen and women across the country and here locally, will be honored in various ways.

Eleven Utah servicemen will be honored with a full dress military ceremony. They were selected from dozens of submissions that came in from around the state.

McKay Nelson of Cedar City served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. As a tail gunner on a B-25 bomber, he flew combat missions in Southeast Asia, carried out raids and sea sweeps across the Gulf of Tonkin, earning two Bronze Stars.

Also being honored today for his service in World War II, Epifanio Gonzales of Salt Lake City. He served with the Army 19th Combat Engineer Regiment in North Africa and the Mediterranean, providing leadership under enemy fire, say his colleagues, at the Battle of Monte Cassino during a forced crossing of the Rapido River. He earned a Silver Star and four bronze stars for his bravery.

Lynn Richard Raybould, also of Salt Lake City, served in both Korea and Vietnam. He was an artillery forward observer with the 2nd Infantry Division and saw vicious ground combat in South Korea. He showed great leadership at the Battle of Kunuri, earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and Legion of Merit.

Brit McConkie of Bountiful served in the Army in World War II, commanding Company B of the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion during the Battle of the Bulge. He was cited for his leadership and heroic action in a hail of enemy fire. He's been awarded the Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.

Now to Stan Krushat of Salt Lake City, also being honored in today's ceremonies. He served with the Army Air Corps in World War II, and on his 15th combat mission as a bombardier on a B-17, was shot down. He was a POW for five months. His medals include the Purple Heart and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Ernest Poulson of Salt Lake City also served in World War II, in the Air Force. He flew a B-24 Liberator bomber in the 389th Bomb Group. He was shot down and held as as POW for 13 months. He was liberated in September 1944, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

And Richard Stimsom of Salt Lake City also served in World War II, in the Army. He spent the night in a freezing trench after being wounded while fighting Germans with Fox Company, 398th regiment, 100th Infantry Division. For his bravery, he earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Henry Patton of Murray served in the Army Air Corp in World War II. He was shot down by the Japanese, endured the Bataan Death March and floated in the ocean for 27 hours after his boat sank. He also witnessed the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima.

He will be there today, along with Emmit, nickname "Cyclone", Davis, from Draper. In his 24-year career with the Army Air Corp and Air Force, he flew more than 267 combat missions between World War II and Korea. He was awarded for his leadership and bravery in major air battles. He has numerous military honors.

Crit Killen of Pleasant Grove served in the U.S. Navy, also in World War II and Korea. He stands out for his leadership and bravery during direct hits to his destroyer not once, but twice.

And finally this morning, we tell you about Leland Joseph Winger of Sandy. He is being honored for his service in helping liberate concentration camps during World War II. He also walked across France, Germany and Austria with Patton's Third Army, helping hold the line during the Battle of the Bulge.

Again, 11 servicemen will be honored today at a ceremony at the Union Building at 11 am, and again tomorrow during halftime of the Utah football game at Rice Eccles stadium.

And, in observerance of Veterans Day, all municipal, state and federal offices are closed.


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