We Regret to Inform You: Remembering 57 Ashlanders who served in WWII and didn't return

Editor's note: This is the 14th and final installment of a series of stories about Ashland residents who served during World War II.

Despite all these stories and names, there are still more chapters to be written. Even today, 70 years later, there are young men and young women who gave their service and their lives were not remembered in the pages of local history.

The Rev. George W. Bruce of the First Methodist Church of Ashland, who presided over the memorial service for cousins Corp. Lewis R. Setchell and Pvt. Donald J. Chapman, as well as the funerals of many other war casualties, said this: “It strikes home close to our hearts when we remember them as bright, happy young men going about in our midst with their dreams and ambitions of youth aflame in their hearts. We have seen them set their hands to the tasks and pleasures of a normal, happy life in our community; and we have seen them square their shoulders and set their chins with deep and firm resolution as they went forth to the distasteful mission of war.”

He added, “Your lives were short, but they were rich and deep and highly significant. We shall never forget your courage and sacrifices.”

On this Veterans Day, to all the men listed here from Ashland who did not return home and to all those whose names that still remain unspoken, thank you for your service and your sacrifice:

• Thomas M. Anderson, Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class, USN

• Dean B. Ashcraft, Lt. (jg), USNR

• Kent N. Ashcraft, Lt., USNR

• Leland J. Ashcraft, Staff Sgt., 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division

• Lambert J. Barker, Tech. Sgt, 255th Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Division

• George H. Best, Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class, USN

• John R. Bischoff, Tech. 5th Class, 56th Engineer Battalion, 11th Armored Division

• Donald M. Case, Pvt., 186th Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division

• Ivan O. Chambers, Pvt. 1st Class, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division

• Donald J. Chapman, Pvt. 1st Class, 20th Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division

• John J. Clark, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class, USNR

• Mainard D. Clifton, Sgt., Co. B, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

• Cecil B. Coffin, Pvt., 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division

• Wayne V. Combest, Corp., 34th Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group

• David M. Cox, Pvt. 1st Class, 399th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division

• Lloyd L. Cox, Tech. Sgt., 10th Airlift Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group

• Eugene W. Crites, Cadet Airman, US AAC

• Charles L. Curtis, Pvt. 1st Class, Army Corps of Engineers

• John W. De Mille, Staff Sgt., 301st Bombardment Squadron, 352nd Bombardment Group

• Herbert F. Dort, Tech. Sgt., 21st Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group

• Roy L. Dunham, Pvt., 4th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division

• Boyd Fargier, Pvt., 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division

• Robert J. Farlow, Staff Sgt., 9th Pursuit Squadron, US AAC

• Donald E. Field, 2nd Lt., 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group

• Wilmer G. Flynn, Carpenter’s Mate 3rd Class, USNR

• Fredric H. Gracey, Pvt. 1st Class, 383rd Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division

• Clement J. Haas, Pvt., 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division

• Willett L. Hart, Pvt. 1st Class, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division

• George E. High, 2nd Lt., 405th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group (M)

• John R. Huntley, 1st Lt., 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division

• Joel B. Huntsman, Aviation Chief Machinist’s Mate, USN

• Lawrence F. Kaiser, Pvt. 1st Class, US Army

• Robert J. Kent, Jr., Pvt., 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division

• Cecil W. King, Pvt. 1st Class, US Army Corps of Engineers

• Ralph Lamb, 1st Lt., 409th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division

• Robert T. Leslie, 2nd Lt., 41st AAF Air Depot Group

• Ned S. Moss, Pvt., 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division

• Lee E. O’Harra, 1st Lt., Marine Base Defense Aircraft Group 44

• Fred L. Pankey, Staff Sgt., 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Pursuit Group

• Alden D. Powell, Jr., Cpl., 2519th AAF Base Unit

• John R. Pratt, Lt., 459th Bombardment Squadron, 330th Bombardment Group

• Bennett C. Provost, Cadet Airman, USNR

• Ben F. Reeser, 1st Lt., 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division

• Robert W. Riddle, 1st Lt., 61st Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division

• Franklin M. Roach, Pvt. 1st Class, US Army

• Dale W. Ross, Pvt. 1st Class, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division

• Lewis R. Setchell, Cpl., 21st Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division

• Fred C. Shere, Jr., 2nd Lt., 577th Bombardment Squadron, 392nd Bombardment Group (H)

• George W. Stephenson, Lt. (jg), CEC-V (8) Construction Battalion

• Trenton T. Tucker, Jr., Staff Sgt., 330th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group (H)

• Alvin A. Van Curler, Pvt. 1st Class, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division

• Wilford J. Vakoc, Pvt., 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, Company L

• Dean E. Warren, 2nd Lt., US Army

• Donald P. Warren, Seaman 2nd Class, USN

• Allen G. Whitehead, Sgt., 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group (H)

• James D. Whittinghill, Aviation Machinist Mate’s 1st Class

• Joseph M. Wurzer, 2nd Lt., 409th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group (H).

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