“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
As in the past, I occasionally like to recognize the true nature and strength of the Oklahoma spirit. One of our own faced the test and measured up. He was a Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Squadron 223, he fought In the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942. He entered service from Oklahoma having been born 26 December 1914 in Lexington.
His citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and heroic achievement in aerial combat above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 223 during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942.
Repeatedly risking his life in aggressive and daring attacks, Maj. Smith led his squadron against a determined force, greatly superior in numbers, personally shooting down 16 Japanese planes between 21 August and 15 September 1942. In spite of the limited combat experience of many of the pilots of this squadron, they achieved the notable record of a total of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed in this period, mainly attributable to the thorough training under Maj. Smith and to his intrepid and inspiring leadership.
His bold tactics and indomitable fighting spirit, and the valiant and zealous fortitude of the men of his command not only rendered the enemy’s attacks ineffective and costly to Japan, but contributed to the security of our advance base. His loyal and courageous devotion to duty sustains and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.” We raise them right in Oklahoma!
You should find time to drop by and visit the Hut. It is in stages of development and those changes are all positive. Things are moving around and there are new additions as well. One item to note are the flags and emblems placed to recognize the conflicts and commitment of our past all the way up to today. It is very impressive, but there are more changes to come.
So now we forge into the next community series of events I always look forward to; the Halloween Downtown Event, Veteran’s Day Events, and Christmas Day Parade (I know, I know its 93 degrees and I’m thinking about Christmas). Fall is my favorite time of the year!
Our regular meetings are the first and third Thursdays at 7:00 PM (21st of August!). An added plus is that quarterly the meeting will be a shared event with the Auxiliary (more details to follow, still waiting). Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for August are still up and running starting around 0700 till about 0900. Come by where we catch up on each other’s mischief and storytelling. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print!