Categotry Archives: Military

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Kenneth Matz

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Categories: Military

Kenneth Edward Matz Sr., a former Coast Guard officer who once rescued hundreds of people from a burning cruise ship, died on Aug. 12 of a heart attack. He was 62.
Matz spent 26 years serving in the Coast Guard, where he specialized in fire rescue. On Oct. 4, 1980, when the cruise ship, “Prinsendam” caught fire over 100 miles off the coast of Alaska, Matz was lowered from a helicopter to the stern of the boat to direct its evacuation. Once the 524 passengers and crew were shepherded onto lifeboats and inflatable rafts, Matz directed the fire-fighting efforts. The ship sank, but no one died.
Matz received many honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

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Marion Hargrove

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Categories: Hollywood, Military, Writers/Editors

Marion Lawton Hargrove, Jr., a screenwriter and best-selling author, died on Aug. 23 from complications of pneumonia. He was 83.

Hargrove was working as a features editor at the Charlotte News during World War II when he was drafted into the Army. The luckless private chronicled his basic training experiences at Fort Bragg, N.C., in a series of humorous columns for his hometown newspaper. His stories were then collected into the book, “See Here, Private Hargrove!” which sold more than 2.6 million copies, hit number one on the best-seller list and became a feature film, starring Robert Walker, Sr. and Donna Reed.

After his time in the service ended, Hargrove spent three years traveling through Asia as a staff writer for the GI publication, Yank. When he returned to the states, he moved to Hollywood and wrote nine screenplays and more than a dozen scripts for TV shows like “The Waltons,” “I Spy,” and “Fantasy Island.” He also penned a film adaptation of ”The Music Man,” which won a Writers Guild Screenplay Award.

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Raymond Davis

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Categories: Military

Raymond Gilbert Davis, a decorated war hero and retired Marine general, died on Sept. 3 of a heart attack. He was 88.
Davis graduated from Georgia Tech in 1938 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He joined the Marine Corps during World War II and fought in Guadalcanal and in the Peleliu Islands campaign. For his service and bravery, he was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. When he returned to the states, Davis worked as the chief of the infantry station at the Marine Air-Infantry School in Quantico.
As a lieutenant colonel in the Korean War, Davis commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines on the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. Ordered to hold a key mountain pass and relieve a rifle company, Davis led his men through eight miles of icy pathways in freezing temperatures. For accomplishing his mission, he received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman, two Silver Star Medals, a Legion of Merit with Combat V and the Bronze Star.
From 1968-1969, Davis was in the thick of the battle as the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. His efforts brought him more honors, including a second Legion of Merit and three personal decorations from the Vietnamese government.
After 33 years in the service, Davis retired in 1972 and lead the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. In May, he was nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award recognizing exceptional meritorious service.

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Warren Rogers

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Categories: Media, Military, Writers/Editors

Warren Joseph Rogers Jr., an author and political reporter, died on Aug. 31 from a perforated ulcer. He was 81.
Rogers joined the U.S. Marine Corps to serve at Guadalcanal and Tulagi during World War II. When he returned to the states, he landed his first journalism job working as a copy boy for the New Orleans Morning Tribune. Within two years, he was hired to cover Louisiana politics as a correspondent for the Associated Press.
He joined the Washington bureau of the New York Herald Tribune in 1959, became bureau chief for Hearst in 1963, then was named Washington Editor for Look Magazine in 1966. During his time in the capital, Rogers covered the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights movement, the White House and the McCarthy hearings. His 10 trips to Vietnam earned him an Overseas Press Club of New York Citation for best reporting and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In the 1970s, Rogers wrote the political column, “Countdown,” for the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate.
A die-hard newshound, Rogers was the former president of the National Press Club and a member of the Gridiron Club. He was also the author of five historical books, including “When I Think of Bobby: A Personal Memoir of the Kennedy Years.”

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Bill Creech

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Categories: Military

bcreech.jpgWilbur L. “Bill” Creech, a retired four-star general, died on Aug. 26. Cause of death was not released. He was 76.
Creech received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland, and a master’s in international relations at George Washington University. After he earned his wings in 1949, Creech was assigned with the 51st Fighter Wing at Naha, Okinawa. As a combat pilot in Korea and Vietnam, Creech flew 280 missions and was decorated 39 times, including 22 awards for bravery in combat.
Trained to fly more than 40 types of aircraft, Creech joined the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team, also known as the Thunderbirds, in the 1950s and flew over 100 demonstrations in the U.S. and South America. He later earned the nickname, “Father of the Thunderbirds,” for his work in rescuing the team from congressional budget cuts.
In 1968, Creech was sent to Vietnam to work as the deputy commander for operations of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phu Cat Air Base. He became commander of the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia in the 1970s, where he oversaw the development of A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, the F-15E night fighter and the Stealth fighter. He received the rank of general in 1978.
After retiring from the service, Creech moved to Nevada, built a management advisory company, served as a consultant for General Electric, IBM and Johnson & Johnson, and published the book, “The Five Pillars of TQM: How to Make Total Quality Management Work for You.”
“No single officer has had greater influence on the Air Force in recent times than Gen. Bill Creech. He transformed the way the Air Force conducts warfare,” Gen. John P. Jumper, chief of staff of the Air Force, said.

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