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Military Home Page

Revolutionary War 1773-1783   ·   Civil War 1861-1865   ·   Spanish-Amer War 1898-1902       
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War Memorials

1950 « Korean War » 1953

June 25, 1950 – 4 a.m., Sunday morning, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Army (DPRK – North Korea) artillery and mortars open fire on Republic of Korea (ROK – South Korea) Army. At 11 a.m. North Korea announced a formal declaration of war
July 27, 1953
– cease-fire signed.
The United States, North Korea and China sign an armistice, which ends the war but fails to bring about a permanent peace.

Click on any menu icon or underlined link to find out more about a subject or individual.
Use the Search Our Site icon to find specific words or topics on the entire website.

Korean War Memorial Dedication – 2001

Soldiers names listed on the reverse side of the memorial
represent those who died from all of Van Buren County.

(click on the monument photo below to zoom in for enlargement.)

Korean War Memorial - Ely Park - Hartford MI-back view

Killed in Action Wounded in action POW/MIA
Died during active duty + Contracted disease-illness-disability during service

Ambrose, Peter

Arnsman, Delbert H.
US Air Force
b 10-14-1930      d 9-17-2003
Kalamazoo MI      Hartford MI
Age 72y, 11m, 5d
Buried at
Ft. Custer National Cemetery
Battle Creek MI

In service 1950 to 1954

From Kalamazoo MI
Hopkins High School
Class of 1949

Member of Hopkins VFW.

Resided in Hartford
from 2000 to 2003

Delbert is the father of
Delberta Arnsman Troutman,
wife of David Troutman,
who also served in the military.


Austin Sr., Vernon E.
US Navy
b 10-21-1933       d 6-9-2003
Grand Rapids MI      Watervliet MI
Age 69y, 7m, 16d

In service 19__ to 19__

Owned and operated Austin Welding Shop in Hartford for several years.


Peter Ambrose - US Army
US Army

In service 1948 to 1951
German, Japan, and Korea

HHS Class of 1947


  Becktold, John (Jack)
US Marines
b 7-24-1929      d 11-16-2009
Detroit MI          Mattawan MI
Age 80y, 3m, 25d
Ashes buried at
Ft Custer National Cemetery
Augusta MI

In Service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Peter & Henryetta (Cadow) Becktold

Married to
Mary Lou Becktold

He was the former proprietor of the A&W restaurant in Hartford during the 1960s and 1970s, and ultimately retired from DeGroot’s of Coloma MI

Last residence was Dundee FL.

John also served during the Korean War.


Besemer, Robert L.

US Army
Sgt. – E4 Co. F, 5th,
Cavalry Regiment (Inf)
1st Cavalry Division

In service 1947 to 1950
One of the 1st troops
sent into action.

Killed in Action – Hostile, died while missing 7-25-1950.
Silver Star awarded to family.
POW/MIA (Robert is still on the Missing List.)
Grave marker placed at Harris Cemetery in Riverside MI.
South Haven High School – Class of 19__

Note: Family was from the Covert, Coloma, Bangor and South Haven areas.
They are searching for anyone who knew Robert during his military service.
See brief details that are known through his sister, Rose Besemer Nichols
and her daughter, Karen Baker

Robert Besemer - US Army Korean War - MIA
b 10-22-1928      d 6-25-1950
Age 21y, 8m, 3d
Bisbee, Nyle Francis
U.S. Army
b 7-24-1935       d 10-4-2016
  Coloma MI       Watervliet MI
Age 81y, 2m, 14d
Buried at
Fairview Memorial Cemetery
Watervliet MI

Son O
Augustus and Iola (Burr) Bisbee

Married to
Anna Bisbee

Member of
Coloma American Legion Post 262

Nyle’s brother, Terry Bisbee, served in the
U.S. Army during the Vietnam era.

Blum, Allan
Allan Blum - Kor
US Navy
3rd Class Petty Officer

In service 1950 – 1954
USS Antietam Aircraft Carrier
USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier

Korean Medal with 3 Battle Stars

From Bangor MI
BHS Class of 1948

Resident of Lawrence for many years,
2002 – present a resident of Hartford

Bunn, Joe Garold
US Army
Joe Bunn d 5-27-2011
b 2-20-1933     d 5-27-2011
McKenzie TN      Belleview FL
Age 78

In Service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Charlie and Gladys Bunn

Married to
Janet Bunn

Resided in Hartford until 1991

Former owner of Joe’s Bar in Hartford.

Member of the Hartford American Legion.


Cheshire, Anthony Gerald "Jerry"
US Army
b 2-24-1933       d 3-1-2005
New Hope KY      Hartford MI
Age 72y, 6d
Buried at Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service 1952 to 1954

truck accident while on active duty.

Received Certificate of Special Tribute
from the People of Michigan, signed by
Governor John Engler in 2001
Special Commendation


Cheshire, James O.
US Army
b 3-20-1935      d 8-12-2006
New Hope KY      Neenah WI
Age 71y, 4m, 25d

In service 19__ to 19__

Served in 101st Airborne Division

HHS Class of 1953

Graduate of
Michigan Tech University
and University of Wisconsin

Worked 34 years for James River Technologies, Neenah WI, where he held 17 patents in the paper industry.

Last residence
Neenah WI


Clauser, Irving Allen
Irving Allen Clauser - USAF - Kor
US Air Force
Northeast Air Command
b 1-12-1935      d 2-13-2005
                              Hartford MI
Age 70y 1m 4d

From Benton Harbor High School
Benton Harbor MI

(Was known as the
Iron Horse,
who ran for the Benton Harbor Tigers)

Resided in Hartford

Served with the Van Buren Co. Mounted Div. and a member of the Marine Patrol.

Cross, Russell Fredrick
US Army
b 9-21-1931            d 3-4-2005
Benton Harbor MI      Kalamazoo MI
Age 72y, 5m, 14d

Retired Machinist from
Burlington Railroad in Illinois. Moved to Hartford and made donuts for Cross’ Patio Donut Shop since 1986.

Cunningham, Robert

Dale, James Clarence
Military Police
b 8-3-1930      d 9-4-2015
Keeler Twp MI      Decatur MI

Hartford High School
Class of 1949

In Service
19__ to 19__

Two of his duties were being an escort for
Bob Hope and Jane Russell.

Son of
Frank & Neca Green Dale

Married to
Hazel Morrison Dale

Employed by
Eliason Corporation for 38 years



Army Air Force
US Air Force
(9-1947 – Army Air Force name was changed and became known as the
US Air Force)
Glider Flight Training Admin.
Group C Headquarters
Staff Sergeant
b 8-29-1930       d 3-26-2006
Chicago IL      Kalamazoo MI

In service
Recalled to Active Duty

1947 – 1950

Stationed in Japan for 21 months.

Lived in Hartford 1970 – 2005.

Bob married Emilia (Aime) Bundesman, who was a graduate of HHS Class of 1956. Aime was also Librarian for the Hartford Public Library for 18 years.

Bob was a freelance journalist for the
Herald Palladium, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Kalamazoo Gazette, South Bend Tribune Newspapers for a number of years.


Bob Cunningham - Kor
Bob is in the pilot’s seat,
with his back toward the camera.

Bob Cunningham - Kor

Decker, Lloyd M.

Killed in Action

In service 19__ to 1951

HHS Class of 19__

Dewey, Frank L. Diebold, John

Frank Dewey - Kor
US Army
Rifleman, Infantry
Combat Engineer
b 1-13-1925      d 11-15-2009
Lakeside CA
Age 84y, 10m, 3d

In service 1949 to 1951

Served in Korea,
Camp Campbell KY,
101st Airborne Division
Ft Hood TX,
Drill Team
2nd Armored Division.

Korean Service Medal
» 3 Star Korean Battle Stars
» Rifle Marksman Medal

Like many Reservists, was married, wife expecting, and recalled to Korea. Worked 32 years for General Dynamics-Convair Aircraft Division, San Diego. Retired to Oregon on Rogue River for 17 years. Moved back to San Diego area near children after wife passing. Last resided in Lakeside, CA.

From HHS Class of 1944
Resided in Hartford from 1925-1943

Married to
Shirley Howe Dewey

Son of
Harold W. Dewey & Lola Lawer

Frank’s brother, Harold C. Dewey, served in the US Army Air Corp-Air Force during WW11 and sister, Lola Elaine Dewey, served in the Cadet Nurse corps in WW11.

Information and photo
submitted by Frank’s son,
Darrell Dewey, on 7/20/2003

U.S. Navy
Aircraft Mechanic, Managed Dirigibles
b 12-7-1931          d 1-29-2016
South Haven MI        Hartford MI
Age 84y, 1m, 24d

Bangor High School
Class of 1949
Bangor MI

In service
19__ to 19__

Served on the
USS Bennington
managed dirigibles
(Dirigible, also known as blimps,
is an airship that can be steered
and propelled through the air,
ex: Goodyear Blimp.)
Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey

Son of
William and Ella (Quinn) Diebold

Married Camilla Haight, was from the
Hartford High School Class of 1950.

Instrument Technician at
Watervliet Paper Company for 38 years.

Dyer, Robert

Dyer, William (Bill) Dyer

Robert Dyer - US Army - Kor War
US Army –
Finance Unit
40th Inf. Div – Korea
b 12-20-1930    d

In service 1952 to 1953

From Hartford MI
HHS Class of 1948

8-31-1990 – Retired from the U.S. Postal Service after just over 36 years. Twenty years as Superintendent of Postal Operations in St. Joseph MI and six years as Postmaster in Stevensville MI.

Robert is the great grandson
of Alfred D. Robinson, who
served with Birge’s Western Sharpshooter, Company D during the Civil War.
He is the brother of
William (Bill) Dyer who also
served in Korea.

William (Bill) Dyer - Kor War
US Army
Supply Sergeant – 1st Class
b 3-22-1928      d 11-26-2005
                            Hartford MI
Age 77y, 8m, 7d

In service 1950 to 1952

Ft Sill, OK and Camp Haugen, Japan

President of the HHS Class of 1946
Lifetime resident of Hartford

Active member of the wonderful and talented
group of musicians known as the
Hartford Alumni Band for many years.

Retired from Hartford Post Office in 1983 after 36 1/2 years of service
with 11 years as Post Master and 10 years as Assistant Post Master.

Bill is the great grandson of Alfred D. Robinson, who served with
Birge’s Western Sharpshooter, Company D during the Civil War.
He is the brother of Robert Dyer who also served in Korea.

Bill Dyer in Japan during Kor War

Bill made many contributions to the History of Hartford Military section. Much of the information shown on this website would not have been available so quickly (or at all) without his persistence and legwork. We are all enriched because of his dedication to the preservation of the History of Hartford.

Erskine, Robert (Bob) Bryon
US Navy
Gunner’s Mate – 2nd Class
b 12-9-1925      d 4-15-2001

In Service
1942 – 1947 WW11
(click here to see Bob’s Navy photo)
Kodiak, Alaska

1948 – 1952 Korean War
Pacific Ocean

Campaign and Services Awards

Resided in Hartford 1940-1942
from HHS Class of 1945
Did not graduate with class,
left school to enter service.

Falkner, Otto "George"
US Army
b 11-13-1932      d 5-28-2013
  Keeler MI         Hartford MI

Hartford High School
Class of 1950

Son of
John and Jenny Falkner

Patti Haar Falkner

George was a well-known Hartford farmer.

Frazier, Arthur Warren
Arthur Frazier d 5-21-2011
US Army
b 10-9-1934      d 5-21-2011
    Keeler MI    Eau Claire MI
Age 76y, 7m, 12d
Buried in Riverview Cemetery
St. Joseph MI

In service
19__ to 19__

Served in Germany.

Coloma High School
Class of 1952

Son of
Henry & Daisy (Monger) Frazier
He was raised by Ed and Sadie Jaffke

Married to
Janet Dasse Schmal Frazier

Arthur retired in 1995 after 30 years as a route salesman with Oven Fresh Bakeries, Grand Rapids.

Garner, Richard Edward
US Navy – Lieutenant
b 5-1-1929      d 11-24-2000
Chicago, IL       Tuscon AZ
Age 71y, 6m, 26d
Ashes buried at sea in Naval ceremony

In service
1946 to 1967

In early days of the space program, Richard served aboard the Aircraft Carrier, Kearsarge, which was assigned to recover the astronauts and space capsules.

Member of the Fleet Reserve Association in Green Valley AZ, serving 1 year as President.

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1946

Resided in Hartford until 1946



Getz Sr., Herbert F.
US Army
b 2-13-1933      d 6-17-2001
    Hartford MI     Weaverville NC
Age 68y, 4m, 4d
Buried at
Gus Ledord Cemetery
Bald Mountain NC

In Service
19__ to 19__

Son of
August & Marguerite Getz

Husband of
Mable Ledford Getz

Gratzle, Leo C.

Leo Gratzle - Kor War 1950-1953
US Army
Tank Crewman – Jeep Driver
40th Tank Battalion, 4th Division
d 8-5-2011
Lawrence MI
Age 83

In service 1950 – 1953

Served in Germany

HHS Class of 1944

Resided in Hartford 1927-1953
Hafer, Duane Ronald


Haight, Fred
Fred Haight d 9-28-2011
US Navy
b 4-5-1930      d 9-28-2011
Allegan MI             Ionia MI
Age 81y, 5m, 25d

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1949

Son of
Harold and Esther Haight

Married to
Nancy Peirce Haight HHS 1953

Fred’s brother, George Haight,
served in the US Air Force during WW11.

He started his own business, Fred Haight Insurance Agency, in 1965 and retired in 1992. Fred was an active member of the Ionia Masonic Blue Lodge for 60 years, serving as Worshipful Master five times.

Duane Hafer - Kor
USAF – Master Sergeant – Ret.
4 years – Air Force Active Duty
18 1/2 years – Air Force Reserves
and Air National Guard

b 3/22/1933
Coloma MI

In service
12-1951 to 3/22/1993

Awards and Medals

Served in
San Francisco CA, French Morocco Africa, San Antonio TX, Biloxi MS, Panama City FL.

From Benton Harbor MI
BHHS Class of 1951

Resided in Hartford-Keeler area since 1985.

Duane Hafer riding donkey in Morocco
Can’t be in Morocco
without riding a donkey.

Hampton, Jr John William
US Army – retired
Lieutenant Colonel
b 12-13-1914      d 5-4-2004
     Hartford MI      Gainesville FL
Age 89y, 4m, 24d

Married to
Meta Elizabeth Hampton

District Soil Conservationist for the USDA in North Florida for over 30 years and retired in 1978.

He enjoyed long-distance running. He competed in more than 40 marathons, including Marine Corps Marathons, London, and Pike’s Peak, which he ran at 81 years old.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of
World War II and the Korean War.

Hastings, Lawrence (Bud)
US Army – Corporal
b 1-19-1931      d 10-17-2007
         Hartford MI       Comstock Twp MI
Age 76y, 8m, 29d
Buried at
Ft Custer National Cemetery
Augusta MI

2nd Armored Division,
124th Armored Ordinance Battalion

In service
1-9-1952 to 12-13-1953

Stationed in Germany

HHS Class of 1950

Resided in Hartford 1931-1958

Son of Leon & Lillie (Ryan) Hastings

Married Norma J. VanDrasek

Retired from Auto Owners Ins. in 1996

Hunt, Frederick Hunt

US Army
b 3-9-1932         d 4-23-2018
Watervliet MI        Kalamazoo MI
Buried at
Fort Custer National Cemetery

Son of
Donald and Margaret (Wood) Hunt

Married to:
Pauline Weaver Hunt

Mearl was a member of the American Legion, McGowen Johnson Post 68 and
VFW Mc Kinley Wilson Hall. Post 2532.

Mearl ived in Hartford for 35 years.
Last resided in Paw Paw MI


Hathaway, Paul

Heinisch, Josef Paul

Hendricksen Waterkamp, Betty Jo

Paul Hathaway - US Air Force - Kor
US Air Force
b 4-28-1930      d 11-2-2000
Covert MI        Hartford MI
Age 70y, 6m, 8d
Buried at
Maple Hill cemetery
Hartford Michigan

In service 1951 to 1953

Honorable Discharge
requested by Auto Specialties
St. Joseph Plant.
Paul poured Nike Hercules
nose cones for US aircraft.

Member of the Hartford
Amer Legion Stoddard Post 93.

From Coloma MI
CHS class of 1948

Married to
Esther I. Hathaway

Lived in Hartford since 1960
until his death in 2000.

Josef Heinisch
US Air Force
b 6-18-1933      d 3-30-2011
Jabing Burgenland, Austria    St Joseph MI
Age 77y, 9m, 13d

In service
19__ to 19__

Served in Japan
(the Air Force moved the wounded
to Japan during the war)

From Chicago IL
Graduate of St. Rita High School

Son of
Francesca Heinisch
Frank Wederitsch

Married to
Rosemary Gustavson Heinisch

Member of
Hartford United Methodist Church

Retired from US Postal Service,
St Joseph MI, in 1996 after 31 years of service.

Resided in Hartford MI 1979-2011


US Army (WAC)
Dental Technician
b 2-9-1933          d 3-9-2008
     Clinton IA      Edwardsburg MI
Age 75y, 29d
Buried at
Ft. Custer National Cemetery
Augusta, MI

Served at
Brooke Army Hospital
Fort Sam Houston, TX
4th Army Headquarters

Daughter of
William E. Henriksen and Hazel I. Curl

Married to
Gary Waterkamp

Resided in Hartford in 1960s-1970s


Heuser, Kenneth A.
US Army

4th Tank Division
b 9-3-1930           d 3-31-2013
 Hartford MI         Kalamazoo MI
82y, 6m, 29d
Buried at
Ft. Custer National CemeteryFrom
HHS Class of 1949

In service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Eugene and Marjorie (Rush) Heuser
Pauline Heuser, Step Mother

Married to
Keda Springsteen Heuser

Prior to his retirement,
he worked for 18 years with Jim Gilmore Pontiac as a master salesman.


ldwell, Sherman H.

In service 19__ to 1950
Killed in Action 1950

HHS Class of 19_


Jensen, Ronald Lee
U.S. Army
b 8-13-1927             d 3-18-2014
Grand Rapids MI       Hartford MI
Age 86y, 7m, 6d
Buried in
Watervliet City Cemetery
Watervliet MI

In service
19__ to 19__

Attended Watervliet High School
Watervliet MI

Son of
John & Gladys Guinard Jensen

Married to
Carol Lee Schmidt-Jensen
Anita Jensen

Ron also served in the
U.S. Navy during WW2.

Member of the Hartford American Legion-Stoddard Post 93 and Hess Eastman Post 174 in Lawrence MI.

Owner of the first
Hartford Auto Repair in Hartford MI

  Wayne Thomas Jones
Specialist – U.S. Army
b  11-10-1935                 d 3-16-2016
Kennett MO                     Howell MI

1953 Hartford High School Graduate

In service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Lonnie Dee Jones, and
Buck and Frankie Oldham

Married to
Shirley Maxine Wallace Jones
HHS 1956

Owner of
Jones Auto B
Hartford MI


Keech, James H. (Jim)
James Keech USAF-Korea from Hartford MI
US. Air Force
Senior Clerk – 70270
Staff Sergeant

In service
2-4-1952 to 7-20-1956
Honorable Discharge
at Brooklyn AFB, NY

* 1953-1956 Hospital Squadron Duty Sergeant, USAF Hospital,
Tachikawa, Japan
* 1953 Records Sergeant on
flight line – 6407, Ardmore AFB, OK
* 1952-1953 Duty Sergeant in
a troop carrier squadron at
Memphis AFB, TN

Good Conduct Medal
* Korean Defense Service Medal
* United Nations Service Medal
* Japan Military Occupation Medal

HHS Class of 1951

Married to
Ruth Keillor Keech HHS 1956

Lived in Hartford 1938 to 1969
Resides in Keeler since 1960

Note: Had opportunity to play "service" football in a 12 team Japan Air Force Base League 1954, 1955. Was named to Air Force All Star team both years. AF All-Stars defeated Navy All-Stars AND Marine All-Stars at the end of the 1954 season (USAF 50…USN 48) in the Torii Bowl. Met USMC team in the Rice Bowl Jan. 1, 1955 and won 21-14. At the end of 1955 season, USAF team was defeated by USN team in the Torii Bowl 39-21. The defeat meant that our team would not play in the Rice Bowl.

Received a football scholarship to the University of Nevada upon discharge from the Air Force, but chronic back injury caused dropping out of football during
the fall of 1956.

Returned to Western Michigan University and matriculated as a Theatre Major and received a BA
in Education.


Jim’s brother, Richard also served in the U.S. Air Force


Keillor, James H. W.
US Air Force
b 12-19-1931     d 11-23-2006
Gonzales LA     Omaha NE
Age 74y, 11m, 7d

In service
19__ to 19__

From Hartford MI
HHS Class of 1950

Son of
Frank and Marie Keillor
Kidd, Gerald Morton
US Army – SSG
b 11/6/1935     d10/14/1989
Age 54y, 4m, 5d
Buried at
Ft Custer National Cemetery
Augusta MI
Plot: 9 0 826

Last residence: Hartford MI

Kimball, Howard L.

U.S. Army
2nd infantry, 38th regiment,
1st Battalion, B-Company
b 8-23-1929       d 9-27-2015
Benton Harbor MI      Watervliet MI

Attended Hartford High School until
at least 9th grade. Graduate of
Watervliet High School, Watervliet MI

Son of
SB and Anna (Ryan) Kimball

In Service
He was one of five out of 205 men in Company B to survive an attack at Yalu River Chosen Reservoir.

Married to
Elsie Laura Spillers Kimball

Koch, Kenneth Clayton

U.S. Air Force
b 9-16-1931                                  d 9-11-2016
     Detroit MI  ?                              Lawrenceburg TN
Son of
Clayton and Linnie Koch

Married to
Luretta Koch

      For many years they would buy houses fix them up and sell them. He was a do-it yourself person and could fix anything.
     He was an avid sportsman, camping, traveling, riding motorcycles, remodeling houses and loved sitting in the sun. 

Retired to and lived in Lawrenceburg TN for 24 years.



Kucsera, Anton J.
b 1930      d 1953

Killed in Action
23 years old

From Decatur MI

Class of 19__



Lichnerowicz, William Joseph

William Joseph Lichnerowicz - Kor
US Army
Military Police – Corporal
b 12-10-1931        d 8-3-2007
South Bend IN     St. Joseph MI
Age 75y, 7m, 24d

In service
1950 – 1953

Served at
» Debar Station for overseas
to Koydo Island, which held
Korean prisoners of war

Camp Stoneman of Cal. Port of Inbar
Camp Gordon, GA MP Training
» Ft Riley KS

Awards and Medals
Korean Service Meal
» National Defense Service Medal

» United Nations Medal
» Sharp Shooters Medal – 45 Pistol
» Good Conduct Medal

The reason the Military Police from the United States were sent to Koydo Island
was because a United States General was captured while inspecting an encloser on the island where the Korean Prisoners were held. This prompted combat Military Police to reinforce the island.

From South Bend, IN
Measle High School

Lifetime member of
Benton Harbor VFW Post 1137
Member of Coloma Legion Post 362
Past Commander of the
Hartford American Legion Post 93

Retired as a Supervisor from Modern Plastics
in 1997 after 40 years of service.

Son of
Edward and Helen (Kujava) Lichnerowicz

Married to
Claudine Joan (Miston) Lichnerowicz

Resided in Hartford 1973 to 2007
Long Jr., Charles Sylvester
US Army
b 9-24-1924             d 5-15-2010
New Madrid MO          Keeler MI
Age 85y 7m 21d
Buried in
Keeler Cemetery
Hartford MI

Wounded in Action

In service
19__ to 19__
Served 30 years.

Son of
Charles & Delia (Shirkey) Long Sr.

Married to
Wanda Lee Teeters Long


Charles retired from
Sundstrand of Dowagiac in 1989.

Last residence
Keeler MI

Charles also served in the
US Army during WW11



Marbury, Ben
Ben Marbury
US Army
25th Inf. Div

In service 1952-1955

From HHS Class of 1953
Did not graduate with class,
left school to enter service.


McCowen, Alfred (Gene)
US Navy
Radar Operator 2C
2nd Class Petty Officer

In service
1943 to 1945 (WW 11)
and 1951 to 1952
(Korean War)

USS Bunker Hill Cv17
USS Markab AD 21

From Keeler MI

Dowagiac High School
Class of 1941


McGowan, Jr. Donald

Killed in Action
Died while captured

In service 19__ to 1951

HHS Class of 19__

Normington, Ross L.
US Air force
b 1931 d 1951

Killed in Action
Non-hostile, died
illness or injury
20 years old
from Bangor MI

BHS Class of 1950


Parascandolo, Dominic (Mickey)

Paulus, John
US Army

In service 19__ to 19__

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1951

US Army – Sergeant
Infantry Radio Repairman
Communication Platoon Sgt,
HQ Co., 3rd Bat
109th Regiment, 28th Div.
Stationed in
Augsburg, Germany

Photo taken at
Camp Atterbury, Indiana
during training.

Served in Germany as part of
the occupation forces during
the Korean War.

In service 10-1950 to 9-1952

Born 3-13-1928
Lived in Hartford
1933-1949 (on and off) and attended
Hartford schools in 1st-3rd grades.

From BHS Class of 1944
Brooklyn NY

2002 – Resides in Queens NY

Dominic is the brother of
Jerry Parascandolo, who served
during WW11

Peninger, Thurman G.
Thurman Peninger d 12-19-2011
US Air Force
b 2-14-1935      d 12-19-2011
    McCoy AR          Bushnell FL
Age 76y, 10m, 5d
Florida National Cemetery
Bushnell, FL.

From Hartford
Attended HHS until 1952

In service
1952 to 19__

Son of
Ralph and Rowena (Hedden) Peninger.

Married to
Claudia H. Peninger

Retired Truck Driver


Phillips, Darrell Neil

Darrell Neil Phillips - Kor
US Army
National Guard
b 5/22/32      d 11/6/2003
Glouster OH      Hartford MI
Age 71y, 5m, 16d

Hartford MI

Son of
Loren and Ida (Jewell) Phillips

Married to
Charlotte Phillips

Darrell retired from farming in 1996. He was a former police officer for Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.


Pomeroy, Kenneth Davis

Quigno, Joseph M.

Kenneth Pomeroy - Kor War
US Navy
Storekeeper (SK) – E4
b 4-27-1927      d 6-8-1974
Hartford MI      Hartford MI
Age 47y, 1m, 13d
Buried at
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service
4-25-1945 to 7-18-1946 – WW11
6-20-1951 to 9-27-1956 – Korean War

Served in Guam
Served on the USS New Jersey

Medals and Awards
Victory Ribbon WW11
» Asiatic Pacific Ribbon
Good Conduct Medal

From Hartford MI
Class of 1944

Kenneth’s daughter, Mary Pomeroy,
served in the US Navy-Reserves.

6-2005 – Information and photo
submitted by his wife,
Margaret A. Pomeroy


Joseph M. Quigno - Korea
US Army
Military Police PFC (T) 20
800th MP Co Cp Kil Mar N J
b 12-15-1929      d 9-10-2007
Hartford Twp MI    Paw Paw MI
Buried in
Wildley Cemetery
Paw Paw MI

In service
12-16-1953 to 12-6-1955

Served in
9 mo,15 days of foreign service.

National Defense Service Medal

Hartford MI (1st 5 years of life)
Moved to Paw Paw MI in about 1935
Paw Paw HS 1949 grad.

Son of
Joseph & Lillian Day Quigno

Married to:
Darlene Boniface Quigno
Jane Scott-Jarvis Quigno

Joseph was a former member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indiana Tribal Council.

Joseph’s grandfather, Mike Quigno, was Pottawattamie tribal chief from the early 1900s to 1920s. His grandmother, Julia Pokagon Quigno was the grand daughter of Chief Simon Pokagon.

Photo provided by Jane Quigno.

*NOTE: Joseph’s birthplace is unclear and is shown as Hartford Township, Watervliet, and Covert in different publications. His parents had lived in Toquin, which borders all 3 communities.

Rhinehart, Sr., Richard A. (Ret.)

Rhinehart, William Stewart

US Army – Major

In service 1948-1971

Served in:
Ft. Sill OK; Aschaffenburg Germany;
Ft Carson CO; Michigan State Univ
E. Lansing MI; Ft. Benjamin Harrison IN; Landshut Germany; Munich Germany; Heidelberg Germany; Mannheim Germany; Korea; Worms Germany; Ft Leonardwood MO

Awards and Medals
Bronze Star Medal
» Joint Services Commendation
» Army Commendation
» Korean Service Medal
» Republic of Vietnam
» Navy Unit Commendation
» Meritorious Service Medal

From Hartford MI
HHS Class of 1948

Resided in Hartford 1931-1948

Red Dragon
The Second Round
Faces of War 11

A collection of Veteran narratives
(including that of Richard A. Rhinehart)
in remembrance of the gallant men
and women who fought that war
(Korea) and as a lasting testament to
the valiant men who gave their lives
to the cause of democracy.

Harvey Rhinehart, Richard’s father,
served during WW11.

b 4-29-1931

Lt. Col. Harold Beaty presenting
Rich Rhinehart (M/Sgt) Bronze Medal
in Korea 1953-54

Infantry Man
Combat Engineer
Assistant Adjutant General
Postal Officer
Company Commander
Battalion Commander
ROTC Instructor at MSU
185th Engineer Bn
1169th Engineer Group X Corps Sector

Richard’s military career also
included the Vietnam War era.

2005 Update
Retired and residing in Arizona

William Stewart Rhinehart - US Army - Kor
US Army – Cpl (T) RA CE
Co. E Sh Bn 370 FA SR
b 11-9-1932      d 2-23-2004
Hartford MI      So. Haven MI
Age 71y, 3m, 15d

In service
1-24-1951 Detroit MI
to 1-23-1954 Camp Carson CO
Honorable Discharge

Awards and Medals
National Defense Service Medal
» Good Conduct Medal

Served at
Ft. Davis, Panama Canal Zone

HHS Class of 19__

Son of
Victor and Mary Jones Rhinehart

Married to
Melba Allen Rhinehart

Last residence was
Bitely MI

His brothers, Jack, James, and Bob
served during WW11.

Photo submitted by his sister,
Betty Rhinehart Bulat Edmonds.

Information submitted by his daughter,
Vickie Rhinehart Loomis.


Riley, Thomas Edward
US Army
b 1929        d 11-29-2006
Chicago IL    Hobe Sound FL
Age 77
Buried in
S. Florida National Cemetery
Boynton Beach FL

Served 19__ to 19__

Hartford Twp Zoning Admin
Van Buren County Sheriff Dept
Chicago Police department

Resided in Hartford 1966 – 2001

Robinson, Glen Richard
b 5-24-1929      11-30-2014
Hartford MI      Hartford MI
Age 85y, 6m, 9d

In service
19__ to 19__

Married to
Marjorie Robinson

Retired from Auto Specialties, Seventrees of Benton Harbor.

Served as a police officer with the City of Hartford, and as a janitor with Hartford Public Schools.


Robinson, John A.
US Army
b 11-11-1932      d 6-29-2009
Paw Paw MI          Scott WI
Age 76y, 7m, 18d

In service

From Hartford MI
HHS Class of 1950

Son of
Glen & Della Robinson

Married to
Shara Robinson

Real Estate Developer in
Southwest Michigan for several years.




Root, Donald Charles

US Air Force
Airman 2nd Class
Senior Crew Chief on a B29
52nd Air Rescue Squadron
(specifically trained in
air and sea rescue)
b 10-26-1930      d 8-23-2000
Hartford MI     Kalamazoo MI
Age 69y, 9m, 30d

Buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery
Paw Paw MI

In service
1-31-1951 to 8-18-1954

Served at
▪ Harmon AFB,
Stephensville, Newfoundland
▪ Sheppard AFB, Texas

Awards and Medals
National Defense Service Medal
» Good Conduct Medal

On the Air Force World – Wide Softball Championship Team of 1953 played at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas (believe he was the pitcher). His team represented the Northeast Overseas Sports Conference from Harmon Air Force Base of the Northeast Air Command.

Resided in Hartford 1930 to 1960
From HHS Class of 1948

Don met and married Cecilia Alexander from Stephensville, Newfoundland. They lived in Hartford from 1954 to 1960 and finally settled in Paw Paw, Michigan, where they lived until Don passed away in 2000. They owned and operated the Lawrence Hardware in Lawrence for many years. They raised six children who all completed college and have successful careers.

Don’s great-grandfather,
Reuben Root, Jr, served
during the Civil War.

5-20-2004 – Information submitted by his sister, Carol Root Woodward, who is from HHS Class of 1955.

Roper, Pete
US Army
b 29 Jul 1934      d 5-3-2008
                                 Satellite Beach FL
Age 73
Buried in
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

Graduated from
Western Michigan University

Past Commander and member of the
American Legion Stoddard Post 93
Hartford MI

Retired from
Watervliet Paper Co., Watervliet MI

Pete is survived by his wife, Janice; his children Pamela Genovese of Paw Paw, Scott Roper and David (Marcia) Roper of Hartford; stepdaughters Carri Rhinehart, and Irene Bennett.

Pete was preceded in death by a daughter, Theresa Roper his wife of 30 years, Wilma (Janet) Rhinehart Roper in 2000, his parents, and all of his brothers and a sister.


Rosenthal, Rudolph Samuel
US Army
b 8-31-1931              d 11-29-2004
Chickaming Twp MI    Watervliet MI
Age 73y, 3m, 1d
Ashes buried in Watervliet Cemetery
Watervliet MI

In service 19__ to 19__

Awards and Medals
Korean Service Medal
with 2 bronze stars

Last residence – Hartford MI


Rowley, Arden
US Army
b 12-22/1930         d 5-13-2002
Benton Harbor MI      St Joseph MI
Age 71y, 4m, 22d
Buried in
North Shore Memory Gardens
Hagar Shores MI

In service
19__ to 19__

from Hartford MI
HHS Class of 1949

Son of
Arthur and Lillian (Tetlock) Rowley

Married to
Roberta Rowley


Ruggio, Jr., John V.

Selters, Gerald Lee "Jerry"

Schaner, Bernard "Bernie" Leo

John V. Ruggio Jr. - Kor 1950-1952
US Army – Cpl
Ordinance Department – Cpl

In service
1952-1958 Reserves
1950-1952 Active Duty

Stationed in Germany

Resided in Hartford since 1940

HHS Class of 1946

US Army
b 8-8-1922          d 5-11-2007
Watervliet MI      Battle Creek MI
VA Medical Center
Age 84y, 9m, 4d
Buried at
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service 19__ to 19__

Resided in Hartford

Son of Harold and Grace (Frazee) Selters.
Married Ruth Kime Selters

Owned his own painting business for 32 years and worked at Hartford Public Schools.

US Navy
b 2-22-1931      d 8-22-2009
      Hart MI          Umatilla FL
Age 78y, 6m, 1d

In service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Leo & Leona Schaner

Married to
Margaret Schaner,
Alice Hoffman-Schaner

Member of

Retired from
Consumers Power after 32 years of service.



Shafer, Tracy E.

Tracy Shafer - KorWar 1949 from Hartford MI
US Army
Infantryman – Pfc 1st Class
86th Inf, 10th Div
35th Inf, 25th Div
b Aug 7, 1932      d Feb 15, 1993
Hartford MI           Hartford MI
Age 60y, 6m, 11d
Buried at
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI
Lot 29, Sect 4

In service
Nov 1949 – Nov 1952

Served in
Ft Riley, Kansas
Camp McGill, Japan
Ft Custer, Michigan

Wounded in action
(on his 18th birthday)

Tracy Shafer, age 18, in Korea 1950

Awards and Medals
Korean Service Medal
with 3 bronze stars
» Combat Infantryman Badge
» Good Conduct Medal
» Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
» National Defense Medal
» United Nations Service Medal

Purple Heart with Oak Leaf

Son of
Harold and Dorothy Shafer

Married to
Gwen Jensen Shafer

Resided in
Hartford MI 1932-1993

Information provided by his son, Daniel Shafer, who served in the US Marines 1975-1979


Sikes, Joe R.

Sine, Bert Francis



Joe R. Sikes
US Navy
b 9-6-1926         d 6-19-2006
     Keiser AR      Berrien Springs MI
Age 79y, 9m, 14d
Buried in
Coloma Cemetery
Coloma MI

From Hartford MI

Member of the
» Hartford American Legion
Stoddard Post 93
» Hartford VFW Post

Also served during WW11.

Former District Manager of
Neils Automotive, Hartford MI


Bert Francis Sine - W2
US Navy
PFC 1st Class
Tractor Equipment Operator
Machinist Mate USNR
b 2-24-1928        d 4-26-2004
Chicago IL      Merrillville IN
Age 76y, 2m, 3d
Buried in Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In Service
5-11-1950 to 5-16-1951

4-5-1945 to 5-6-1946
during WW11
Great Lakes IL
USNCTC Davisville RI
64th NBC
24th NBC

Awards and Medals
American Area Ribbon
» WW11 Victory Ribbon
» Asiatic Pacific Area Ribbon
» Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Resided in Hartford 1991 to 2004

Photo and information provided by his wife, Theresa Kozlowski Sine

Sloane, Rodney Edward
US Navy
b 1-19-1932      d 1-14-2012
Chicago IL        Bangor MI
Age 79y, 11m, 27d
Buried in
Ft. Custer National Cemetery
Augusta MI

In service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Charles & Ruth (Stiff) Sloane



Smith, James

Smithley, Edward I.

Snider Sr., Ben Thomas

US Army – Corporal
82nd Airborne Hq Battery
456 AB Field Artillery Battalion

In service
1952 to 1954

Stationed in Yucca Flats NV

Had 18 jumps as a paratrooper.
Witness A-bomb test.

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1951

Hartford’s Chief of Police
for several years

US Army – Pvt.
MP and Infantry

Killed in Action
when a front line bunker collapsed as heavy rains weakened the supports. Ed died as he lay sleeping and the heavy sandbags came down upon him.

In service 1950 to 1952

HHS Class of 19__
From Hartford MI


The Hartford Day Spring
August 7, 1952

Roof Kills
Hartford GI in Korea

Pvt. Edward Smithley, 20, in Army Two Years, Victim of Mishap at Battlefront

Word was received here this week of the death of Pvt. Edward Smithley in an accident in Korea on July 29. He is the first Hartford soldier to lose his life while serving in the Korean war.
According to a telegram from the War department received by Pvt. Smithley’s wife, the former Mary Lou Robinson, he was killed when sandbags on a roof of a front-line bunker in which he was sleeping fell on him. Excessive rain had made the sandbags too heavy for the roof supports, the telegram said. It was not reported whether there were any other soldiers in the bunker with Smithley.
Pvt. Smithley was 20 years old and had been, in the army just a few days less than two years. He was a military policeman in Korea but recently was transferred to the infantry and was in the front lines at the time of his death. He had been overseas since February, 1951.
Smithley had attended Hartford high school and entered the army Aug. 2, 1950. He was married Aug. 12, 1951. His wife is making her home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Myrl Robinson.
Pvt. Smithley is survived by his wife, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Smithley, and several brothers and sisters, Mrs. Almiron (Bud) Robinson, Tony, Roy, Peg, James and Jan, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Harold, Marion, Ind.
The telegram which Mrs. Smithley received from Washington said that a letter of more detailed explanation would follow. Possible arrangements to return the body to Hartford are awaiting receipt of the letter.

d 1-3-2005 Age 70
Morristown TN
Buried at
E. Tennessee Veterans Cemetery
Knoxville TN


Sommerfeldt, Dennis

In service
19__ to 19__

Benton Harbor MI

Graduated from
Benton Harbor High School

Joyce (Weber) Sommerfeldt

1993 – Retired from Burnette Foods
1995 – Retired from farming

Resides in Hartford

Stair, Roy Eual
US Army
b 1-15-1931        d 5-19-2003
  Drasco AR      Kalamazoo MI
Age 72y, 4m, 4d
Buried in Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service

Resided in Hartford. Employed for Whirlpool Corporation until his stroke in 1984.
Wife, Barbara, lovingly cared for Roy for
19 years after his stroke until his death in 2003. Roy and Barbara were loving parents
Malinda Gargus, Jeronda Risenhoover,
and Scott Stair.
Swinford, Duane
US Marine Corp
b d 7/15/1950

In service
19__ to 1950

Killed in Action
Remains never recovered.

Son of

Married to
Juanita Buss Swinford

Last residence:
Government archives show Home of Record as Watervliet MI

Duane’s brother, Robert Swinford, was also Killed in Action during WW11.



Swisher, Arthur
Arthur Swisher 1948-52 Kor
US Army
Staff Sergeant
Weapons Site Setter

In service
1948-1950 Korea (Army)
1942-1946 WW11 (Navy)

Served in
Nuremburg Germany

Medals and Awards
11 Battle Stars
» 2 Liberation

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1944
  Taylor, Verl A. (Pete) Teeters, Billy Eugene
US Army

b 10-16-1936      d 3-5-2006
   Lilbourn MO      St Joseph MI
Age 69y, 4m, 20d
Buried in
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service 19__ to 19__

Owned Teeters Recreation in Hartford

Member of Keeler Baptist Church

Son of
John & Nellie (Adamson) Teeters

Husband of Margaret Teeters.

Last residence was Hartford MI.


US Air Force – Pilot – MAJ.
b 5-5-1921      d 2-22-1992
Age 70y, 9m, 21d
Buried 05/18/1992 at
Ft. Custer National Cemetery,
Augusta MI
Plot: 2 0 77

In service 19__ to 19__

21-year Air Force veteran.
Awarded the
Distinguished Flying Cross
in Korea.

Born in Hartford MI

Married to
Arline Conkey Taylor (HHS 1940)

Verl is the Great-Great Grandson of
Henry Hartman, who served during the Civil War. Henry was Hartford’s last
Civil War soldier.

Verl’s son-in-law, David Cade, served in the US Army during Vietnam.

Photo submitted by
Bick Beckwith

    Waterkamp, Gary
US Army
4th Army Headquarters

In service
19__ to 19__

Superintendent of
Hartford Public School
from 1965-1970s

Married to
Betty Jo Hendricksen Waterkamp,
who also served during the Korean War.

Resided in Hartford during 1960s & 1970s
Wesaw Jr., John Levi Wesaw, Samuel Joseph Winans, Eugene (Gene) V.
John Levi Wesaw Jr. - HHS 1951
US Army – Corporal
    b 9-23-1931                d 2-15-2004
Silver Creek Twp MI         Hartford MI
Age 72y, 4m, 25d
Buried in
Rush Lake Indian Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service
19__ to 19__

From HHS Class of 1951

Lifetime resident of Hartford MI

Son of
John and Julia M. (Alexis) Wesaw Sr.

John served as an
elder in the
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Last residence was Hartford MI

January, 2008 – Information submitted by his granddaughter, Nicole Ann Johnson.


Samuel J Wesaw
US Navy
b 8-23-1930      d 2-7-2008
     Toquin MI      Kalamazoo MI
Age 77y, 5m, 17d
Buried in
Rush Lake Indian Cemetery
Hartford MI

In service
19__ to 19__
Wounded in action

Awards and Medals
» Purple Heart

From Hartford
HHS Class of 1950

Son of
John and Julia M. (Alexis) Wesaw Sr.

Retired from Watervliet Paper Co.,
Watervliet MI

Tribal Elder of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians,
2nd generation Tribal Council Member

Last residence was Hartford MI

Eugene Winans d 7-10-2010
US Army
5th Regimental Combat Team
b 12/2/1932      d
   Sodus MI      Watervliet MI
Age 77y, 7m, 8d
Buried at
North Shore Memory Gardens
Hagar Shore MI

In service
19__ to 19__

Son of
Fred and Loretta (Parshall) Winans

Married to
Mary Jo Dienes Winans

Gene worked as a welder for Clark Equipment and B&B Trucking for many years.


Wire, Robert Witt, Logan Woodward, Donald Eugene

Robert John Wire - Kor War
US Air Force
Flight Engineer – Sgt
b 12-15-1930          8-14-2005
Niles MI         Palm Dessert CA
Age 74y, 8m, 1d
Buried at
Riverside National Cemetery
Riverside CA

In service 1950 to 1954

Served in Kimpo K14 Korea

Awards and Medals
» U.S. Korean Service
» U.N. Korean Service
» Korean Defense Commemorative
» Good Conduct Medal
» Korean National Defense Service
» Korean Presidential Citation
» Korean Service

HHS Class of 1950

(attended Thomas School and
Hartford High School)

Married Betty Rogers Wire HHS 1948

Resided in Hartford 1935 to 1950

Retired from Ventura CA Police Dept. after 26 years of service and moved to Palm Desert for the golf. He was a consultant and wrote the codes for a new city, Cathedral City CA, becoming Code Enforcement Officer for 3 years. As a golf pro, he was employed by Indian Wells Country Club in Palm Desert
for 4 more years.

Logan Witt - Kor War
US Army
Military Police – 503rd
Private 1st Class
b 9-17-1926      d 7-30-2005
   Rosamond IL    South Haven MI
Age 78y, 10m, 14d
Buried in
Maple Hill Cemetery
Hartford MI

In Service 1950 – 1952

HHS Class of 1944
From Hartford MI

Livestock Farmer and 42 years as a Professional Auctioneer

Held memberships in
The Hartford Federated Church
Gideon’s International
Michigan Auctioneer’s Association
National Auctioneer’s Association

Resided in Hartford most of his life.

Son of
Howard and Grace (Bailey) Witt

US Army – Pfc.
Co A Engineering Battalion, BN – Combat
HQ/HQ 8th Engineering – Inf. Div.
Heavy Equipment Operator
b 10-23-1933      d 1-13-2005
Watervliet MI       Hartford MI
Age 71y, 2m, 23d

In service
1958 to 2-1-1962 Reserves
1956 to 1958 Active Duty

Served in
Discharged at Ft. Sheridan IL
Basic Training at Ft. Leonardwood MO

Served in Korea building and repairing roads and bridges in the demilitarized zone during the peace talks.

From HHS Class of 1951
Attended Watervliet, Fennville,
and Hartford Public Schools.

2005 Update
Returned to Hartford after discharge from service, where he had a career in the trucking and concrete business until his retirement in 1995. He was an active member of his community, serving with the Hartford Fire Department and Ambulance service for 25 years. He resided in Hartford until his death from cancer in January, 2005.

Photo and information submitted by his wife, Carol Root Woodward (HHS 1955)

Korean War Medal

If you haven’t received your Korean War Medal,
left click your mouse on the medal above to download a form with
instructions on how you can get the long-overdue medal you earned.


This site will change when names and photos become available. Check back often for updates.
Please email the
with information about anyone who served in the military
and lived in Hartford or Keeler at any time during their life.

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials – many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum. Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction. Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster.

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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright © 2000 – All rights reserved.

Revised: May 27, 2015