War monument to honor Clovis heroes

Four pillars honoring Curry County residents known to have died in war will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Monday at Clovis-Carver Public Library. (CNJ staff photo Eric Kluth)

By Darrell Todd Maurina

In most years, Clovis veterans gather at a local cemetery for Memorial Day services honoring deceased veterans. This year will be different, as the Clovis Joint Veterans Council dedicates a new addition to an existing veterans memorial at the Clovis-Carver Public Library. The memorial lists Curry County residents known to have died in wars since 1916.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Monday and include families of eight deceased veterans from four different wars describing the sacrifices of their relatives, including two people for whom local veterans organizations were named. The master of ceremonies will be Senior Master Sgt. James Stewart of Cannon Air Force Base with additional participants from Clovis High School and Cannon.

Jim Cowman of the Clovis Joint Veterans Council said members of the local veterans community are proud they were able to complete the project with donated funds and no tax dollars.

“The Veterans Council grabbed it and got the thing done and did it with our own money,” Cowman said. “There are no state or city funds used, it is all veterans and friends of veterans.”

The cost was $6,500 to purchase the six stones on which 170 names have been engraved and the bases used to mount the stones. However, much of the labor was donated: Glaze Monument didn’t charge the Veterans Council for the engraving costs which would have run between $20,000 and $27,000 if billed at commercial rates, and the crane operators who installed the monuments did so for free, organizers said.

One veteran’s name must still be added to the memorial roster.

While installing the monument, crane operator Jady Bell discovered something unexpected. A friend of his father had died in the Korean War but as much as Jady Bell tried, he couldn’t locate the name of Harold Ware.

“My dad was in the Army and was friends with this man’s brother,” Jady Bell said. “He called me while we were setting these stones and asked me if Harold Ware was on there. I went over to look, and it wasn’t.”

Bell’s efforts attracted the attention of Veterans Council members on hand for the installation, including Cowman.
“Jim Cowman saw me and one of the boys helping me, and he asked if there was a problem,” Bell said. “Immediately he was very intent and wanted to know everything I knew. My dad talked to him, passed him on to the relatives, and the minute I mentioned there possibly could be a name on there, he was right on top of it. He is very dedicated to making sure all the boys who died are on it.”

Cowman said an error in military records led to Ware not being properly listed as a Curry County veteran, and his name will be added to the monument in spaces left for that purpose.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3015 is named after two men killed in action including World War I veteran Charles Ledbetter, one of the earliest Curry County war dead. Two of Ledbetter’s relatives will speak at Monday’s ceremony, and the VFW post commander said he’s looking forward to the event.

“Memorial Day means remembering the veterans who have given their service so we have the freedoms we enjoy,” said Post Commander Dale Huft. “If it weren’t for them, who knows where we would be?”

Huft said a picture of Ledbetter is displayed in the Post 3015 building along with a biography noting that Ledbetter was killed four days before the signing of the armistice that ended the war. His body was transferred back to the United States several years later and buried in Mission Garden of Memories Cemetery on Aug. 13, 1921.

“I don’t know why (the post founders) personally picked him, but I believe they just wanted to honor him,” Huft said. “We’ll be out there putting the flags on the graves Sunday morning, including his grave.”
Clovis’ Fallen Heroes

The following military personnel from Curry County were killed or declared missing in action during wartime. Please contact Veterans Council member Jim Cowman at 762-3066 with any corrections, additions or questions.

1916 Punitive Expedition
Everett Fitzhugh

World War I
William Galloway
Glen Harris
Henry “Tex” Huff
Charles Ledbetter
Dean Lucas
Glen Snodderly
Rayne Vivard
Charles J. Williams
Charles Wilson

World War II
Harold R. Anthony
John H. Austin
Bob Balch
Harold W. Barber
Lloyd D. Beach
John F. Beall
Clarence Arless Bell
Millard Bell
Glen W. Bishop
Billie M. Black
James W. Black
Ben F. Bourne Jr.
Thomas C. Bowman
Claude V. Bridges Jr.
Robert W. Brightman
Bonnie Melton Brizendine
T.B. Bryant
Bernard Philip Burford
Raford E. Burdine
John B. Byars
Joseph P. Casilles
Albert Chalk
Dean R. Chalk
Rochell Cochran
Robert Ronald Cox
Millard Everett Conley
Albert Crump Jr.
Austin J. Curtis
Garth A. Dahinden
Walter Leo Daly
Ernest A. Damon
Earl Grey Davidson
Loran W. Davis
Jonie B. Degraftenreid
Henry A. Drake
George B. Duke
Vernon Dunn
Glen A. Dutton
John Martin Eastridge
Aval Eldridge
James Lee Elrod
Jack G. Erwin
Calvin D. Flaming
Leon Z. Fought
Joe C. Garcia
Richard Harold Glen
Alonzo Gonzales
Oliver A. Gore Jr.
Doyle R. Greathouse
Julian E. Griego
Luis Gutierrez
Hubert G. Hall
Milus L. Hall
Robert E. Halstead
Paul Hammonds
Willis L. Hardcastle
Claude Haws
Joseph E. Henry
Ollie J. “Jake” Hill
Otto T. Hill
Luther P. Hines Jr.
John W. Hodges Jr.
Aubrey C. Holland
James D. Jackson
Faustino Jaques
Homer C. Johnson
Kyle V. Johnson
Laurel Kenneth Johnson
Roy L. Johnson
Melvin Johnston
Robert D. Jones
Fred N. Jordan
Stephen Dence Justice
Marshall Edward Kelly
Emory A. “Andy” Kemper
Roy Lee
Walter L. Lee
William E. Lendon
Herman W. Lewis
Max W. “Jackie” Lewis
Dan M. Love
Jack B. Love
Harold S. Lowe
John C. Luikart
Glen Thurston Maltby
B.A. Marquez
William McCormack
Olen L. McCormick
Bobby McDougal
Carrol E. McMillan
Douglas Wilson Miller
Henry Max Miller
Glendell L. Monk
Clarence W. Morris
John David Moss
Albert Moss
Harold B. Myers
W.A. Nelson
Floyd C. Northcutt
Enoch C. Oliver
J. Randol Osborne
Thomas R. Osborne
Cecil Pearson
William A. Price
William E. Price
Samuel A. Prince
Donald L. Pruett
John E. Reynolds
Arthur W. Robbins
Roy L. Robison
Robert L. Rodgers
Wayne C. Rodgers
Carroll F. Rodgers
Harry Arnold Rogers
Ralph Ross Jr.
Oscar A. Ruckman
Jeff D. Ruckman
Bert C. Sanders
Joe Schovanec
Karl W. Schroeder
Ivan L. Sears
Ralph D. Shelton
John S. Shields Jr.
Roy Clinton Shoemate
Alva Simmons
Charles A. Skeen
George T. Smalley
Burney H. Smith
J. M. Smith Jr.
Saul G. Spilker
Russell J. Stone
Roy S. Swain
Charles Byron Thomas
French Lee Thomas Jr.
William D. Talley
Rosendo C. Torres
Edward O. Trapp
Joseph A. Valien
Harold Loyd Ware
Calvin E. Whitley
Clark J. Wicks Jr.
C.A. Wiggins
Harry O. Williams
Jacob N. Willoughby
James G. Wood
Frank Young

Korean War
Richard Louis Albright
Fred B. Fickel
Lacy Gant
Lee R. Martinez
Delmer E. May
T.S. Moore
Charlie D. Quintana
Darrell Otto Smith

Vietnam War
Jimmy Ross Hohstadt
Daniel Tiofilio Martinez
Gilivaldo Martinez
Freddie Joe Roberts
Ruben Rubio
David Louis Stoll
Harvie Perry Winkles III

Sources: American Battle Monuments Commission, Clovis News Journal files, Curry County Historian Don McAlavy, Jim Cowman, Joint Veterans Council, National Archives, Secretary of Defense.