World War II Veterans from Morgan County were honored in a recent Eagle Scout project completed by Trevor Slate of Milton. Slate raised money to place markers on the graves of Norris Andrew Nelson, Sgt. Henry Burton Nelson, P.F.C. Thomas Henry Giles, Sgt. Chester R. Olsen, Seaman 2nd Class Karl Crittenden, P.F.C. Frank Jay Lacey and First Lieut. Craig Hannum. He found it interesting that small farming communities like Milton, Richville, Porterville, Morgan City, Peterson and Mountain Green all lost so many of their sons and daughters, creating hardship on families, neighbors and the entire community. Many veterans returned wounded and shell-shocked carrying unimaginable, horrible images for the remainder of their lives.
Norris Andrew Nelson was a navigator/bombardier on a B-24 Bomber. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 14, 1943. After World War II had ended, he was reported as dying in the skies over Bergenville, Solomon Islands. His remains would never be recovered. His brother was killed almost a year after his death.
Sgt. Henry Burton Nelson, an infantry soldier was killed in action, Nov. 15, 1944, Limev, Lorraine, France. His remains were later reburied in the Milton Cemetery on Sept. 11, 1947.
P.F.C. Thomas Henry Giles of the 10th Infantry Battalion, 4th Army was killed Nov. 2, 1944. He was buried in the US Cemetery in Henri, Chapelle, Belgium where his remains are today.
Sgt. Chester R. Olsen, 335 Infantry 84th Division, was killed by a mortar barrage in Germany. His remains are buried in Milton. Gale Allen told of finding him and having his last conversation with him.
First Lieut. Craig Hannum AG PD – R 201 Infantry Division was killed in action June 7, 1944 on Normandy Beach. His remains are buried in California and Trevor was unable to put a marker on his grave.
Seaman 2nd Class Karl Crittenden Firemans Apprentice U.S. Navarro was killed Nov. 4, 1964, preparing for tour of duty in Vietnam. He was from Milton and is buried in South Morgan Cemetery.
P.F.C. Frank Jay Lacey was killed in action in TayMinn, Vietnam on Aug. 4, 1968. He was in the U.S. Army and was struck by artillery fire. He was drafted into the military in Coalville, Utah and was buried in Peterson Cemetery next to his father and mother. Later a sister died and was also buried there. He was Frankie Bohman’s nephew and spent the summer hauling hay and riding horses. He spent hours enjoying these activities with Dick Slate, Mike Whittier and Doug Chard, to name just a few.
Slate would like to thank the members of his Milton Ward for their generous donations. The Milton ward members were so generous with their contributions that Trevor was able to donate additional funds to the Milton Cemetery. He would also like to thank Dave Bott and Dave Randall of Mark Bott Monument for their help in creating the markers.