Tag Archive: WWII Veterans

In Memoriam: Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

Pvt. E.H. Luke, USMC, China, 1946

Ernest H. (Ernie) Luke, Sr, the brother-in-law of Post Commander Mike Denton was buried next to Mike’s sister Karen on July 9, in Kennewick, WA. Military honors were rendered by a Marine Corps contingent and by Kennewick VFW Post 5785. He was 89 years old.

Three weeks prior to his death, he was awarded the Korean Peace Medal by the Korean Consul General along with other Korea Vets in a ceremony in Richland.

Luke enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served in China at the end of WWII and later in the army on MacArthur’s staff in Korea.

Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

The service of the Marines in China at the end of the war is not well known, but involved receiving the surrender of Japanese forces remaining and protecting those troops from communist forces. A detailed history can be found via this link. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmchist/nochina.txt

Originally from Kentucky, Luke attended college on the GI Bill, receiving a degree in Physics (later a masters degree) and worked in avionics design with Boeing & Rockwell, and more recently in security systems design at Hanford, where he retired. He leaves his third wife Verla, and the children of Karen and Verla to whom he was step-father, as well as his own three children, Ernest Jr, Susan and David.

Ernest H. Luke Sr. USMC-China, USA Korea

Veterans Remembered

Veterans Remembered

Post member Ron Clyborne provided this photo which includes his father, shown among the crew of his WWII bomber before his last mission. Clyborne senior is the man at far right in the top row.

An Alumnus of Virginia Military Institute (VMI), 2nd Lt. Clarence A. (“CA”) Clyborne , served in WWII as a bombardier with the 9th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, 10th Air Force.

Clyborne died in a Japanese POW camp in late Dec. 1943 of injuries sustained upon landing after parachuting from his B-24 Liberator. The bomber was hit by enemy fire and crashed during a mission to the Insein rail yards (Rangoon) Burma on 1 Dec. 1943.

His remains have never been recovered. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American cemetery and as of 2017 in the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Memorial Garden.

If you have such photos you would like to share, we would be happy to publish them in future newsletters.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Mark your calendar for two special Memorial Day events coming up in May.

Edmonds Community College will have a program at 10:30 AM on Wednesday
May 25, at the college’s Black Box Theater. This year they will be remembering WWII veterans and urge all our WWII veterans to attend and be honored. Other members of our post will also be playing a role in the various ceremonies. Commander Blossey has agreed to be the master of ceremonies.

The Edmonds Memorial Cemetery will be having their 34th annual Memorial
Day Ceremony on Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 30, at 11:00 AM. This
year—as in years past—Post 8870 will be presenting the colors, raising the flag, narrating the White Table Ceremony and other prominent duties. Our Voice of Democracy winner will read her winning essay. All post members are asked to attend.

We will have further details about both events in future newsletters, but for now, please mark your calendars and set the time aside to attend them both.

WWII Veterans Recognized with Plaques for Service

WWII Veterans Recognized with Plaques for Service

Rodney Lam, Buck Weaver, Jim Harkness, Norm Goldstein, and Amos Chapman. Not shown Fred Die-trich and Dan White.

Mike Reagan donated these plaques for service to our WWII veterans. Unfortunately, Fred Dietrich and Dan White couldn’t attend the meeting and will get theirs at a later meeting. There plaques are carved by an individual in Port Angeles, as I recall, and Mike was presented one after he spoke on his Fallen Heroes Project. Mike then generously donated sufficient funds to insure that each of our WWII veterans were honored with a Plaque. The picture doesn’t do justice to the craftsmanship.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony

Each year Naval Station Everett has a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor Day. I have attended a number of these events, and I am always honored to be in the presence of members of the greatest generation that are Pearl Harbor veterans. I have never much liked the term “Pearl Harbor Survivor” because these guys aren’t just survivors, they are warriors in every sense of the word. In the past, Erv Schmidt from our Post attended these ceremonies but his passing left another empty chair in the row of honored guests. Erv manned an anti-aircraft gun and returned fire even though his ship had been sunk and was resting on the bottom, fortunately right side up. I never thought Erv was a just a “survivor”.

Only a few of the “honored guests” chairs were occupied this year and I suspect that in the very near future, they will all be empty. In the meantime, the young sailors attending the event line up to have their pictures taken with the WWII veterans and it is a meaningful experience for both generations.

The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony happens every year. Next year it will be on a Monday, December 7th at 9:30AM. That should give each of you ample time to put it on your calendar and at-tend the ceremony. This is about giving respect to a small band of individuals who most likely will not be attending many more of these events.

Puget Sound Honor Flight

Brian Sequin was our speaker at last month’s meeting. Brian is a member of VFW Post 1040 and has pretty much single-handedly resurrected the Puget Sound area (called a Hub) of Honor Flight. I should mention, however, that Fred Apgar has also been a team member of Brian’s. Honor Flight, for those who are not familiar with it, is a project to fly WWII veterans back to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII memorial as well as other veterans memorials. It is basically a three day trip, one to get there, one to sight see, and the return trip. We have sent several of our members on Honor Flights and other members have been “guardians”, individuals who assist the veterans in getting around and seeing to their needs. All of us in Post 8870 as well as the other Posts, would like to have every WWII veteran who wishes to go on an Honor Flight to have the opportunity. If you or someone you know wishes more information, you can contact the Post or go their website at http://www.honorflight.org/ for more in-formation.

Post Members Visit School

Mrs. Sue Idso, a 5th grade teacher from Mukilteo Elementary, asked if some of our veterans would speak to her classes (yes—like high school she has 5 periods of classes). Fred Apgar, Jim Blossey (see “Commanders Column”) and I volunteered.   The following day Sue passed along comments that her students made after our presentations so I’ve included some of them here:


The sacrifices our veterans make are a great act of kindness.

I’m impressed by how a stranger would sacrifice his life for me.

I feel like I know a lot more about the military.

There are so many lives lost in a war.It’s so sad.

I’m a Boy Scout and now I want to be a Scout even more.

I understand how much veterans care about America.

There’s always a price for freedom.

We have the best system of government in the world. I feel appreciative of that.

I’m very proud of Mr. Apgar.

I have learned to respect the WWII veterans.

I’m so grateful that so many people serve.

Now I know more about how a soldier feels.

Mr. Traner’s stories make me feel safe.

I can understand more about what my grandpa went through.

Veterans keep the Constitution alive.

I’m inspired to join the Army.

If we didn’t have veterans, we wouldn’t have freedom.

The military is more serious than I thought.

Soldiers put their lives on the line for our Constitution.

I learned how hard it was to make the sacrifices to go to war and to accept it.

It’s really special to know someone who fought for our country.


As Veterans Day approaches, we will have a number of opportunities to speak to classes and entire assemblies. We will be passing a signup sheet for volunteers at the next meeting so have some fun and speak to a class.