Our Honored War Dead


“TBI’s Human Cost”

Eleven Brother’s gave their lives during time of war in service to the United States. Eight Brother’s during WWII; One Brother during the Korean War; Two Brother’s during the Vietnam War. 


“Ringing of the Bell”

Prior to WWII, it was a custom at Fairmont State that the “Normal School Bell” be rung after every home game victory, that duty fell upon the school’s custodian, John Andrew “Shorty” Heim. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Student Government decreed that the “Normal School Bell” be silenced until the end of the war as a reminder of those students and alumni of Fairmont State serving on and above distant lands. On May 8th, 1945, the “Normal School Bell” was heard for the first time after 3 1/2 long years of War when President Truman announced the German Surrender. Shorty Heim once again preformed this duty, he has a special place in our history as the Father of a TBI (John Heim Sr), the Father in Law of TBI (L.A. “Pappy” Wallman), and the grandfather of 5 TBI’s (Rick & John Heim, John & L.A. “Spick” Wallman, and John Cranwell).


– World War II by Date of Death

1. Brother Frank Kinsey Evans
– Died on 13 May 1944
– First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
– 597th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomber Group (M)
– Killed in Action over the European Theatre of Operations
– Buried Overseas at Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, UK
2. Brother William LaVelle Watson, Jr.
– Died on May 13th., 1944
– Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps
– Killed in Action in the European Theatre of Operations Over Germany
– U.S. Aircrew Group Burial Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
3. Brother Henry Alfred Weber, Jr.
– Died on June 19th., 1944
– Cadet, U.S. Navy
– Non-Battle Injury in the United States, Aircraft Crash near Norfolk, VA
– Buried in the U.S. at Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont, WV
4. Brother Glenn Elbert Kern
– Died on November 19th., 1944
– Private, U.S. Army
– 6th. Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
– Killed in Action in the European Theatre of Operations in Germany
– Buried in the U.S at Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont, WV
5. Brother William Bebb Howells
– Died on January 17th., 1945
– Private First Class, U.S. Army
– Killed in Action in the European Theatre of Operations in France
– Buried Overseas at the American Cemetery in Epinal France 
6. Brother James Shirley Sweeney
– Died on March 30th., 1945
– Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Assigned to the Office of Strategic Service (O.S.S.)
– Attached to U.S. 7th. Army
– Killed in Action in the European Theatre of Operations in Germany
– Inscribed in the Book of Honor, OSS Memorial, CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA
– Buried in the U.S. at St. John Catholic Cemetery in Summersville, WV
Circumstances: Corporal James S. Sweeney USMC was serving with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1944. On 19 Aug 1944, he reported to the headquarters of the 36th Infantry Division along with Second Lieutenant Walter W. Taylor USMCR, and Captain Justine L. Greene, USA — a noted New York psychiatrist. They were to determine the extent of German defenses for the 7th US Army during Operation ANVIL, the invasion of Southern France. Corporal Sweeney was later killed in action near Mannheim, Germany.

– Source: “Herringbone Cloak–GI Dagger: Marines in the OSS” by Major Robert E. Mattingly, USMC

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-OSS/index.html
7. Brother Kenneth Lawrence Morgan
– Died on April 26th., 1945
– Staff Sergeant, US Army
– Killed in Action in the European Theatre of Operations in Germany
– Buried in the U.S. at Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont, WV
8. Brother Lawrence Richard Berry
– Died on June 25th., 1945
– Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
– Killed in Action in the Pacific Theatre of Operations on Celebes Island
– Dutch East Indies
– U.S. Aircrew Group Burial Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis County, MO

– Korean War by Date of Death

1. Brother John Francis Kunst
– Died on November 27th., 1951
– Technical Sergeant, US Air Force
– 3415 th. Air Force Maintenance and Supply Group
– Disease in the Korean Theatre of Operations
– Buried in the U.S. at Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, WV

– Vietnam War by Date of Death

1. Brother William Bernard Cronin
– Died on April 27th., 1967
– Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
– Killed in Action in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam
– Buried in the U.S. at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA
– Awarded The Silver Star and Legion of Merit For his Service In Vietnam
Silver Star Citation for LTC William Bernard Cronin:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) William Bernard Cronin (ASN: 0-50787), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Lieutenant Colonel Cronin distinguished himself on 27 April 1967 while serving as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, on a combat mission against an enemy force in the jungles of Vietnam. As the Brigade Command Group proceeded on a trail en route to a landing zone and an awaiting helicopter, they suddenly came under a heavy concentration of automatic and semi-automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior Viet Cong force. Without regard for personal safety, Lieutenant Colonel Cronin gallantly exposed himself to the deadly enemy fire as he advanced toward the hostile positions in order to better assess the situation and determine what necessary actions were needed to combat the Viet Cong force. Throughout the ensuing battle, Lieutenant Colonel Cronin remained under constant enemy observation and fire as he courageously directed his men during a fierce assault on the hostile positions. It was during this gallant assault that Lieutenant Colonel Cronin was mortally wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Cronin’s extreme courage and resolution of purpose inspired his men to new heights of confidence and contributed significantly to the repelling of the enemy force. Lieutenant Colonel Cronin’s leadership and extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior Viet Cong force was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 9th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 1406 (May 26, 1967)
2. Brother Donald Anthony Slate
– Died on November 29th., 1970
– Specialist 4, U.S. Army
– Service Battery, 5th. Battalion, 22nd. Artillery
– Non-Battle Injury in Ninh Thuan Province, South Vietnam, Aircraft Crash
– Buried in the U.S. at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Fairmont, WV
– Awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his Service in Vietnam

 

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