OSCNSDAR Honors Local Veterans
Wed, 12/22/2021 - 2:43pm admin
The Ozark Spring National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (OSCNSDAR) honored two local veterans as Patriots of the Month for December 2021.
Patriot of the Month recipient, John S. Edgeller was inducted into the US Army on September 23, 1944, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was assigned to the 381st Regiment following basic training at Camp Hood, Texas. He recalls leaving from Portland, Oregon after basic training and arriving on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, where his unit received further instruction in infantry tactics and jungle training. In March 1945, his regiment was assigned to the 96th Infantry Division, and in April the division joined the 10th Army for the Battle of Okinawa, including the fight for Hacksaw Ridge.
Following the Battle of Okinawa, the 381st Regiment was sent to the Island of Mindoro in the Philippines to prepare for an attack on Japan. John recalls the daily broadcasts of Tokyo Rose telling the US they would never reach the Japanese shores, but he says that it took a man from Missouri, President Truman, to end the war. He was honorably discharged on November 18, 1946, at Camp Beale, California. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the WWII Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the Philippine independence Ribbon.
In 1948, two years following his discharge from the Army, John joined the National Guard. He spent several years as commander of the local unit in West Plains before being sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for officers training. He retired in 1986 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 2020, John was presented a proclamation by the Missouri Senate honoring his service while in the Army during WWII and in the National Guard until his retirement. He has also been honored with the AMVETS Lifetime Achievement Award.
John and his wife Ruth have been married for nearly 74 years. In his own words, “She is the best thing that ever happened to me.” They have four children, two girls and two boys.
Patriot of the Month recipient, Jack Neal McNevin enlisted in the Marine Corps in April of 1943 at St. Louis, Missouri. He served in the Regimental Weapons Company, 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division. He trained at Camp Elliott and Camp Pendleton before serving in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.
Jack received a medical discharge in March of 1945. Besides getting three squares a day (and for some who grew up during the depression this was a big deal), Jack says that there were two reasons he chose the Marines, and both involved Marines he knew who were captured prior to his enlisting. The first was a guy from his class at school who was captured on Wake Island, and the second was a neighbor a few years older than Jack who was captured at Corregidor. Jack says “being a Marine did not make me any better than those in other branches of service, but these two men were my inspiration in choosing the United States Marine Corp.”
Jack spent most of his time at Camp Pendleton and Hawaii, with three weeks on Saipan. He related a humorous incident that happened to him, although at the time probably not so much. He had been in the hospital at Guadalcanal and was put on a ship thought to be heading back to Hawaii. Then he was transferred from ship to ship, and each time he was told, “I think this ship will get you to Hawaii.” Two and a half months later he arrived back at Guadalcanal. He did eventually get back to his unit in Hawaii and got to see a lot of the Pacific in the process.
After Jacks discharge from the service, he worked for the United States Postal Service for 34 years, with
the last nine years as Postmaster of the West Plains, Missouri Post Office. He and Marian, his late wife of 70 years were blessed with four daughters.
The Patriot of the Month program was initiated by Honorary State Regent, Sally Napier Bueno, in 2004. Missouri Daughters may nominate their personal “heroes”–those men and women who have contributed to preserving and protecting the freedom and values of our American way of life. https://mssdar.org/patriots-of-the-month/
Dale Blake to Speak at Upcoming Jan. Meeting.
The Ozark Spring Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (OSCNSDAR) meeting for January 8, is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 1401 Bill Virdon Blvd., West Plains, MO. The topic for the January meeting program is, “Sons of the American Revolution-How I Found My Patriot” with guest speaker, Mr. Dale Brake. The January 2022 meeting Hostesses are Lois Frazier and Jessica Joice-Frazier.
If you are interested in learning more about DAR membership or its programs, visit www.mssdar.org, or contact Chapter Regent, Cindy McKee-Pirch at (417) 629-4102, or if you would like more information about this topic please contact Teresa Taylor Mace at (417) 861-2190 or TeresaTaylorMace@gmail.com.