UNDER THE COLORS, dated September 5, 1943


This 1943 Labor Day special edition featured Denison men who had lost their lives in World War II. 


    David Markham of University Park in Dallas has shared a newspaper with us that he found while going through articles saved by his mother Mary Markham of Denison. Mary passed away about eight months ago.

The special "Under the Colors" Edition of the Denison Herald, a Labor Day Edition, is dated Sept. 5, 1943. Coincidentally Labor Day fell on Sept. 5 again this year.

The edition was in the midst of World War II and included the 12 Denisonians who already had given their lives and 15 and a half pages of articles on other men from this area who were serving all over the world. No doubt there were later casualties.

Three generals, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Major General Lucius D. Clay and Brig. General Walter A Dumas are featured in a story as Denison’s No. 1 fighting men. They either were born or resided in Denison prior to the war.

The photos and brief cutline of the brave men who had given their lives are very interesting. A group of 12 is a good size group for a town the size of Denison. Some of the names are very familiar and we thought our readers might like to remember them too.

First Denisonian to lose his life was Jesse LeRoy Adams, 21, who was killed at Pearl Harbor. He had joined the Navy in Denison in August 1940 and was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. He was born in Oklahoma, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Adams.

Lt. Samuel S. Pattillo was killed in a bomber crash in the Southwest Pacific on Jan. 16, 1942. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Silver Star posthumously. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. G.P. Pattillo and graduated from Denison High School and the University of Texas before joining the Air Force in 1940. The Denison American Legion Post bears his name.

Sgt. John Stanley Russell Jr., 28 was killed in an Army plane crash near Clovis, N.M., July 15, 1942. He was the son of Erna and Stanley Russell of Denison and was a graduate of Denison High School. He had been in the Air Force for 16 months.

Cpl. William Ray "Pete" Crenshaw, 35, died Nov. 16, 1942, in Australia while in service with an Army Engineer Unit. Born in Denison, a son of Mrs. Ethel E. Crenshaw, Cpl. Crenshaw was employed at the Katy baggage room before entering service in January 1942.

Ensign G.R. Hill Jr., 24, Navy fighter plane pilot, was lost in the battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. He was the son of Gaye and Russell Hill. Ensign Hill graduated from Denison High School and Rice (University). He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. He joined the Navy in January 1941.

Lt. Otto H. Juhl Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Juhl Sr., was lost on the Destroyer Jarvis in September 1942. He was a physician in Vernon before going to Navy duty April 17, 1940, and was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack.

Pvt. William A. James, son of Willie James of Denison was lost aboard a ship in the Southwest Pacific in September 1942. He joined the Marines shortly after the outbreak of the war. He was officially declared dead by the Navy Department.

Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Latona, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pat Latona, was killed in November 1942 in the crash of an Army bomber at Dover, DE. Sgt. Latona was born in Denison and served three years in the Army, retired to civilian life, then joined the Air Force in February 1942.

Ensign Gordon D. McDaniel, 26, son of School Superintendent and Mrs. B McDaniel, was killed Feb. 14, 1942, at Ream Field, CA, in a Navy plane crash. Born in Denison, he graduated from high school here, then the University of Texas before entering the Navy Air Corps Jan. 1, 1942, at Dallas.

Richard Irwin, 21, was killed in a place crash in October 1942 in the Dominican Republic. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Irwin and graduated from Denison High School. He was a sergeant in the 36th Signal Company before joining the Navy soon after the start of World War II.

Pharmacist’s Mate William Bales, 29, son of Mrs. Monte B. Jones, was killed in action in the Southwest Pacific in July 1943. Born in Denison and a graduate of the Denison High School, he entered service Jan. 16, 1942.

Cpl. James V. Rumbeck, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Rumbeck, was lost in the battle at Java in June 1942. Formerly a taxi driver in Denison, Cpl. Rumbeck left the United States in November 1941 and was a member of the field artillery, being among the first to leave here.

Paul O. Tooley wrote a front-page story that was headlined "Denison Is Represented in 16 Of The 17 Ranks of Army". In the article Tooley listed a three star General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in Denison on Oct. 14, 1890, as having conducted two successful campaigns – Tunisia and Sicily.

That three star general later became a five star general, the President of the United States. His home now is a Texas Parks and Wildlife operated Texas historical site.

Then Major General Lucius D. Clay lived here two years and handled early phases of the Denison Dam. He was named Denison District Army Engineer when the district was created Jan. 1, 1939. He left Denison Sept. 30, 1940, for Washington D.C., to become assistant to the administrator of the civil aeronautics administration.

General Dumas was the son of Mr. and Mrs. D.G. Dumas of Sherman. His parents were among pioneer of Denison and were visiting in Sherman when Gen. Dumas was born. A week later he returned to Denison with his parents and lived here until he was 12 years old.

Other high ranking army officers from Denison included:

Colonels Sam Davis, Byron Z. Hughes, Frank W. Cawthon and William W. Wanamaker;

Lt. Colonels Robert L. Cox, E.A. Tillman and John H. Anderson;

And Majors Harold T. Hastings, Eugene N. Berglund, Calvin C. Gaines, Donald F. Lehnnard, Carl L. Liles, Max S. Lales, A.L. Robinette, Marcellus P. Lee, W.H. Badgett and John Gleckler.

Added to these are hundreds of other officers and enlisted men, most of whom were written up in the following pages of the special addition. In the next column we’ll spotlight some of those who were still serving their country. - Donna Hunt


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