Bucks County Herald

Quakertown-unveils-plaque-to-war-dead

JOE FERRY



Rear Admiral Valerie K. Huegel, Quakertown Class of 1973, was inducted in the school’s Wall of Fame on June 3.

Bob Roth graduated from Quakertown High School in 1966, was drafted into the Army in 1967 and wound up stationed in Okinawa, where he worked in the intelligence field.

John Millikan graduated from Quakertown High School in 1966, was drafted into the Army in 1967 and was up in Vietnam as an infantryman. After 10 months in the country, he was killed in action.

“I never lost sight of the realization that that could just as easily have been me,” said Roth.

Which is why Roth, who went on to a successful career as a businessman and district judge in the Quakertown area, was honored to spearhead an effort to recognize the 26 Quakertown High School graduates who died in combat with a plaque at the high school, which was unveiled on June 3 as part of the annual Alumni Association meeting.

“Admittedly, all who have served in the military have given up something,” Roth said in brief remarks. “But they ... gave up their all. May we never forget.”

The inspiration for a plaque honoring grads who died in combat came about last year during discussions about the high school’s new Wall of Fame, a joint project between the Alumni Association and the Quakertown Community Education Foundation. Among the candidates up for consideration for the first class of honorees was Gary Holland, a 1963 grad who had died in Vietnam.

After Holland was quickly and unanimously approved, Roth said, discussion turned to developing a way to honor all grads who died while in the military. The consensus was that a “different and unique kind of recognition was needed,” said Roth.

Working with the American Legion, Roth identified 86 individuals from the greater Quakertown area who had been killed in combat. Of those, he was able to determine 26 had graduated from Quakertown High School.

“Over time, we tend to think of these individuals as names but this process has reminded me of the fact that they were real people that walked the halls of Quakertown High School,” said Roth. “It is the committee’s hope that this plaque will for a very long time serve as a reminder to those who view it of the sacrifice that these and others have made.”

Among those on hand for the plaque unveiling was Rear Admiral Valerie K. Huegel, a member of the Class of 1973 who was inducted into the Wall of Fame on June 3 along with musician Craig Thatcher (Class of 1974). Huegel was touched by the show of support for her military brethren.

“Less than 1 percent of Americans wear this uniform,” she said. “These individuals were special. I thank you for doing this. I wish I knew them. But in my heart I do because they wore the uniform.”

Quakertown High School graduates killed in combat

World War I
C. Russell Leitch (Class of 1911)
Ivanhoe Metz (Class of 1913)

World War II
Raymond F. Pfaff (Class of 1926)
Donald Eugene Hoffman (Class of 1934)
Alexander Evanko (Class of 1936)
Harry R. Mauerer (Class of 1936)
John Rivers (Class of 1937)
Harry Swartz (Class of 1937)
Harry B. Booth (Class of 1938)
Russell Allison (Class of 1939)
Richard Schaffner (Class of 1939)
William T. Beck (Class of 1941)
Charles D. Benner (Class of 1941)
Alan R. Fluck (Class of 1941)
Philip Ingalls (Class of 1942)
Milford J. Rodgers (Class of 1944)
Ralph Beck (Class of 1945)
Oswin Moll (Class of 1945)

Korea
Clarence F. Rotenberger (Class of 1945)

Vietnam
Paul E. Gross (Class of 1955)
Atis K. Lielmanis (Class of 1957)
Donald R. Kemmerer (Class of 1959)
Gary D. Holland (Class of 1963)
John R. Millikan (Class of 1966)

Persian Gulf
Kristen E. Shemeley (Class of 1990)
Tamarra J. Johnson (Class of 1997)


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