Kenton community honors fallen World War II soldiers with monume - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Kenton community honors fallen World War II soldiers with monument

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Six months ago people in the Kenton community set out to honor a group of World War II soldiers who never made it home alive. Six months ago people in the Kenton community set out to honor a group of World War II soldiers who never made it home alive.

Six months ago people in the Kenton community set out to honor a group of World War II soldiers who never made it home alive. 

In 1943, nine men from Kenton paid the ultimate price while serving our nation. Now, their community is coming together to honor them for their sacrifice. 

Cleed Armentrout, Leroy Bernard, William Britton, Jack Castor, Charles Clevenger, Frederick Long, Charles Mohn, Paul Prater, and William Thompson lost their lives over the 13 day Battle of Munda Point against the Imperial Japanese Army. Almost 75 years to the day of the end of the battle they were memorialized at Grove Cemetery among all the other veterans laid to rest there.

"About last Thanksgiving, I got a call from a lady who wanted to know what we were doing for Hardin County to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Munda," says organizer Dan Robinson. "I'd never heard of the Battle of Munda, but after meeting with her father and doing some research we decided that that chapter in our local history needed to be remembered. There were nine men that died in that battle from our community. Young men that had dreams and visions of coming back here and growing old. They'd be old men now if they hadn't died 75 years ago in the jungle."

The man he met with was Al Horn, the brother-in-law of Private First Class Jack Castor. While Horn never got the chance to meet his brother-in-law, he says that as a fellow veteran he felt pulled to keep their memory alive.

"I was lucky, I'm here and a lot of guys didn't come back," says Horn. "I had a lot of personal friends and I feel when you find something out for the veteran, you've got to do it. They gave their life."

The crowd heard from relatives of seven of the men. Billie Thompson was just an infant when her father Sergeant William Thompson died of his wounds from the battle, but she is grateful for his sacrifice and for the support from the community.

"75 years, I think it's long overdue," says Thompson. "I'm very grateful to the community for making this happen and I'm very proud to be here to honor him."

The soldiers will also be honored through a traveling exhibit on the Battle of Munda Pointy that will be funded with what is left of the almost $9,000 donated to the project.

The memorial is open for the public to visit but the work is not done yet. Robinson says he plans on raising the memorial eight inches so that people can leave flowers without obstructing any of the names.

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