Owen Francis Patrick Hammerberg was born on May 31, 1920 in Daggett, Michigan and grew up in Flint, Michigan. He enlisted in the United States Navy on June 16, 1941 and was trained as a rescue and salvage diver. During World War II, he served aboard both the battleship USS Idaho (BB-42) and minesweeper USS Advent (AM-83).
James K. Okubo was born on May 30, 1920 in Anacortes, Washington. With the internment of Japanese-Americans in the wake of Pearl Harbor, he was sent with his family to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California and later to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming. It was from the latter that he was drafted into the United States Army on May 22, 1943 just before his 23rd birthday.
Okubo volunteered for the all-Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team and was trained as a combat medic. On three days in the fall of 1944, he showed such valor in combat caring for his wounded comrades that he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.
Oscar Godfrey Johnson, Jr. was born in Foster City, Michigan on March 25, 1921. He was a high school graduate and working as a farm hand when he was drafted into the United States Army for service in World War II.
Raymond Zussman was born in Hamtramck, Michigan on July 23, 1917. He was drafted into the United States Army on September 24, 1941. He received his basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was then sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky. He graduated from the armor officers’ course and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Armor Branch on January 9, 1943.
Lloyd Cortez Hawks was born on January 13, 1911 in Becker, Minnesota. At age eight he moved to Michigan with his family, but returned to his native Minnesota after graduating from high school. In 1940 at age 29 he decided to enlist in the United States Army but was soon discharged for being too old and out of shape.
Two years later in 1942, the Army relented and with a two-front war being waged, accepted him back into service as a medic. After training, Hawks joined the 3rd Infantry Division‘s 30th Infantry Regiment during the Italian Campaign.
It was good that the Army gave him a second chance…
Jesse Ray Drowley was born on September 9, 1919 in St. Charles, Michigan. His family moved often as he was growing up, and he was living in Spokane, Washington when he enlisted or was drafted into the United States Army (extensive searches don’t turn up his enlistment record!).
Drowley was assigned as an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 132nd Infantry Regiment as part of the Americal Division. The Americal was unique in World War II as it carried a name and not a numerical designation. The division got its name from “American, New Caledonia“, the South Pacific island on which the unit was provisionally formed for defense in May 1942. While officially known later as the 23rd Infantry Division, the Americal name stuck.
“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
“Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”…
Now, therefore, be it known, that I, William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States…do hereby certify that the amendment aforesaid has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution of the United States.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this eighteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetieth.
Today, in the closing days of the two hundred and thirty-seventh year of American Independence, less than one hundred and fifty years since the constitutional abolition of slavery in the United States, we take that abolition completely for granted. That’s a bold statement, I know, but I believe it completely justified.
Two days ago, I related the story of Lieutenant Colonel Karl T. Feuerriegel and Captain Kenneth H. Sellers, two pilots with the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron who were decorated with the Air Force Cross for their heroism on the day the communist Tet Offensive was launched in Vietnam. For a three-day period from January 30 to February 1, 1968, another of their fellow Cessna O-2 Skymaster pilots was similarly recognized for his aerial efforts over Nha Trang.