Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Hiram M. Chittenden Patsy Collins Gordon Hirabayashi Home William Boeing
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week BooksDonate
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6969 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

May 21, 2014 – May 27, 2014

Fallen Heroes

This week HistoryLink is proud to present our set of essays about Medal of Honor recipients from Washington and their heroic efforts in the service of our country. To familiarize yourself with their endeavors, we invite you to look over a three-part overview of the recipients, covering first the Civil War to the early twentieth century, then World War I and World War II, and finally those who fought in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Our thanks go out to HistoryLink Contributing Historian Duane Colt Denfeld, Ph.D., for giving us a glimpse into the lives of these Washington men of valor. We urge you to read each recipient's essay, and for Memorial Day we highlight eleven who fell in battle and were honored posthumously.

  • Coast Guard Signalman Douglas Albert Munro -- Medal awarded in 1943 for his heroism at Guadalcanal. Volunteered to use landing craft under his command as shields to recover wounded Marines, saving hundreds before his death under fire.
  • Boatswain's Mate Reinhardt J. Keppler -- Awarded in 1943 for his heroism at Guadalcanal. Despite serious wounds, he kept pulling other wounded crew to safety, and died saving shipmates.
  • Private First Class Richard B. Anderson -- Awarded in 1944 for his heroism in the Pacific. He jumped on a live grenade to protect fellow Marines.
  • Staff Sergeant Jack J. Pendleton -- Awarded in 1945 for his service in Europe. Volunteered to lead his squad in an attack against an enemy machine gun, and died under fire while moving ahead of his troops.
  • Lieutenant Victor L. Kandle -- Awarded in 1945 for his heroism in Europe. Led attacks on several fortified positions and captured many German soldiers. Two months later he was killed in action.
  • Private First Class Joe E. Mann -- Awarded in 1945 for his heroism in Europe. He single-handedly destroyed an enemy position, was wounded, but continued attacking. The next day during an attack he jumped on a grenade to save his comrades.
  • Construction Mechanic Third Class Marvin G. Shields -- Awarded in 1966 for his heroism in Vietnam. Wounded during an ambush, he persevered to carry ammunition, recover a wounded comrade, and help destroy an enemy machine gun before dying in battle.
  • Private First Class Lewis Albanese -- Awarded in 1968 for his heroism in Vietnam. When his unit came under intense fire he charged the enemy position and engaged in hand-to-hand combat, killing a number of enemy before dying of his wounds the next day.
  • Platoon Sergeant Bruce Alan Grandstaff -- Awarded in 1969 for his heroism in Vietnam. Braved enemy fire to save wounded soldiers and call in artillery and gunship fire.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Ronald Leisy -- Awarded in 1971 for his heroism in Vietnam. Used his body to shield a fellow soldier from the blast of a rifle-propelled grenade. Seriously wounded, he refused medical care until others were treated.
  • Specialist Fourth Class Larry Dahl -- Awarded in 1974 for his heroism in Vietnam. While defending a truck convoy, he jumped on a grenade, saving nearby soldiers.

And lest we forget, HistoryLink.org maintains comprehensive online honor rolls of Washingtonians who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Philippines, World War I, World War II (including merchant mariners), Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

News Then, History Now

Two Incorporations: One hundred and twenty-five years ago this week, Hoquiam incorporated on May 21, 1890. Three days later Davenport, in Lincoln County, reincorporated after losing its incorporation status following Washington's statehood.

Teddy's Destinations: On May 22, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt made Chehalis the first stop of a whirlwind tour through the state. The next day in Seattle he signed in as the inaugural guest at the Washington Hotel atop Denny Hill and visited Fort Lawton. Two days later he briefly visited North Yakima before heading off to Walla Walla, where he spoke at Whitman College.

Waters Transform: On May 27, 1905, the Burlingame Gardena irrigation ditch was completed, 12 years after construction began on it and another Walla Walla Valley irrigation project, the Old Lowden Ditch. Marcus Whitman was the first person to bring irrigation water to the valley in the 1830s, but his efforts died with him in 1847.

Seeking Reform: On May 23, 1910, a small group of civic leaders and reformers founded the Municipal League of Seattle (later King County) to promote honest government, which wasn't always the rule at the time. One of the League's first accomplishments was advocating for creation of the Port of Seattle. Over subsequent decades, the Muni League found plenty of muck to rake and led bipartisan progressive pushes for numerous reforms and public enterprises, such as City Light. Following World War II, League visionaries like Ben Ehrlichman and Jim Ellis led successful regional campaigns for Metro, Forward Thrust, and a Home Rule Charter for King County.

Crime Doesn't Pay: Eighty years ago this week, on May 24, 1935, 9-year-old George Weyerhaeuser, heir to the world's largest producer of lumber, was kidnapped on his way home from school in Tacoma. After a $200,000 ransom was paid, the boy was released unharmed, setting off the largest manhunt in Northwest history for the criminals. Arrests were quickly made, but it took more than a year for the FBI to track down the ringleader.

Closed for the Day: On May 23, 1991, the town of Forks shut down when its citizens traveled en masse to Olympia to protest critical-habitat protections for the northern spotted owl. Three years later, Federal District Court Judge William L. Dwyer upheld the federal spotted owl management plan in a key National Environmental Policy Act court decision.

Quote of the Week

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

                                  --Joseph Campbell

Image of the Week

On May 22, 1931, the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries opened its main Pacific research laboratory, now known as NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, in Seattle.

Today in Washington History      RSS Feed

Bothell beginnings: Bothell Post Office opens on May 25, 1888.

Moran Shipyard in Seattle completes 12 steamships on May 25, 1898.

President Theodore Roosevelt visits North Yakima on May 25, 1903.

President Theodore Roosevelt visits Whitman College and Walla Walla on May 25, 1903.

Black Student Union demands a black trustee at Seattle Community College on May 25, 1969.

New Essays This Week       RSS Feed

Medina incorporates on August 19, 1955.

Medina -- Thumbnail History

For heroic acts in the 1965 battle of Ia Drang, Bruce P. Crandall receives the Medal of Honor on February 26, 2007.

President Lyndon B. Johnson awards Delbert O. Jennings the Medal of Honor on September 19, 1968.

Special Suites
A-Y-P Exposition
Century 21 Exposition
Civil War in Washington
Dance Marathons
Group Health
King County 1st Citizens
Lewis & Clark
Port of Seattle
Port of Tacoma
Rose Red & Spooks
Sea-Tac Airport
Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle City Light
Seattle Public Library
Southeast Seattle
Washington Forests
Washington Islands
Washington Public Ports
Washington State Ferries
WTO Protests 1999
Agriculture | Asian & Pacific Islander Americans | Aviation | Biographies | Black Americans | Buildings | Business | Calamities | Celebrities | Cities & Towns | Counties | Crime | Curiosities | Economics | Education | Environment | Exploration | Fairs & Festivals | Film | Firsts | Gays & Lesbians | Government & Politics | Health | Hispanics & Latinos | Industry | Infrastructure | Irish Americans | Italian Americans | Jews in Washington | Labor | Landmarks | Law | Maritime | Media | Most-Least | Music & Musicians | Northwest Indians | Organizations | Pioneers | Recreation | Religion | Roads & Rails | Roots | Scandals | Scandinavians | Science & Technology | Seattle Neighborhoods | Slavic Americans | Society | South-Asian Americans | Sports |Theater & Dance | Vanished | Visual Arts | War & Peace | Washington Rivers | Weather | Women's History | Writers & Poets
Major Funding Provided By
4 Culture City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Port of Seattle Washington Ports Vulcan Inc. Seattle Public Library Group Health Coop Port of Tacoma Bartell Drugs Tupper Mack Jensen Wells PLCC The Next Fifty KCTS Seattle Channel MOHAI Washington State Historical Society BlackPast.org King County
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org