Maxwell American Legion honors fallen servicemen
Family members of Colusa County servicemen and women killed in action during any American war can donate photos, metals, mementos or general information for the American Legion's Fallen Veterans Project in Maxwell by contacting Post 218 at P.O. Box 665, Maxwell, CA, 95955. Some of these veterans are buried in Willows.
Colusa County’s Killed in Action
World War I
Blackburn Wirt Ballard, William Berger, Peter V. Berkey, Walter F. Brostrom, Vernon Jewel Danley, Reed C. Davis, Jesse Harling, Benjamin Howell Burton Jr., Leonard B. Hollywood, Ballard Brooke Powell, George H. Smith Jr., Archie Dean Suggett, Henry Vaughan Traynham, Jefferson Winn, Jasper Norton Estes
World War II
Floyd E. Addy, Dean Winfield Atwood, Yvon W. Bailey, George A. Blanchard, Lawrence Lee Briscoe, Alfred Berton Bruggman, James H. Byers, Lester Victor Calbreathm, Herbert Andrew Calcaterra, George B. Collins
Carl H. Confer, Alma Heber Day, Robert L. Duvall, Albert Lee Eib, Julius V. Ferraiuolo, John Clifford Friel, Andrew A. Garcia, William D. Gibson, Clarence Thompson Harris, Thomas Clinton Hunter, Amos J. Ingram, Ellis D. Kilgore, William W. Landrus, Lloyd George Lane, William G. Lewis, James R. Lindsay Jr., Nelson E. Madden, Carl J. Mahan, Robert F. Martin, Joseph Martinez Jr., Frederick Louis Meischke, Charlie Ojeda, Kenneth Eugene Pence, Robert C. Phelps, Lawrence J. Ruff, Terrence C. Ruff, Andrew A. Russo, Robert D. Scholes, Gamett D. Schuize, Theodore L. Simpson, Henry G. Staple, John "Jack" G. Stowell, Jimmie Taylor, Francis L. Vedo, Robert Leroy Watson, Robert Nichols Watt, William Edgar Wells, Fred Wroten.
James Willard Bass
Frank Allen Baggett, Krag Colt Bullis, Monroe Ward Cross, William Luther Denman, Robert J. Lorenzo, David Allen Madden, Michael Alan Pogue, Francisco Xavier Licea.
Justin Casillas, Reuben J. Lopez.
Source: Colusa County GenWeb
Lt. Benjamin Burton may be buried in Willows, but the man with Colusa County roots will be honored by the American Legion in Maxwell.
Burton is one of about 80 servicemen killed in action with ties to Colusa County, whose memory will be preserved and honored at the Maxwell American Legion Hall.
Burton, who was decorated for bravery during World War I, was killed Sept. 18, 1918, while transporting ammunition.
Right now, only a large photo of Vernon Jewel Danley adorns the nearly bare memorial.
But the large wall-mounted oak display, with its glass sliding doors and a sign over its top that reads "Freedom is not Free," won't be empty for long.
Dozens of servicemen from the area died in action in U.S. wars, including Danley, for whom American Legion Post No. 218 is named.
It is their sacrifices the Colusa County veterans organizations hope to honor.
"We still have a lot of work to do," said John Tiernan, a member of the Maxwell American Legion and Colusa VFW.
Tiernan is in charge of collecting photos and mementos from the families of the fallen.
Homer Danley of Maxwell was touched when he saw the display case for the first time on Memorial Day, the official unveiling of a project that has been in the works since September.
He never met the uncle who died in battle on Sept. 13, 1918, during World War 1, but grew to a ripe old age himself knowing how much his family missed him.
"He was my father's brother," Homer Danley said. "There were 16 or 17 kids in the family, but he and my father did everything together. They even went to war together, but only my father came home."
Danley died on the second day of The Battle of Saint-Mihiel, in which the American Expeditionary Force under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing launched its first major offensive operation in northeastern France as an independent army during World War I.
The area had been occupied by the Germans since 1914.
Although the battle was a success in the defense of Paris, more than 2,000 American soldiers lie dead and 5,500 wounded after four days.
Danley is buried in the St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiavcourt, France.
The only other serviceman whose photo and medals are on display in the case at the Maxwell American Legion are those of Pfc. William "Buddy" Denman, who was killed Nov. 5, 1966, in the Tay Ninh Province of Vietnam.
Denman was one of 50 Americans killed during a three-day battle with entrenched and bunkered Viet Cong troops.
Denman is buried in Maxwell.
American Legion member Joe Carrancho, who spearheaded the fundraising effort for the project, said more than 30 people donated money so the memorial could be built.
Asa's Cabinetry of Williams built the display case, and North Valley Signworks of Colusa made the sign.
The display is intended to recognize all Colusa County servicemen killed in action, said American Legion member Ron Azevedo.
Those officially listed as missing in action will not be included, nor those who died sometime after with a service-related injury.
No other countywide memorial exists, he said.
Colusa County's most recent war casualty is Rueben "Boy" Lopez, who was killed in Afghanistan with four other soldiers on Aug. 11, 2011, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle while they were on combat operations.
Azevedo said it does not matter where the servicemen are buried. Many of Colusa County's veterans are buried throughout the state, country and on foreign soil.
Henry Traynham, Jasper Estes, George Smith, Archie Suggett and Jessie Harling, killed in battles during World War I, are all buried in Europe.
Herbert Calcaterra of Stonyford was killed during World War II while aboard the USS Pompano on Sept. 4, 1942. He was buried at sea.
Other Colusa County veterans are buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington and throughout the state and the U.S.
"It is nice that we have a display to honor all these veterans," said Tony Mark of Colusa. "They sacrificed their all."
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.