Highland News Leader

These six from Highland lost their lives in service of their country

Sgt. Junior Floyd Roniger.
Sgt. Junior Floyd Roniger.

Sgt. Junior Floyd Roniger was born in Trenton on March 1, 1946, the son of Gilmer and Virginia Hammer Roniger and was killed at Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

Roniger graduated from Highland High School in the class of 1964. After high school he was employed at Granite City Steel, then enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1966. After boot camp and advanced training, he served in Co. B, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division and was sent to Vietnam in June, 1968.

Roniger lost his life at the age of 22, on February 20, 1969, in a night defensive. He was survived by his two sisters, Carol Roniger (Mrs. Tom) Prange of St. Jacob and Lois Roniger Brazeau of Highland.

Sgt. Roniger was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal and seven other ribbons and medals. He is honored on the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. at 32 W 067. (Thanks for the large color photo from his sister, Carol Prange and the Dedication of Veteran Honor Parkway Booklet on May 25, 2015’).

Richard Hoffman, the son of Edward and Irene Hoffmann, was born in Highland on Oct. 9, 1946.

As a youth, Richard lived with his family at Lindendale Park, Highland, where his father and mother were caretakers. Richard was stricken with polio at the age of 4, but came through it without serious effects. He went on to become a star basketball player at St. Paul’s Catholic High School. He went on to mentor other players and assisted the coaching staff, as he attended a computer repair school.

Richard enlisted in the Marine Corps, on Oct. 12, 1966, during the Vietnam Conflict. After basic and advanced training, he advanced to Corporal.

He was with the First Marine Division and was in Vietnam for 6 months, when he was killed on Sept. 19, 1968, in the battle of Quang Nam, Vietnam. Richard became the first Highland born fatality of the Vietnam Conflict.

Services were held at St. Paul Catholic Church on Oct. 10, 1968, with interment at St. Joseph Cemetery in Highland. A flagpole and memorial plaque, were later placed on the northeast corner, of St. Paul’s Elementary School, and the flag is still flying in his memory.

Staff Sgt. William F. Barrett, Jr. U.S. Army, the son of William F. and Claudine Nagel Barrett, Sr.

Bill, Jr. died at Funafuti, in the Ellice Islands. He had been hospitalized since June and was on a hospital ship on this way to the United States, when he died. He had graduated from St. Paul High School and after graduation was employed by Wicks Organ Co. His funeral services were at St. Paul Catholic Church and burial in St. Joseph Cemetery.

Sgt. Herbert A. Fry U.S. Army Air Corps, was born in Pierron, the son of Oscar and Elizabeth Landmann Frey.

He grew up in Highland, attended St. Paul Schools. Herbert enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and after basic plus advanced training, was stationed at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island, Philippines. On June 3, 1945, his plane and fellow service men, took off from Clark Air Base, but never made it back. In 1950, the remains of the 11 men on that fatal fight, were returned, and are all buried together, at Fort Scott National Cemetery, Kansas.

PFC LeeVern C. Heim, PFC. U.S. Army. His local friends called him “Mannheim” and he was employed by the railroad prior to his induction into the service.

LeeVern was assigned to the 135th Army Infantry. After his basic training he was sent overseas and was wounded in January 1944, spending a month in the hospital and receiving the Purple Heart. He rejoined his command and had served overseas, for nearly two years when he was killed in action in Italy, on April 22, 1944.

LeeVern is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Vettuno, Italy.

Cpl. Kauhl, Leo Erwin Kauhl, U.S. Army, was the son of Charles F. and Adelia A. Bircher Kauhl, living northwest of Highland, in Deck’s Prairie.

Leo had been slightly wounded on D-Day and he received the Purple Heart. He then was sent back into action and Leo was killed in Germany on Oct. 8, 1944. Leo received the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Liege, Belgium. Leo was one of the soldiers pictured in Irving Berlin’s movie, “This Is the Army.”

Sgt. Jerome A. Korte, U.S. Army Air Corps. serving as flight engineer, tail gunner. Jerome was the son of John G. and Emma Benke Korte and they were living north of Pierron.

Before enlisting he attended Frey Aircraft School in St. Louis. He later was employed at the Consolidated Aircraft Corp in San Diego, California. Jerome took his basic training at Kessler Field, Mississippi and then gunnery School at Harlingen, Texas. Jerome was sent to England and was killed in an airplane crash in England.

Pvt. Delmar F. Kuhn, U.S. Army Air Corps, Headquarters Squadron, 6th Bomb Wing, served in England and died following an operation.

He was the son of Edwin H. and Milda Dresch Kuhn. After his school days, Delmar worked at Wick’s Organ Factory and then Polar Ice and Fuel Co., both of Highland. Delmar had undergone an operation in England and died as a result on Aug. 8, 1943. Delmar was reburied in Highland City Cemetery on July 24, 1948.

All of these men were in the booklet of the dedication of the Veterans Honor Parkway, Monday May 25, 2015 and they will be in the War Veterans Cabinet of the Highland Home Museum.

Next week we will finish the balance of the alphabet listing of the veterans who died or were killed in service. Remember, the Museum will not be open on the first Saturday this month but we will have the dedication at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. The museum will be open from 2 to 4 p.m.

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