Wednesday
Aug152012

Jim Sutton

SUTTON, CLARENCE JAMES "JIM was born on September 18, 1940 in Oil City, PA, he moved to the Central Florida area in 1987. My military career started in 1956 months before my sixteenth birthday. I joined Company A riz" Infantry Division of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Back then you took your basic training at the Armory. I remember our Instructor could not read. The class had to read the charts for him. They found out I was under age so I was dismissed.

I finally joined the regular Army on December 18, 1958. I was sent to Fort Jackson, S.C. for basic and advanced Infantry training. After that I was assigned to Company A 2nd Battalion combat team in Krulavic, Iceland. Next I was sent to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Colin Powell was assigned to the 152 Battle Group, most likely as a 2nd or 1st Lieutenant, with me.

I married Loretta DuFrense in the 60's. I was stationed in England and Germany with the family. We divorced in 1974. But we have three adult children. I quit the military after that. Then I married my wife Carol in 1979 in Houston. We have two adult children and grandchildren. I did go back to the Air Force Reserves. I have been traveling from Reno, NV to the Phillipines in my two week stint every year. We moved to Florida in 1987. I transferred from the Reserves to Patrick Air Force Base. I retired in February 4, 1992.

I have been a member of VFW Post 10147 for many years. My wife, Carol, and I have been very active members. I have served the Post as a Trustee and managed the Memorial Brick program.

Wednesday
Apr252012

Charles Fonner

I was born on October 20, 1942 in Peoria, Illinois. I graduated from high school and then I joined the Navy.  I was a Boiler man and served on the USS Vogelgesang DD 862. Our ship was a participant in the Cuban and Thailand crises.  I was in the Navy for six years. After the Navy, I served two years in the Coast Guard Reserves and fifteen years in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. I retired in 2005.

After serving, I drove a tractor trailer for forty-five years. I did long haul deliveries most of the time.

I am married to my beautiful wife, Colleen, and we have two sons, Nick and Chris.

I have several hobbies that I enjoy. I love off road 4X4 competition as well as trap shooting, hunting, and boating.

I was a VFW Post Commander in Mt. Plymouth for a couple of years before transferring to the Apopka Post in 2010.

Wednesday
Apr252012

Louis Boria

I was born March 22, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York. I attended Manuel Training High School. I entered the Marine Corps at the age of 16 and I spent twelve years in the Marine Corps. During my service I was stationed and deployed to many different places. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Guam. During WWII I landed with the 5th Amphibian Force at Leyte, Philippines in the Pacific Campaign. I was there for the liberation of the Philippines from Japan. I was wounded there and received the first of many commendations.

I was deployed to Korea and landed at Inchon on September 16, 1950. I was wounded for the second time and received my second Purple Heart. This second wound later caused me to have some hearing loss. Among my commendations for wartime duty are: 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, the Korean Presidential Citation, and the Naval Unit Citation.

I was in the Infantry during my whole career. I received a medical discharge. After my discharge I worked as a plumber for five years.

My wife, Julie, and I were married in 1953. We raised eight children, two daughters, and six sons. All of my sons served in the Marine Corps. Julie and I gave the greatest sacrifice when our oldest son, Louis III died in action of wounds received at Quan Tri, Viet Nam. We have seventeen grandchildren and five great grandchildren. 

I love the Marine Corps. It was my life. I am proud of my four sons for being Marines, too. It motivated me to do things I never thought I could do. Sempre Fi, always faithful.

Wednesday
Apr252012

William Ray Meisel

I was born September 19, 1926 in Forgan, Oklahoma.  It is a prairie town located on the former Cheyenne Strip of Oklahoma along the Kansas and Colorado border. I was raised in the wheat farming area around Greensburg, Kansas. During the great depression, my family moved to various locations around the state. I attended many schools, rural one room schools as well as city schools. Jobs were very scarce. After attending a trade school, upon graduation I returned to Salina, Kansas. I was employed AT THE Smoky Hill Army Air Base, in the armament department until enlisting in the Navy.
 
On February 19, 1944, at the age of seventeen I enlisted in the Navy. I received basic training in Farragut, Idaho at Camp Ward. After completing boot training, I was transferred to the Hawaiian Islands to continue small arms, rifle, and combat training.  My permanent duty station was on the USS IOWA BB 61. I was assigned to a deck division operating small boats. I was involved in six major engagements with the enemy. The Iowa was one of the first ships to enter Tokyo Bay and watched the signing of the Unconditional Surrender of Japan, bring to end to WWII. Upon return to Long Beach, California I was transferred to the U.S.S. Fall River C A 131. The ship returned to Japan as an Occupation Force. I was assigned to a boat division, until the end of my enlistment.
 
I received the Navy Good Conduct-Asiatic Pacific (6 stars) – China Service – Philippine Liberation (2 stars). On September 16, 1947 I was discharged from the Navy and returned to my family’s home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I joined a U. S. Naval Reserve Unit and also returned to Colorado Springs High School graduating with the Senior Class with a GED Certification. I worked at my father’s service station earning $.50 per hour. I worked delivering 7 Up products, while awaiting an opening with the Power Company doing new construction.
 
I decided to return to the military. In October, 1948 I enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. I was sent to San Francisco, California and was assigned to the USCGC Ironwood, a buoy tender. I was waiting for Damage Control School to open in Groton, Connecticut. Upon graduating as a DC3 (E4), I transferred to the USCGC Chautauque in Alameda, California. During my career in the Coast Guard I performed many types of duties, Weather Patrol, Air Sea Rescues, Port Security, Explosive Loading Supervisor, Construction ( both state side and in Guam M.I.), Assistant Fire Chief at USCG Academy, and Coast Guard Intelligence-USCGC Duane WPG-3. In May, 1965 I retired with 21 years combined in the Navy and Coast Guard as an E-7. I returned to Groton Connecticut where I went to work at General Dynamics Corporation Electric Boat Division as a Test Engineer building Submarines. I then joined the city of Groton Police Department as a Patrolman. November 1978 I was medically retired after a heart attack, which made me unable to work. In 1979 I had a coronary bypass X2 and again on November 19, 1989 I had another coronary bypass X4, at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. I move to Orlando from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Wednesday
Apr252012

Roger Capper

Born July 24, 1940 (Leo) during an early Luftwaffe bombing raid on the Liverpool docks, and the Birkenhead ship building yards, with the nursing staff wearing WWI style tin helmets. My mother who had been in Domestic Service all her working life, raised me during WWII as my father was in North Africa with the Royal Engineers during the Italian and Afrika Corp campaigns, a true "Desert Rat" of England's 8th Army. I first met my father at 5 years of age, returning from the desert, to a war torn economy, with Britain's post war government encouraging its returning service men to seek their fortunes in the Colonies.

In 1947 our family emigrated to South Africa, and I have very fond memories of sunny South Africa, but with the death of the Prime Minister, Field Marshal Jan Smuts, and the rise to power of the anti-British, Afrikaander Nationalist Party, in 1953 we returned to England. I attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, founded in 1554, in this small Lancashire town, with it's Norman castle. I left school at 17 and went to work at a small start-up manufacturing company called Webster's Electronic Devices, which was one of Englands early developers of the new transistor technology. I read an article offering an exciting and challenging career in Southern Rhodesia. That morning, I broke the news to my family, that I was returning to Africa. Within 24 hours of entering the country I had completed my application to join the British South Africa Police, and 6 weeks later, after interviews and screening I was inducted into the Regiment as a recruit in squad 11/1958, and entered Morris Depot in Salisbury, the country's capital, to begin my 6 months basic training with a mixed group of colonials from Rhodesia,Nyasaland,Tanganyika,Kenya and South Africa. Our force was one of only two "Police" Regiments to be registered by the War Office as Mounted Rifles or Infantry, to be called upon to defend the Realm!

We started our illustrious history in 1889 as the British South Africa Company Police, of 500 mounted mercenaries, raised by Cecil Rhodes, the future benefactor of the "Rhodes Scholarships" and the founder of the diamond cartel known as "DeBeers", to protect his pioneer column when they pushed North into the territory of the Matabele and onto Mashonaland, to raise the Union Jack and declare the territory for Queen Victoria and the British South Africa Company. After extensive infantry and mounted training along with civil training in riot control and law and police studies, I declined the offer (joke) to join the 1959 Mounted Display Team.

I ended up with three other like-minded comrades at the "Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federal Department of Post and Telegraphs Engineering College" in the early 1960's, and subsequently joined the technical side of the Signals Branch with the rank of sergeant and a posting to the Eastern province,bordering Portuguese Mocambique. During this period, the government of Ian Douglas Smith, a WWII Spitfire pilot, and now Prime Minister of Rhodesia, after protractive and abortive negotiations with the British Government to join the Dominions of Australia,New Zealand and Canada, and taking a leaf out of the 1776 American play book, unilateraly declared our own Independence (UDI) in November 1965.... I applied for transfer and attachment to the Special Branch which had an opening for a "technical" person, and in 1966 I faded away into the plain clothed World of shadows.....

During this period I was living in a private residential apartment block and one day fate cast it's spell to the extent that I met a stunning teenage girl in the office, looking for assistance, which I was more than happy to provide. The resultant outcome lead to our wedding in 1969. A beautiful bride, wonderful wife, life partner and the mother of our three children, Natasha (1971), Rolf (1974) and Tanya (1989). Renate was born of Austrian parents in Salzburg, "The Sound of Music", and at the tender age of eight years emigrated with her family to Rhodesia. By now I held the rank of Inspector and had become deeply involved in the land of "Gooks and Spooks" and the war against International Terrorism. Our cover was "The our coveted Green Cards (Which are blue....!)

I took over RF International and re-registered it as a local company, RF International (1984) Inc., which Renate and I ran from our Apopka home. During the intervening years, Tanya was born and attended Apopka High School and is now at the University of Tampa in the Nursing program and the AFROTC detachment at USF, Rolf, after graduating from Stetson University, became a member of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, as is Renate, a PSO civilian employee. Our elder daughter Natasha, who entered the Culinary fraternity after graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, is now the Executive Pastry Chef for the Piedmont Driving Club, Atlanta....( Strains of Gone with the Wind ! ) My contribution to the millennium and Y2K was to become a United States citizen. Both Renate and I attended the Civilian Police Academies for Apopka and Orange County, of which I was the President of the OCSO Civilian Alumni for a couple of years, before being accepted as a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10147 Altamonte Springs/Apopka. I am now retired and fully enjoy this status.