In Logan County we have true hidden treasures that rival the jewels of the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Logan County can proudly boast of:
Eustace Roberts who resides in Magazine, is one of these Treasures. June as he likes to be called was a POW on the violently opposed Corregidor Islands. For 28 days the valiant Men and Women held onto the highly disputed island. The defenders were living on about 30 ounces of food per day. Drinking water was distributed only twice a day, but the constant bombing and shelling often interrupted the distribution of rations. Japanese aircraft flew 614 missions, dropping over 1700 bombs totaling some 365 tons of explosive. Joining the aerial bombardment were 240 mm and 149 mm howitzers and other artillery pieces. These pounded Corregidor day and night. It was estimated that on May 4 alone, more than 16,000 shells hit Corregidor. Holding out those 28 days resulted in exhausting of their food supplies and ammunition. In a radio message to President Franklin Roosevelt, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainright, the Islands Commanding Officer said, “There is a limit of human endurance, and that point has long been passed.” Colonel Howard burned the 4th Marine Regiment’s flag as well as the national colors to prevent their capture. Gen. Wainwright surrendered the Corregidor garrison at about 1:30 p.m. on May 6, 1942. Eustace was then boarded onto a Transport Ship. Shortly after setting sail it came under fire from American Forces and that Ship was sunk, along with the next he was placed on. His final destination was Japan and he was held there until the end of the war.
Antone Lackey is another such treasure. Antone is a graduate of the final Horse Calvary class that participated in World War II. It is believed he is the last surviving member of that elite group. While the age old Horse Calvary was given away to the Mechanized Calvary. Antone served in various theaters and was present in Japan at the signing of the Surrender. Victory Over Japan or the VJ term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and, because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II. Antone was beside General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, signing the Instrument of Japans Surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers and during MacArthur’s stay on mainland Japan until ordered home. Antone spent a portion of the Korean War on horseback as well providing security to supply lines in remote regions.
Speaking of the Calvary, James Hilton who also resides in Logan County is another Veteran deserving of honor. James was a 1st Air Calvary (Air Cav) who was shot down while performing much needed extractions of wounded soldiers during the Viet-Nam War. After coming under heavy fire James was able to “Freewheel” land the Helicopter. Shortly thereafter James was captured and sent to Laos as a POW and subjected to many atrocities frowned upon by all Governments. The camp soon came under fire by 1st Air Calvary and the resulting confusion allowed the escape of 4 POW’s one which succumbed to injuries during that escape and a second was lost from resulting wounds in a recovery hospital. James spent 6 days hiding and moving to the River and was recused by a “River Boat”. He was liberated by American Forces and to this day refuses to let one room in his house not display the American Flag.
The Courage and Honor these men and numerous others have exhibited is something for all to emulate. We are honored here in Logan County to have these Veterans call our neck of the woods “Home”. I ask all who read this to simply do one thing…Bow your head and say “Thank You”. No names are required because without each Veteran we would not be looking at a Country as great as the one we have now. From George Washington to the next Hero we will forever be indebted for their sacrifices’ and as I finish typing this, I, myself bow and say THANK YOU.