The Wall of Honor Project

The Wall of Honor Project is an effort to honor those who have served our country in war and peace in any branch of our armed forces.  The display of flags on national holidays in front of Town Hall is a component of the Wall of Honor project .

The initial set of flags was purchased by the Town with a generous donation from the  Lake Waccamaw Woman’s Club. The idea is to add to our flag inventory until we have enough flags to line both sides of Flemington Drive. By purchasing a flag in the name of a living or deceased veteran, an American Flag will be added to our inventory.  In addition, the honoree’s name will be “etched” on the “Scroll of Honor” in the Town’s Newsletter. Subsequently, that profile will be permanently displayed on the Town’s Website.  The ultimate goal of the project is to have a “Wall of Honor“  on the outside facade of Town Hall.

scroll-of-honor 2

FRANCIS ALEXANDER GAULT
FRANCIS ALEXANDER GAULT Lieutenant - United States Navy

Frank served in the United States Navy and in the United States Naval Reserve from 1942 until 1965. He saw significant combat action during WWII and the Korean Conflict. His many honors for his service during WWII include a Presidential Testimonial Letter, the Atlantic War Zone Medal, Mediterranean War Zone Medal, and the Middle East and Pacific War Zone Medals. He also earned the WWII Victory Medal, the Battleship Star and the Silver Star. He again served his Country with distinction during the Korean Conflict earning the Navy Occupation Medal, China Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Ribbon with 2 Stars. For all those accomplishments, Lt. Frank Gault is the inaugural inductee into the Town of Lake Waccamaw Wall of Honor.

John A. McNeill Sr.
John A. McNeill Sr.Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy

Lt. Commander McNeill served his country in WW II as a member of the United States Naval Reserve. He was in command of Flotilla Five, a group of tank landing craft from June 1943 until May 1945. His main theater of war was in the Solomon Islands. He wrote of his experiences during World War II in his book entitled The Voyage of the 159. He stated in the book that, aside from his family, the Voyage of the 159 was the proudest event of his life. Commander McNeill remained in the Naval Reserves until 1978. Ever the modest man, we honor the family’s request to dwell on his life after the War and not mention the numerous commendations he earned while serving his Country.

George O’Brien Inman
George O’Brien InmanPFC - United States Army

George served his country with distinction as a Military Police Officer with the legendary 101st Airborne Division during the Korean Conflict. He served in Korea from April 1954 until March 14, 1956, at which time he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. His wife Flossie Inman resides on Lake Shore Drive, Lake Waccamaw.

Michael W. Hollingsworth
Michael W. Hollingsworth Senior Master Sergeant - United States Army

Master Sergeant Hollingsworth’s journey in the United States Armed Forces began in 1961 when he enlisted in the US Army Reserves. He was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently was honorably discharged in 1967. He joined the Army National Guard in Mississippi and then transferred to the Air National Guard. He moved to North Carolina in 1984 and transferred to the NC Air National Guard where he was called back to active duty in support of the first Gulf War. In 2002 Hollingsworth was assigned to the 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing, Prince Sultan Airbase in Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation Southern Watch. Senior Master Sergeant Hollingsworth retired from active military service in 2004 and is now a member of VFW and American Legion Post 139.
During his military duty SMSgt Hollingsworth earned the following ribbons and medals:
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award/ 3 OLC
Air Reserve Meritorious Service Award
National Defense Service Award/ 4 OLC
Armed Forces Expeditionary Award
Air Force Longevity Service Award/4OLC
Armed Forces Reserve– AF/Bronze HG
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
Cold War Medal

THOMAS W. ELLIOTT
THOMAS W. ELLIOTTPRIVATE NORTH CAROLINA NATIONAL GUARD

Thomas Elliott served in the NC National Guard from 1949-1952. He considered it his patriotic duty to serve his country as the cold war in Europe was heating up. His numerous letters of commendation are a testament to his dedication to the National Guard. He was a “Citizen Soldier”, faithfully attending the monthly drills and the annual grueling six weeks of the annual mandatory summer camp in such exotic places as Ft. Bragg and scenic Ft. Benning Georgia. According to his family, he joined to be a “radio man” and that is exactly what his job was in the Whiteville unit of the NC National Guard. Thomas Elliott in private life worked at Riegel Paper Company, Federal Paper and later International Paper for 47 years. He was a certified Waste Water Treatment Plant operator, served on the Cape Fear Council of Government, including as Chairman in 1977-1978. One of his greatest contributions, other than serving his country, was as Mayor of Lake Waccamaw, a position he held from December 1973 until December 1987, probably the longest tenure of any Mayor before or since. During his administration, the Town added the Depot Museum and Library. In addition, he worked with officials from the State to establish the Lake Waccamaw State Park.

HARVEY M. FOLEY
HARVEY M. FOLEYSTAFF SERGEANT - UNITED STATES ARMY

Harvey Foley joined the United States Army on December 12, 1952 and retired on March 1, 1974. He traveled the world over including multiple deployments to Korea, Europe and Vietnam. During his second tour of duty in Korea he participated in the 1st United Nations Counter Offensive, the CCF Spring Offensive and the U.N. Summer- Fall Offensive in 1955. After his return from the hot war in Korea, Sgt. Foley was assigned several tours of duty in Europe during the height of the cold war from 1957 until 1964 with two 18-month stateside deployments. After returning to the USA in 1964 and two years of duty in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, Sgt. Foley was deployed to his first of two tours of duty in Vietnam, another hot war. During his time in Vietnam he participated in the Vietnam Counter Offensives II and III and, as his official records describe it, “Unnamed Campaign-DAMSG 2820107”. SSgt Foley received numerous awards, commendations, letters of appreciation and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal for having “distinguished himself by outstanding meritorious service in connection with military operations against hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam”, awarded in October 1971.
Sergeant Foley is Town Manager Harry Foleys stepfather.

Charles R. Mercer
Charles R. MercerSpecialist 4th Class - United Sates Army

Charles Mercer joined the United States Army March 14, 1968. Shortly after completing basic training in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina he received orders for transfer to the Republic of South Vietnam where he served with distinction from August 1968 until August 1969. During that time he achieved the rank of Specialist 4th Class. Awards and honors earned by Charles include the Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal w/Dvc, and Sharpshooter citation for outstanding mastery of the M-14 Rifle.
Specialist Mercer completed the active portion of service to his country on March 13, 1970 at which time he received an honorable discharge from the United States Army. He continued to serve his Country in an official capacity until March 1974 as a member of the US Army Reserve. Since then he has been a loyal member of the Columbus County Vietnam War Veterans Chapter.

Donald P. Edmunds
Donald P. EdmundsStaff Sergeant - United States Army

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Donald P. Edmunds joined the Us Army on February 10 1972 and retired on December 22 2009, having served honorably for 27 years. His military career started with Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC. After Basic training Don was assigned to Advanced Individual Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama to as a Chemical Staff Specialist, in this capacity, he was assigned to the 81st Chemical Company until his departure from the regular army on February 7, 1975.

After returning to Columbus County, Don joined the Army National Guard unit in Whiteville as the Chemical Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). He performed chemical training for the unit, providing instruction on how to avoid chemical hazards, decontamination of equipment and personnel and placement of chemical detection devices. He later transferred to the US Army Reserve Unit in Columbia SC as a Chemical Instructor in the 108th (IT) Chemical Battalion. To be closer to home, Don transferred to the 413th Chemical Company in Florence, SC. It was there his MOS 54E was officially changed to 74D-CBRNE Specialist Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Devices). Among numerous awards and citations, Don was awarded the Army Commendation and Army Achievement Medals.

Upon returning to civilian life he taught chemistry in NC, SC and FL for 19 years.
Donald’s roots are deeply imbedded in the fabric of Lake Waccamaw. His father William S. (Bill) Edmunds was among the individuals instrumental in founding the first Fire Department/Rescue Squad in addition to serving as Mayor during the late 50’s.

Charles Le Grande Smith
Charles Le Grande SmithSF-C3 - United States Navy

Charles L. (Charlie) Smith joined the United States Navy in 1943. He was assigned to the Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, VA. There he was trained as a welder and pipefitter. He left active duty in 1947. From 1943 until October 1945, he was a “landlubber”. That all changed when the USS Fall River, a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser arrived in Norfolk on October 31, 1945. Seaman Smith was assigned to the cruiser as a welder/pipefitter in the R Division.

The Fall River sailed out of Norfolk with a crew of 1,142 officers and enlisted personnel until January 31, 1946. Then the cruiser was assigned to JTF 1, (Joint Task Force) organized to conduct Operation Crossroads, atomic weapons tests in the Marshall Islands in the summer of 1946. To prepare for this duty, Fall River sailed to San Pedro California, where from February 16 until March 6 she was altered to provide flagship accommodations. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 17 March, she embarked Rear Admiral Frank. G. Fahrion, commander of the target vessel’s group for the tests, and with him and Charlie Smith on board sailed in the Marshalls between 21 May and 14 September 1946.

Caught up in post-war economizing measures, the ship was placed out of commission on October 31, 1947 about the same time that Charles Le Grande Smith elected to return to civilian life. Returning from active duty, Charlie Smith became a part-time farmer and served as a police officer with the Columbus County Police Force, the Whiteville Police Department and as Chief of Police in Fair Bluff when he retired. Mr. Charlie, as he was affectionately known, is the father of Lake Waccamaw residents Kathryn Foley and Le Grande Smith who reside on Bella Coola Road.

Charles Patton
Charles PattonLieutenant - United States Navy

Lieutenant Charles Patton served as a Navy Pilot during the Vietnam conflict. He received his commission during the summer of 1969. He received primary flight training at Saufley in Pensacola and basic flight training at Whiting Field near Pensacola. Advance flight training took place in Texas. He received his wings in December 1970 at Corpus Christ, Tx. He spent time on an Admiral’s staff in the Philippines. He also served and flew off the USS Kitty Hawk. Charles moved to Lake Waccamaw in 1984.
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