Correction: The Benjamin Lyon Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution placed American flags on World War I and World War II veterans' graves Saturday in commemoration of Memorial Day. An earlier version of this article misstated the organization's name and the scope of how many flags were placed.
At least 312 World War II veterans rest in the Denton city cemeteries I.O.O.F. and Oakwood. Another 74 veterans are buried in Roselawn Memorial Park, and others are buried overseas. The last Monday in May is Memorial Day, a time to honor fallen soldiers.
World War II was the deadliest international conflict in history, According to History.com, it claimed 60 million to 80 million lives. Civilians accounted for 50 million to 55 million deaths, including 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, and approximately 21 million to 25 million soldiers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
Soldiers in Europe and Japan faced extremely different conditions. Those landing on European beaches were showered with gunfire, while some spent weeks in foxholes in freezing temperatures. Pacific theater battles were fought at sea and against Japanese in underground tunnels on tropical islands.
Denton’s 179 fallen World War II soldiers include:
William Castleberry, a North Texas State Teachers College (now the University of North Texas) student, one of the first Americans to die when his Pearl Harbor battleship was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He’s entombed in the U.S.S. Arizona with a cenotaph (empty grave) at I.O.O.F.
Frank Brooks was one of 12,000 U.S. soldiers captured after his bomber went down in the Philippines. He survived the 65-mile Bataan Death March and died in a POW camp in 1942. He’s buried in I.O.O.F.
Charles Ensley, an NTSTC student and pilot, died in a 1942 plane crash in Roswell, New Mexico, while testing a new aircraft. He’s buried in Oakwood.
Robert Beard stormed the beaches of Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. He invaded Rome and Casino before being killed in action in 1944. He is buried in I.O.O.F.
Jewel Parks was killed in action in Italy on Sept. 15, 1944. He’s buried in Oakwood.
Francis Meredith was a pilot whose bomber was shot down over Germany in 1944. His body returned to Denton in 1949. He’s buried at I.O.O.F.
Joseph Parsley was an NTSTC student and pilot whose bomber came under enemy fire returning from a bombing mission over the mountain range. The plane came under enemy fire, crashing just before making it to the base in India. He’s buried in Oakwood.
Norman Penney was an NTSTC student killed in the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines in 1944.
James Rayzor Jr., an NTSTC student, was a pilot shot down in the Philippines in 1944. He’s buried in the Philippines with a cenotaph at I.O.O.F.
Rupert Davis, buried in I.O.O.F., fought at Normandy beach and was killed near the Rhine River in 1945 as the U.S. pushed into Germany.
Thomas Truman, a Marine drill instructor, was killed in action at Iwo Jima in 1945. He’s buried at I.O.O.F.
James Wingo, a chief machinist, was one of the last casualties. He and 21 other sailors were killed when a kamikaze hit the U.S.S. Rodman in the Battle of Okinawa on April 6, 1945. He is buried at I.O.O.F.
The Texas Veterans Hall of Fame and the Benjamin Lyon Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution placed American flags on World War I and World War II veterans' graves Saturday in commemoration of Memorial Day.