Franklin R. Sousley

Franklin R. Sousley

Franklin Runyon Sousley was born at Flemingsburg, Kentucky, on 19 September 1925. After his graduation from high school in June 1943, he moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he secured a job with the Frigidaire Division of General Motors.

Sousley entered the Marine Corps Reserve on 5 January 1944 through the Selective Service System and was sent too Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, for his boot training. Upon completion of recruit training, he was assigned to Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines of the 5th Marine Division, then at Camp Pendleton, California. Private Sousley joined the company on 15 March as an automatic rifleman and remained with the same unit in the same specialty until he met his death. In September, Private Sousley sailed with his company from San Diego for Hilo, Hawaii, where it arrived on 24 September. The young Marine was promoted to private first class on 22 November 1944. In the latter part of January 1945, after extensive training and maneuvers, Sousley sailed for Iwo Jima where he landed with his company on D-day, 19 February. Sousley survived the battle for Suribachi and moved northward with his regiment. On 21 March, Private First Class Sousley was killed during the fighting around Kitano Point. At the age of 19, he was the last of the flag-raisers to die on Iwo Jima.

Private First Class Sousley was buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery at Iwo Jima in Plot 8, Row 7, Grave 2189. On 22 March 1948, a request was made to return the remains to the United States for reinterment in the Elizaville, Kentucky Cemetery.

Private First Class Sousley was awarded the following decorations and medals:

  • Purple Heart (posthumously)
  • Presidential Unit Citation with one star (for Iwo Jima)
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star (for Iwo Jima)
  • World War II Victory Medal
William R. Higgins
William R. Higgins

William Richard "Rich" Higgins (January 15, 1945 - July 6, 1990) was a United States Marine Corps colonel who was captured in 1988 while serving on a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. He was held hostage, tortured and eventually brutally murdered by his captors.

Leonard F. Mason (MOH)
Leonard F. Mason

Leonard Foster Mason (22 February 1920 - 22 July 1944) served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. Mason, born Middlesboro, Kentucky, 22 February 1920, enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 1943. Promoted to private first class in March 1943, Mason was sent to the Pacific war zone in October.

John J. McGinty III (MOH)
John J. McGinty III

John J. McGinty III was born on 21 January 1940 in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed grammar school in Louisville, Kentucky in 1955, and attended high school in Louisville for a year and a half prior to enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on 19 February 1957. Discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve, he enlisted in the Regular Marine Corps on 3 March 1958.

Dakota L. Meyer (MOH)
Dakota L. Meyer

Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

Presley N. O'Bannon
Presley N. O'Bannon

On a lonely knoll in a Frankfort, Kentucky cemetery stands a simple stone marking the grave of the "Hero of Derne". It is among the final resting places of vice-presidents, senators, governors, artists, and scores of local patriots who fell in action against the wilderness and foreign aggressors.