Fallen Soldier Project
Efforts to raise money for a bronze sculpture for the B-29 All Veterans Memorial Complex continue and donations are still needed. The Sculpture is located within the Memorial Complex at the Pratt Industrial Airport. The “Fallen Soldier,” is bronze and features a pair of combat boots, a rifle, a helmet and dog tags. The Sculpture honors all fallen soldiers including Kansas Army National Guardsmen Spec. Jesse Davila, Staff Sgt. David Berry and Staff Sgt. Travis Bachman who all died in Iraq while serving with 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery.
A replica of the sculpture has been assembled by Gene Rose which has been traveling across Kansas to various Veterans organizations to honor and assure that heros from all wars will never be forgotten. The Fallen Soldier will be shown throughout the state where fallen soldiers have lived.
WW II History of the USS Karnes APA 175 (Amphibious Personnel Attack) by Gene Rose
The Karnes consisted of a 500 man crew including 7th Beach Battalion members. The 7th Beach Battalion arrived on ship on Dec. 3, 1944 after returning from the invasion of Normandy Beach in France to fight in the Pacific. On March 8, 1945, the Karnes left Saipan for Pearl Harbor carrying casualties from Iwo Jima. The Karnes participated in the Okinawa operation on May 3, 1945. Marine personnel were unloaded on Yellow Beach 3. On the morning of May 4, a near miss was suffered off th starboard bow from a bomb dropped from an Oscar suicide plane that crashed into the light cruiser Birmingham. On May 8th, we left Okinawa Shima carrying 866 survivors of ships sunk or damaged by suicide planes. The survivors included personnel from the destroyers Luce, Morrison, Little, Hazelwood, Thornton (AVD11), and LSM's (R) 190, 194, and 195.
The Karnes participated in the occupation of Sasebo, third largest Japanese Naval Base from September 22 - 25, 1945. The Karnes beach party operated green beaches 1 and 2 following the fourth wave ashore. The Karnes Beachmaster accepted the surrender of the seaplane base as the Marines moved inland.
"My love for my country and fellow warriors who died, gave me inspiration for assembling a traveling fallen soldier display like the ones used to honor fallen comrades in Iraq" says Mr. Rose.