Class of 2013
Orlando Duncan Jones, deceased, of Portland, Arkansas fought 28 months in the Pacific as a Parachutist qualified Marine Sergeant. He participated in 4 Battle campaigns and three amphibious combat assaults. Awarded the Purple for mortal wounds, he was known as "Super Marine".
Carl Bud Vandiver of Prescott entered WWII with the 153rd Infantry of the Arkansas National Guard where he served 2 years in Alaska before being ordered to North Africa and Italy where he earned the Bronze Star medal and Purple Heart as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant with the 91st Infantry.
Chester Lloyd Lee, deceased, of Poyen was mortally wounded while engaging Viet Cong terrorists and preventing them from blowing up a building complex housing US military personnel. He received the Silver Star medal for gallantry and the Purple Heart.
Archibald Douglas Odom of Greenbrier fought in Vietnam as a Special Forces Airborne Ranger earning the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star medal for valor, 2 Army Commendation medals for valor and the Purple Heart.
Emanuel Sylvester “Vess” Lawbaugh of Fayetteville served 2 combat tours in Vietnam as a Marine Officer where he earned the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart. He spent 20 years in the Marine Corps before retirement and he has served in many capacities of Veterans advocacy in northwest Arkansas.
Hugh Louis Mills of Monticello earned 4 awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 awards of the Silver Star medal for heroism, a Bronze Star medal for valor, 3 Purple Hearts and over 70 awards of the Air Medal during multiple tours in Vietnam as a combat army aviator.
James Lewis Sanders of Benton earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action while leading a Platoon assault on an enemy complex in Vietnam. He courageously exposed himself to enemy fire directing his men. He was also awarded the Bronze Star medal.
James Robinson Risner of Mammoth Springs served in the Air Force in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. In Korea he became the 20th Jet Fighter Ace shooting down 8 MIGs. He flew a total of 163 career combat missions before being shot down in Vietnam. He served 7 years as a POW. He is the first living recipient of the Air Force Cross and has 3 awards of the Distinguished Service Medal for valor.
James William Holt, deceased, of Hope was mortally wounded as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant while attempting to save fellow soldiers during a North Vietnamese attack. He earned the Silver Star medal for gallantry and the Purple Heart.
John Paul Shock of Little Rock graduated from West Point and attended Duke Medical School to serve in the Army as an Ophthalmologist. He treated hundreds of wounded Vietnam vets with eye trauma. He helped revolutionize Cataract surgery with new techniques and earned the Legion of Merit. He joined UAMS in 1979 and has become legendary for his inventions, publications, skill and fundraising.
Logan Garrett Brown of El Dorado was awarded the Bronze Star medal for exceptionally meritorious heroism as well as the Purple Heart while saving his Platoon during an ambush in Iraq. He fought with the 39th Infantry Brigade Arkansas National Guard.
Willard Alvin “Lefty” Hawkins, deceased, of North Little Rock fought in WWII as a Bombardier and Armaments Officer in India, the Middle East and the Marianna islands. Following the war he remained in the Reserves where he earned 2 awards of the Legion of Merit as Director of the Selective Service System.
Willard L. Blake of Conway fought in 7 European campaigns in WWII with the 2nd Armored Division including the Battle of the Bulge and the Ardennes. He earned the Purple Heart for combat wounds and six additional decorations.
William Henry Webster of Little Rock flew over 8,000 hours in multi-engine bombers and Transports. He had 42 combat missions in the pacific during WWII including the famous "Bloody Tuesday" raid on the Japanese headquarters at Rabaul. He earned the Silver Star medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 Purple Hearts.
Winthrop Aldrich Rockefeller, deceased, of Petit Jean Mountain enlisted in the Army, attended Officer Training School and earned 2 awards of the Bronze Star medal and the Purple Heart while serving in the Pacific as an Infantry Company Commander with the 77th Infantry Division in WWII. He also served 2 terms as Governor of Arkansas.