American Legion Post 50 SAL 50 New York USA
|October 19, 2009
WVOX 1460 AM
"Sons of the American Legion Radio Report"
Ken Kraetzer and John Chuhran
The "Sons of the American Legion Radio Report" can be heard live on
WVOX 1460 AM in Westchester County and "Around the World" on
WVOX.com. The show is regularly held on every Monday from 2:30 to 3:00
The host of the program is Kenneth G. Kraetzer, Commander of Sons of the
American Legion in Pelham, NY; Vice Commander for Westchester County,
and Vice Commander for New York State.
The co-host on this segment was John Chuhran, a New Rochelle based PR
executive and Sons of the American Legion member.
The Sons of the American Legion Report is also presented on select
Thurday evenings from 6 PM to 7 PM as part of Aaron Kershaw's On the
Inside Radio Report.
Shows are promoted on "Facebook", check page for Ken Kraetzer
Pelham, New York MIA'S
The third Friday In September has been designated as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The
Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Post 50 gather annually for a service in
remembrance of Pelham’s MIAs at the Pelham Veterans Plaza on Fifth Avenue for a candlelit
Link to Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Offices
Of the 87 Pelham residents who have lost their lives in military service since World War One, twelve
are designated as Missing In Action.
The most recent MIA is PMHS graduate Capt. John Alexander House II, USMC, who landed a
crippled helicopter on June 30, 1967 near Phu Bai, South Vietnam saving the lives of seven Marine
passengers. Capt. House is included among 1,700 MIAs from the Vietnam War that continue to be
searched for by the Joint POW / MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) based at Hickam Air Force Base
in Hawaii. Capt. House is remembered on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington DC Panel
22E - Line 87.
From the research conducted by members of Post 50, SAL 50, and Pelham Memorial High School,
the following Pelham residents are included among 74,000 Americans who continue to this day to be
designated as "Missing in action" from World War II:
LT. C. George Campbell USNR, PMHS'1932, on August 4th, 1944 he flew from the USS Hornet,
landed his plane at sea saving the lives of his crew before he himself succumbed.
Second Lt. Kendall King Fish USAAF, a WWII bomber pilot who flew many missions from Italy, on
April 24, 1945 his plane crashed near the island of Capri.
WT3 Vincent LaSelva USNR, was lost at sea in the Pacific on April 6, 1945, killed in a Kamikaze
attack on the destroyer USS Witter
Murtha J. McCarthy, USAAF, PMHS'38, a fighter pilot sent to the Pacific in 1943. In July 1943 on
his first mission over Papua New Guinea he was reported Missing in Action.
Flight Officer Bertley A. Moberg USAAF, graduated from PMHS in 1941. He became a B17 pilot
and a member of the 20th Bomber Squadron, 2nd Bomb Group heavy which flew WWII missions
from Italy, he was lost on a mission on March 14, 1945.
LTJG Kenneth H. Muir USNR, was military officer aboard the liberty ship SS NATHANIEL
HAWTHORNE. On November 7,1942 in the Caribbean Sea the ship was sunk by a torpedo
launched by U-508. He received the Navy Cross for getting as many of his men off the ship with
disregard for his own safety.
Sailor Herbert Retallack USN, left PMHS during the eleventh grade to join the US Navy. He served
on the destroyer, USS Rowan DD405 which sailed in the Atlantic. On Sept. 10th 1943 off Italy the
Rowan was hit by a torpedo and sank in less than a minute,
Ensign John M. Ring USNR was a Navy pilot during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944
of a carrier based F6F plane from the USS Langley which participated in an attack on a Japanese
cruiser. Ring's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was seen falling out of formation and hitting into
the sea just behind the targeted ship.
Lieutenant JG William Thoman, US Coast Guard PMHS'1938 (EM). He died in service to our
country on June 13, 1943. Lt. Thoman is remembered at the Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing, at the East Coast Memorial at Battery Park in New York City.
First Lieutenant Ellsworth Totten, III USAAF, was an outstanding runner at PMHS a '38
graduate. He flew 59 WWII missions combat missions from Italy. On Dec. 23, 1944, Lt. Totten and
his crew went off to search for a missing pilot, the plane crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff.
George Francis Usbeck, Jr., U.S. Merchant Marine, served on the merchant tanker ship L.J.
Drake. During a cruise through the Caribbean Sea the ship was torpedoed and sunk on June 5th
Capt. Robert H. Wetherbee, USAAF. A graduate of PMHS, was a bomber pilot stationed in
England. On July 15th 1943 he was reported as “missing in action by the War Department
Johnie E. Webb
Deputy to the Commander for Public Relations and Legislative Affairs
Mr. Webb assumed the duties as the Deputy Commander for Support & External Relations to
the Commander, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in September 2006. He served as
Senior Advisor to the Commander of JPAC from October 2003 through Sept. 2006. Prior to
this, Mr. Webb was the Deputy to the Commander, U.S. Army Central Identification
Laboratory (CILHI) beginning in August 1994 and held the position of CILHI Commander from
1982 through 1993.
Mr. Webb received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Benedictine
College, in Atchison, Kansas. Before entering Federal Government Civil Service he
completed 26 years of service as an Army officer in the Quartermaster Corps, retiring in
1994 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
As an Army officer, Mr. Webb had extensive duty with the Central Identification Laboratory.
He was first assigned as a Search and Recovery Team Leader in 1975 when the
organization was located at Camp Samae San, Thailand. He was assigned the responsibility
for relocating the laboratory to Hawaii in 1976.
Mr. Webb has been fortunate enough to lead many “firsts” in the mission to account for
missing service members. In 1985, he lead the first mission into Vietnam to excavate a B-52
site. In 1996, he lead the CILHI delegation during the first negotiations with the Democratic
Peoples Republic of Korea. These negotiations resulted in U.S. military personnel returning
to North Korea for the first time since the cessation of hostilities to conduct Joint Recovery
Operations to recover unaccounted for Korean War service members. Mr. Webb has also
lead delegations into the People’s Republic of China, Burma, and Papua New Gueina to
discuss conducting World War II search and recovery operations. And, Mr. Webb lead a
technical advisory team to Saudi Arabia to discuss the forensic identification capabilities of
the U.S. government.
He is a Vietnam veteran and his personal awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit
(2 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the
Army Meritorious Service Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Army Commendation Medal
(Oak Leaf Cluster).
Mr. Webb is a native of Perrin, Texas. He and his wife, Scherry have one son and one
Pelham Post 50 former CDR Bob McGuirl at Florence American
Cemetery under Wall of the Missing tribute to Pelham's Bertley Moberg
Post 50 Pelham wreath placed in front of Wall of the Missing at the
Florence American Cemetery during 2005 ceremony.
Kerri and Ken Kraetzer point to the name of Pelham's Ellsworth Totten, honored
on the Missing in Action Wall at the Florence American Cemetery in Italy
Wall of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery in
England where many MIAs from the Eight Air Force are honored.
Ken Kraetzer pointing out name of Pelham's Robert Wetherbee
honored at the Cambridge American Cemetery