As we head toward Nov. 11 — Veterans Day — the Oswego County News and Oswego Shopper would like to honor those men whose names are on the 12 American Legion posts in Oswego County.
These are men who went off to war in the prime of their lives — most were teenagers or in their early 20s. Many were farmers, toiling the Oswego County soil growing crops and tending livestock. They defended freedom, answering the call of their country to fight Kaiser Wilhelm or Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini.
Some never returned, giving the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are some short biographies on the men who now have their names on American Legion posts throughout Oswego County. Remember them and all veterans always, but especially on Nov. 11.
Altmar Post 1435
The Russell-Tryon post — chartered in March 1946 — is named for Delbert W. Russell and Edgar Lewis Tryon.
Russell, who was a private, served in numerous outfits during World War I, including the Army’s Company B, 10th Infantry and Company A, 7th Infantry Regiment. He was born in Boylston in 1896. Russell was inducted into the service at Pulaski and went overseas to fight in France from April 1918 until he was killed in action July 15, 1918 at the Battle of Marne. He is buried in Boylston-Sandy Creek Wesleyan Cemetery. Two of his brothers also served in the war.
Tryon was born in 1920 in Ellisburg, Jefferson County. He attended Belleville Academy until his family moved to Pineville in Oswego County in 1935. He graduated from Altmar High School and was active in sports. After graduation he work in Camden, Oneida County.
He was married to Esther Clark from Redfield and had two children when he enlisted in the Army in December 1942. He was assigned to Company C, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and was sent to Europe. Through all his military training, he became a marksman with the M-1 Carbine rifle and the 50-caliber machines gun.
He was transferred to England in December 1943. Right before he left, he got a quick visit with his pregnant wife and young daughter Joan. A report about Tryon states this was the last time he saw his family.
Tryon’s unit took part in the D-Day invasion where he was dropped behind enemy lines. His unit advanced into Holland in the battle of Opheusden. Later, he and a buddy were dropped into the Dutch village of Nijmegan and is here he was struck by enemy shrapnel and died on Oct. 4, 1944.
He received the Purple Heart and is buried in the American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands.
Central Square Post 915
The Fuller-Taylor post is named for Glenn A. Fuller, Company C, 60th Infantry Regiment, 5th Division in World War I, and Gerald E. Taylor, 23rd Regiment, 2nd Division in World War I.
Fuller was born in 1894 in Central Square and was a graduate of Central Square High School. He worked at the Cutlery Works in Camillus before entering the Army, where he entered with the rank of private but eventually was promoted to corporal and then sergeant. He went overseas in April 1918 and participated in many battles. After the armistice was signed Nov. 11, 1918, his company was sent to Briey, France. One night in December 1918, while performing his duties, he was shot by a stray bullet fired by American soldiers returning to their quarters. He died several weeks later in the hospital. He is buried in West Monroe Cemetery.
Taylor was born in 1899 in Palermo and grew up in Central Square. He enlisted in the Army at Syracuse in June 1917. He was made a saddler in a supply company, beginning as a private but being promoted to corporal later on. In September 1917, he was sent to France and while there, he fought in many battles and was wounded five times. In November 1918, he was sent to an evacuation hospital in Coblenz, Germany where he died from his most recent wounds on Jan. 23, 1919. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Fulton.
Cleveland Post 858
The Raymond-Faulkner-Cook post honors three men from the North Shore of Oneida Lake who died within one month of each other in 1918 in World War I.
Merritt Raymond, born 1894, was from Bernhards Bay. He was a private in Company A, 7th Infantry Division and served with the Army in France. He was killed in action June 21, 1918 and is buried in Bernhards Bay Cemetery.
Ernest P. Faulkner was born in 1896 in West Vienna not far from Cleveland. He was a private first class in the Army’s 59th Infantry Division and served in a machine gun company. He was killed in action in Chateau Thierry, France, July 18, 1918 and is buried in North Bay.
F. Sigel Cook also was from Bernhards Bay. He was born in 1894 in Constantia Center and served as a private in the Army’s Company I, 59th Infantry Division. He was killed in action July 19, 1918 — just one day after Ernest Faulkner. He is buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery in Constantia Center.
Cook and Raymond were only 24 years old at their deaths while Faulkner was 22.
Fulton Post 587
The Homer Russell Smith post is named for a Fulton World War I hero, Homer Russell Smith.
Smith was born in Fulton in 1894 and graduated from Fulton High School in 1913. After graduating, he went to the New York Military Academy at Cornwall-on-Hudson and while there he belonged to the Private Band Orchestra, Camera Club and Track Squad.
He later went on to New York University and while he was there, he enlisted in the Army in 1917. He was given the rank of first lieutenant in Company F, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division, which was under fire from May to November 1918. A report of his service states his unit had only 10 days rest during this six-month period.
The 32nd Division took a leading part on five fronts — such as Alsace Sector, Marne Offensive, Oise-Aisne Offensive, Meuse-Argonne — and faced 23 German division and reports state this division was the first to enter German soil during the war.
Smith was killed in action Aug. 28, 1918 while his division was heading off the Germans in the town of Gevigny. He originally was buried in a cemetery in France, but then his body was sent home in December 1919. He is buried in Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton.
Hannibal Post 1552
The Prior-Stock post received its charter on Oct. 24, 1947 and is named for three Hannibal soldiers.
Richard Prior was killed in action in Italy Feb. 29,1944. He served in the Army, 2nd Battalion Division, 3rd Infantry Regiment and received the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He received them for gallantry in action and for being injured while serving in action against the enemy in Italy Nov. 10, 1943.
TSgt. Benjamin Albert Stock was born in November 1921 in Minetto. Before joining the Army Air Force, he worked as an orderly at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton. He enlisted in Syracuse in July 1942 and served as a private, but later was promoted to tech sergeant. He was on his 14th mission over Europe when his plane was shot down over Italy. The bodies of Stock and the crew were not immediately found, but were found later and returned from Pietramala, Italy and buried together in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Ky. in February 1950.
Pfc. William Stock — the younger brother of Benjamin Stock — was born in 1925 in Hannibal. He entered the service in December 1943 in Syracuse and served as a private with the 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division. He was killed in action in August 1944 and is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery, St. James Manche, in France. He received the Purple Heart.
Minetto Post 486
The Leadbetter-Brinklow post is named for two World War I heroes — Carl W. Leadbetter and Arthur E. Brinklow.
Brinklow served as a corporal in Company D of the 108th Infantry Regiment of the Army and was killed Sept. 29, 1918. He had served from April 1917-September 1918 and was overseas from May 1918 until he died.
He was at the battles of Mont Kemmel (Kemmel Ridge) and the Hindenburg Line. It was at the Hindenburg Line near Remy, France that he was killed during an attack. He was buried in France, but then his body was returned to Oswego and was buried in 1921 at Riverside Cemetery, Oswego.
Leadbetter was born in Maine in 1893 and was inducted into the Army as a private at Fulton in April 1918. He served overseas in World War I from May 1918 to November 1918. He was promoted to corporal in Company K of the 306th Infantry Regiment and later was in Company K of the 311th Infantry Regiment when he was killed in action Nov. 1, 1918. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action during a battle northwest of Grande Pre, France, when he took command after his sergeant was gunned down.
There is a monument in Minetto to World War I soldiers known as the Leadbetter-Brinklow Memorial and was dedicated to Brinklow and Leadbetter who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. Brinklow’s body was escorted to Riverside Cemetery in Oswego when it returned from France while the body of Carl W. Leadbetter was honored with an escort from Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad to the church, where post members stood guard for three consecutive days.
New Haven Post 975
The Hamlin-Welden post was formed on July 16, 1924 and is named for two men killed in World War I — Clarence Hamlin and Harrison Welden.
Clarence Hamlin was born in 1896 in Oswego and enlisted in the Marines at Syracuse in June 1917. He went overseas in September 1917. He fought in the battles of Belleau Wood, Soissons and Champagne and was wounded, eventually recovering from his injuries and rejoining his company.
He received a Croix du Guerre medal (given by the French government) for his efforts near St. Etienne, France. During that time, while attached to the Intelligence Department, 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment of Marines, he remained at his post of observation under violent fire of artillery and machine guns until he was seriously wounded.
He died Oct. 6, 1918 and is buried in New Haven Cemetery.
Harrison Welden was born in New Haven about 1899. He enlisted in the New York National Guard in June 1916 and served overseas with Company D 108th Infantry Regiment from May 1918 to Oct. 6, 1918, seeing action at Dirk Valley. He entered service as a private and was promoted to corporal. He died Oct. 6, 1918. He received the Purple Heart.
Oswego Post 268
The William S. Monaghan post was named after a war hero from Oswego.
Monaghan enlisted in the 38th Separate Company of the New York National Guard in Oswego Oct. 27, 1890. He was promoted to corporal Nov. 22, 1892.
He was mustered into the United States Service (Spanish American War) May 17, 1898 at Camp Black, Long Island, NY. He was promoted to sergeant May 17, 1898. He mustered out of the United States Service at Oswego Dec. 1 1898.
He served at Camp Black; Camp Alger, Virginia; and Camp Meade, Pennsylvania. He was promoted to sergeant in 1899 while serving with Company D, 3rd Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard. Promoted to color sergeant Aug. 8, 1899.
Re-enlisted Sept. 18, 1914 in Oswego in Company D, 3rd Infantry Regiment New York National Guard; mustered into federal service at Camp Whitman, New York and left for Mexican Border Service July 5, 1916. Served at Pharr, Texas and served as a wagoner with the 3rd New York Infantry Regiment. Returned to Oswego with Company D, 3rd N.Y. Infantry and was mustered out of federal service Oct. 5, 1916.
He again reported for federal service April 13, 1917 and sailed for France May 10, 1918 as a member of Company D 108th Infantry. He died Oct. 17, 1918 of wounds received that day.
Monaghan was in many World War I battles including Hindenburg Line, LaSalle River, Fond de Mer Ridge, Vierstraat Ridge, St. Maurice River, East Poperinghe Line and Dickebusch Sector. He earned the Purple Heart, Victory Medal (three major operations) and the Silver Star.
Parish Post 601
The Russell Horning post is named for Russell Lee Horning, who was born in August 1895 in Albion and worked as a farmer in Parish. He enlisted in the Army in November 1917 and was a private in Company A 7th Infantry. He also served in Company B 310th Infantry.
He served overseas during World War I from April 1918 to September 1918. During the Battle of Belleau Wood, he was shot in the shoulder, lost the sight in one eye and was gassed, leaving him 50 percent disabled. He returned to Parish and died in 1920 and is buried in Bidwell Cemetery in Parish.
Phoenix Post 418
The Horning-Fournier post is named after DeForest A. Horning of Pennellville and Purcie Orlo Fournier.
Horning was born in Phoenix in 1895, attended local schools and worked in a mill in Phoenix. He later worked in a paper mill in Mumford, near Rochester. He served as a first lieutenant in the Army in World War I and died Dec. 10, 1918 of either the flu or pneumonia while living in Omaha, Neb. Service records on ancestry.com state he never went overseas during the war. He is buried in Sand Ridge Cemetery.
Fournier was born in Dugway in 1891. He enlisted in the Army in November 1912 and during World War I, he served overseas in the battles of Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Verden Sector and March to the Rhine.
He entered the service as a corporal and progressed upwards to sergeant and then first sergeant, the rank he had when he was honorably discharged in November 1919. He died two months later in January 1920 from complications of mustard gas used during the war. He is buried in Pennellville Cemetery.
While the post spells his last name Fournier, all military paperwork on ancestry.com and his gravestone all spell his surname as Furnier.
Pulaski Post 358
The post name honors Robert Edwards, a Pulaski resident who served in World War I. Born in Pulaski in 1894, he graduated from Pulaski High School and was a member of the local Baptist Church.
He was a private first class in Headquarters Company, 107th Infantry Division and enlisted in the National Guard in Ogdensburg. His regiment left Ogdensburg in August 1917 for New York City and then left for France, where he served from May 1918 until his death on Oct. 24, 1918 of the flu. He served as a runner or messenger in the trenches and a report about him stats that during the flu epidemic, even though he was sick with fever, Edwards “would not leave his post until the doctor ordered (his fellow soldiers) to carry him out.”
He was buried in Rouen, France, but after World War I, his body was returned to Pulaski in July 1921. He is buried in Pulaski Village Cemetery.
Williamstown Post 1128
The Hastings-Gorski post is named after John Bowman Hastings and Edward John Gorski, both of Williamstown.
Hastings served in World War I from 1917-1919 in the Army as a corporal with the Massachusetts 346th Battalion Tank Corps. A native of Williamstown, Mass., he and his wife moved to Williamstown, NY in 1932 and he purchased a grocery and meat business. The business building burned down in 1935 and he then bought the Henry White Store and conducted business there until his death in October 1947. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Williamstown. He was the founder and first commander of the Williamstown American Legion Post and served as Oswego County Second Vice Commander from 1939-40 and first commander from 1940-41.
Gorski was raised in Rome and is a graduate of Rome Free Academy. He served in the Marine Corps as a aircraft armorer, which means he maintained and repaired weapons on fighter airplanes. He served in the Pacific Theater from March 1943-May 1946 and was at the rank of Tech Sergeant when he left the Marines. Gorski worked at General Cable in Rome for a while before moving to Williamstown. He was a Republican councilman in Williamstown for four years, a member of the Williamstown Fire Department, Oneida Elks Club, American Legion and was post commander.
Sources: American Legion posts; town historians; military records on ancestry.com. Military editing help by R. Patrick Corbett
Criteria for naming an American Legion post
James Casey, adjutant department of New York, American Legion said a post can be named for:
A deceased veteran with permission of the family
An historic battle
A local historic artifact
Dates of when Oswego County posts received their charters:
Altmar Post 1435, Russell-Tryon Post: March 1946
Cleveland Post 858, Raymond-Faulkner-Cook Post: Feb. 20, 1920
Central Square Post 915, Fuller-Taylor Post: May 8, 1920
Fulton Post 587, Homer Russell Smith Post: Sept. 29, 1919
Hannibal Post 1552, Prior-Stock Post: Oct. 24, 1947
Minetto Post 486, Leadbetter-Brinklow Post: Jan. 27, 1932
New Haven Post 1532, Hamlin-Welden Post: Permanent charter Jan. 6, 1950
Oswego Post 268, William S. Monaghan Post: Aug. 11, 1919
Parish Post 601, Russell Horning Post: Oct. 10, 1919
Phoenix Post 418, Horning-Fournier Post: Temporary charter Sept. 11, 1919; permanent charter Oct. 21, 1921
Pulaski Post 358, Robert Edwards Post: Sept. 6, 1919
Williamstown Post 1128, Hastings-Gorski Post: