Fort Hood’s fallen heroes
Army Capt Russell Seager was a nurse practitioner who joined the Army several years ago and was an instructor at Bryant and Stratton College. His decision to join the military came from his determination to help veterans returning to civilian life. Russell had a BSN and MSN degree from Marquette University College of Nursing and loved working with soldiers who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Milwaukee. Russell was scheduled to go to Afghanistan in December and had gone to Fort Hood for training. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, and a son. Russell was one of 300 soldiers who were lined up to get shots and eye-testing at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood when shots rang out. The soldiers were processing to either return from or about to be sent overseas. A disgruntled U.S. Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and injured more than 30 others before he was brought down.
Dennis Zuniga Class of ’69
Salute To A Soldier
My good friend Dennis Zuniga and I hung around together during high school. Shot a little stick, played cards etc. Then the year 1969 rolled around. Dennis was OUT of high school, and IN the sweaty jungles of Southeast Asia. Vietnam to be exact. Dennis was a grunt in The U.S. Army. Unfamiliar country in unfriendly surroundings. The enemy had many names: NVA, Viet Cong, VC, Gooks, Charlie. The enemy also had many nasty booby traps, many times set up before an ambush. Dennis fell into one of them. This hole had multiple Punji sticks. A Punji stick was made usually of bamboo (it was plentiful) or wood. The sharpened ends facing up. They were smeared with toxic plants, frogs, feces…anything to cause infection. It was very difficult & time consuming to extract anyone out, and would slow down or stop the unit (the enemy’s purpose) in order to get the wounded medevac’d. In this case Dennis. Because his wound(s) could not be treated immediately and the environment, infection spread to the point that his leg had to be removed in order to save his life. The next time I saw Dennis was 1970 in Downtown Racine, WI. My heart went out to him when I saw his leg was missing and heard his sad story. For whatever reason I did not see Dennis again until 1972. It was at Woods Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. I was there with my good friend (and Dennis’s) Ed Bartoszuk. It was both a sad and joyful time. Sad because this time the infection returned and Dennis was dying. Joyful because Dennis trusted Jesus as his Lord. Dennis died about 2 weeks later and went to be with Jesus. We salute you Dennis & look forward to seeing you again. And thanks Ed for helping me fill in the gaps of my memory.
Bill Jorgensen Class of ’69
Mr. Lyle Tennis: Retired Case teacher and US Navy Cross Recipient
TENNIS, LYLE S.
Former Racine JI Case HS Teacher
Born: September 18, 1923 at Unity, Wisconsin
Kamikazes Sink LSMR 190
During April and early May, 1945, the LSMR 190 along with other ships were stationed in the East China Sea for radar picket duty after the Okinawa Islands were invaded by the Allies. A total of ten mass Kamikaze attacks were carried out on these American ships in the East China Sea between the months of April and July. On May 4, 1945, Japanese kamikazes attacked a group of ships that included the LSMR 190 (Support ship). The USS Luce (destroyer) that was nearby was sunk by two kamikazes. Two more kamikazes were shot down by LSMR 190. Some of remaining kamikazes aimed for LSMR 190. First one misses, then three more hit LSMR 190. The hits were at rocket launchers which causes a fire with causalities, another at water line engine room which causes loss of power, and third which causes ship to slowly sink. The Captain was seriously injured and passes command to Lyle Tennis. Tennis orders the crew and other sailors to abandon ship. Tennis was the last man overboard. Almost half of the crew from LSMR 190 had died by now. The remaining crew and other sailors were in the ocean. The sea was calm and all of the men gathered at the life rafts that were deployed. The men took turns in life raft while others kicked and kept look out for the sharks that were gathering. They were all picked up about 1.5 hours later and transferred to a hospital ship for care.
Awarded for actions during World War Two.
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Lyle S. Tennis (NSN: 0-370195/1105), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Communications Officer on board the U.S.S. LSM(R) ONE HUNDRED NINETY (LSM(R)-190), a close-in fire support ship, in action against the enemy on 4 May 1945, off Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands. After three enemy suicide planes crashed into the ship, wounding the Commanding Officer, he, although suffering from shrapnel wounds himself, assumed direction of the ship and calmly and efficiently maneuvered the ship and directed the firing of the anti-aircraft batteries. When it became necessary to abandon ship, he aided in evacuating his wounded Commanding Officer and was the last to leave the sinking vessel. By his outstanding initiative and inspiring leadership, he contributed materially to minimizing the number of casualties. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet: Serial 00764 (October 13, 1945)
Action Date: May 4, 1945
A Racine native, Mr. Boyden Supiano earned recognition for his combat record in Europe. By the time he was 23, Supiano was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps and a veteran of 50 combat missions, serving as a bombardier in a B-24.His war record was so distinguished that he was selected by the Army to appear in Racine for a 1944 war bond rally in support of American troops. The rally was held in Memorial Hall. Supianos military decorations included the Silver Star, Purple Heart (for wounds received during the raid on Ploesti, August 1, 1943), and Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster.
After his combat duties ended, Supiano continued his military career until 1970, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Mr. Supiano was a Social Studies Teacher, Coach and Referee at Park High School. He was a Sub School Principal at J.I. Case for 1967 until his retirement in 1986.
At age 74, Mr. Supiano passed away on March 30, 1996. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING World War II
Service: Army Air Forces
Division: 15th Air Force
Headquarters, 15th Air Force, General Orders No. 588 (1944)
SYNOPSIS: Boyden Supiano, United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the FIFTEENTH Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II.
We have added a link to an article written by Mr. Supiano’s son, Mark, wher he honors aging veterans.