Governor Memorializes Ten Service Members

Governor honors fallen Tennesseans at annual Memorial Day Ceremony
Friday, May 24, 2019 | 10:57am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Courtney Rogers and Tennessee Military Department Adjutant General, Major General Jeffrey Holmes paid tribute to ten service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the state’s Memorial Day service today.

U.S. Army National Guard Private First Class Tara Turnage of Memphis was killed in the line of duty during a vehicular training accident at the National Training Center in California on May 7, 2018. Turnage was 27-years old. She was posthumously promoted from Private to Private First Class and awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

U.S. Navy Ensign Harold DeMoss of Nashville was reported missing June 23, 1945, while serving as a member of Fighting Squadron 100 in Oahu when his plane went missing during a night training mission. The 21-year old aviator’s remains were not recovered until 2016. DeMoss’ identity was confirmed on May 9, 2018. He was laid to rest September 15, 2018.

U.S. Navy Seaman 2nd Class William Campbell of Elizabethton was presumably killed December 7, 1941, during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor during World War II. Campbell perished alongside 429 other crewmembers. He was 20-years old. Campbell was buried in an unmarked grave until his remains were disinterred for identification in 2015. He was finally laid to rest on October 12, 2018.

U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class William Cavin of Hancock County was presumably killed November 20, 1943, at the Battle of Tarawa during World War II. Cavin was one of 1,000 Marines and Sailors killed during the historic battle with the Japanese. The 18-year old soldier’s remains were buried in an unmarked grave until they were exhumed for identification in 2017. He was laid to rest on October 13, 2018.

U.S. Army Air Force Second Lieutenant Martin O’Callaghan, Jr. of Memphis was presumably killed on February 15, 1945 when his P-38 Lightning aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire during World War II. O’Callaghan was 22-years old. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Italy before his remains were disinterred for identification in 2017. On November 5, 2018, he was finally laid to rest.

U.S. Marine Corps Corporal William Ross of Hendersonville was killed in the line of duty during an accident that involved two aircraft off of the coast of Japan on December 6, 2018. He was 21-years old at the time of the accident. Ross enlisted in Marine Corps in 2016 and had worked in aircraft maintenance and refueling with the intention of becoming a crew master in the Marine Corps.

U.S. Army Private First Class Lewis Price of Rogersville was reported missing on November 6, 1944, while serving in World War II during weeks of combat in the Hurtgen Forest in Germany. The Hawkins County native was 23-years old. Price’s remains were disinterred for identification in 2016 and he was finally laid to rest on December 14, 2018.

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Richard Lannom went missing on March 1, 1968 while flying an A-6A aircraft on a night mission over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was 27-years old when he and the pilot were declared missing. Lannom’s remains were excavated at the plane’s crash site in 2017 and identified in 2018. Lannom was laid to rest on March 2, 2019.

U.S. Marine Corps Captain Travis Brannon of Nashville was killed in the line of duty during a training accident at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona on March 30, 2019. Brannon and one other Marine were killed as the result of an AH-1Z Viper helicopter crash. Brannon was 30-years old and had served seven years in Marine Corps. His decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Andrew Carpenter of Columbia was killed in action on February 19, 2011 of wounds sustained on February 14 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was 27-years old. Carpenter joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and was on his second tour of duty. Carpenter’s widow Crissie received the Gold Star Family proclamation and the Honor and Remember flag during the ceremony.

“This is a day set aside to honor and remember the lives lost, both past and present, while protecting our freedom,” Lee said. “Let us a take a moment this day to reflect on the stories of the men and women who died in order to protect our safety and security.”

“It is a day of honor and remembrance, of camaraderie, of love and of loss,” said Rogers, “I did not walk on the same path that brings each of you here today, but I have walked alongside many of you.”

“This day is the most honored day of all of our national holidays,” said Holmes. “Though we honor these selected service members individually today, they, along with all of our men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, will be collectively remembered now and forever by a grateful Nation.”