Tualatin’s Memorial Day Commemoration returns to Winona Cemetery on May 30 after two year absence

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Tualatin Police Honor Guard members. Matt Messina, Jack Rose (Retired), Wes Girardi, and Eric Hermann bring flag to post colors in 2016.
Tualatin Police Honor Guard members. Matt Messina, Jack Rose (Retired), Wes Girardi, and Eric Hermann bring flag to post colors in 2016.

Tualatin’s annual Memorial Day Commemoration is held at Winona Cemetery, 9900 SW Tualatin Rd. The ceremonies start at 10:45 am on Monday, May 30 with a Missing Man Maneuver fly over. After the event, head over to nearby Tualatin Community Park to enjoy a free Barbecue picnic.

Crowd in 2015 shows reason to bring your chair.
Crowd in 2015 shows reason to bring your chair. Note in upper far left that Color Guard is at “order arms,” facing flag pole and the Kiosk.

Tualatin’s annual Memorial Day Commemoration is back after a two-year hiatus caused by COVID. This national holiday provides us an opportunity to honor and respect deceased military members, especially family and friends. It is a fast paced patriotic event featuring local members of our community. Memorial Day is on the last Monday in May, which this year is May 30. The event is conducted at Tualatin’s Winona Cemetery, located at 9900 SW Tualatin Rd. It starts with a missing Man Maneuver fly over at 10:45 a.m., and after conclusion, is followed by a free barbecue picnic at Tualatin Community Park.

Dave Dehart is this year’s Honored Vet.
Dave Dehart is this year’s Honored Vet.

This year’s honored veteran, Dave Dehart, is well known in Tualatin. After retiring from the Army where he served in two wars, both the Korean War and Vietnam, he worked 20 years for Miller Insurance agency. His military career took him around the world, working as a truck driver/chauffeur/interpreter, then intelligence, followed by counter-intelligence duties. During the Korean War, Dave wanted to join the Navy while a junior in high school because that is where his dad had served. The Navy recruiter told him to graduate first. While leaving the recruiting center, an Army Sergeant with a chest full of medals signed him up for the Army. He had been active in music in high school so volunteered for the Army band. But after boot camp was sent to paratrooper school. He injured his ankle the last week of that school and not able to make final jump. He already had orders to Korea so he was sent there, where the Army made him a truck driver, transporting POW’s. While finishing an 18 month tour as a chauffeur for a high ranking General in the LA area, who, after learning he had aptitude for languages, assisted in getting him into that school in Monterey. There he had a choice between Russian and Turkish. Figuring that Russian would put him in a remote area along the Russian border, he chose Turkish. His job after graduation, was the interpreter for the four star General for COMLANDSOUTHEAST, a NATO Command headquartered in Turkey. He was approached by Army Intelligence to work in that field. He spent time in Oregon where one of his tasks involved defusing incendiary materials attached to a balloon that had been found in a tree near Bend. The balloon had been released from a Japanese submarine off the Oregon Coast during WWII with intent to cause forest fires. When assigned to Army Intelligence office in San Francisco Bay area, one of his jobs was photographing Mario Savio in Oakland who making a name for himself as an anti-war protester.

MC Dale Potts (left) sharing 2018 Honored Vet Gordon Sundue’s story.
MC Dale Potts (left) sharing 2018 Honored Vet Gordon Sundue’s story.

One assignment had him stationed in Italy where his work area was the Mediterranean Ocean. There he helped close down a foreign intelligence network targeted against the NATO forces.

David returned to South Korea in 1962 where he helped capture North Korean spies who had been inserted into the country to collect military intelligence on UN Forces, facilities, locations, and troop morale. Others had different missions including spreading propaganda. He returned to language school to learn Vietnamese before taking on counter intelligence mission in Vietnam where his Vietnamese language skills and background dealing with double agents uniquely qualified him to work with field agents called “Trail Watchers” in two spy-nets; in the Delta and along the Cambodian border. He operated out in the open with no apparent connection with military. He wore bermuda shorts, golf shirts and sandals, and drove a blue Vespa motor scooter. But he really worked with Vietnamese agents called “Trail Watchers” who infiltrated into enemy units or had contacts with them. They provided Dave with information on enemy activity which he passed on to American military who decided whether to unleash Navy ship gunfire or jet aircraft attacks on these targets.

Among other activities, Dave now writes novels, some involving military intelligence. They are sold through online stores like Amazon where you can find his books by searching for his name.

Tualatin High’s choral group, the Crimsonnaires, will sing the National Anthem.
Tualatin High’s choral group, the Crimsonnaires, will sing the National Anthem.

The Missing Man Maneuver is narrated by Len Kaufman, a long time Tualatin resident who flew Army helicopters in Vietnam. As the aerial demonstration concludes, Tualatin High’s choral group, the Crimsonnaires, will have filled into the Cemetery to sing the National Anthem while the Tualatin Police Honor Guard posts the colors. A vet from a local church (this duty is rotated amongst local churches each year) gives the opening prayer followed by another patriotic song by the Crimsonaires. The Pledge of Allegiance is lead by the previous year’s Honored Vet, Army Ranger Bill Manderfeld, who has lived in Tualatin-Sherwood area since completing his military duty in Vietnam. He became a purple heart recipient on his first Ranger LRRP – long range reconnaissance mission – into enemy territory. Once a Ranger, Bill had rapid combat advancement. In less than ten months, he was promoted to Private First Class; next to Specialist; and then to Sergeant.

The President of the Winona Cemetery, Mike Hannegan, is up next. Then Mayor Frank Bubenik, who served in Army in Germany, introduces Patriotic speakers. Next, Kathy Walsh, who grew up in Tualatin, reads “In Flanders Fields.” She recited this poem at Tualatin’s first Commemoration and has continued since. She is followed by the President of VFW Post 3452 Auxiliary, Sanna Warren. The event concludes with Tualatin Police Honor Guard’s Order Arms and bugler Martin Murrell playing taps.

Immediately after the Commemoration, Tualatin VFW 3452 Auxiliary is hosting a free barbecue picnic in nearby Tualatin Community Park coordinated by Daniel Payne and prepared by Dalton’s Northwest Catering.