Press Releases

 

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March 22, 2022

AMERICA HAS LOST ANOTHER HERO – SERGEANT EDWARD GAZEL

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation mourns the loss today of Marine Corps Sergeant Ed Gazel.  The “Sarge” passed peacefully in his sleep shortly after midnight at the age of 100.  He was a very, very special person in so many ways.

Joining the Marine Corps in October 1942, Sergeant Gazel was the Supply Sergeant for C Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marines when it landed on Tarawa on 20 November 1943.  In his support position with the company, he was supposed to be “in the rear with the gear.”  Instead SGT Gazel found himself in a Higgins Boat in the first wave of the invasion armed with a machete and without a rifle.

Hundreds of fellow Marines died all around him as he waded through chin high water when his landing craft grounded on the coral reef almost a half mile from the beach.  Instead of dying on that dreadful day like so many of his buddies, SGT Gazel took cover behind a disabled tank and eventually made his way to shore.  The next day he helped the chaplain bury the dead and, unknown to him at the time, would become a key witness in helping the Foundation determine the burial location of many Marines whose bodies had been lost in the sands of Tarawa.

We often reflected together that every day on this earth for him after 20 November 1943 was a bonus.  And SGT Gazel made the most of it in every way.  After the war, he established a prosperous business, married the only love of his life, and raised three beautiful daughters.

During the invasion of Saipan, SGT Gazel was seriously injured unloading crates of ammunition that weighed almost as much as he did.  Instead of seeking immediate evacuation, SGT Gazel asked his buddies to lay him down in a sweet potato patch and cover him with leaves so the Japanese snipers could not see him until the medics were finished treating the more seriously wounded and could find the time to help him…three days and three long nights later.

After the bloodbaths on Saipan and Tinian, SGT Gazel was again in action on Okinawa.  If truth be told, SGT Gazel was probably assigned as the Supply Sergeant because he could not qualify with any Marine Corps weapon during basic training.  The only marksmanship medal he earned was the dreaded “Maggie’s Drawers” of a white flag wave from the target range, meaning he had missed the entire target.  Instead, SGT Gazel found himself behind a .30 caliber machine gun during a night time Japanese assault on his tank unit.  His deadly and accurate fire halted the attack and earned the grocer from Lincoln Park, Michigan a Bronze Star for Valor.  No “Maggie’s Drawers” for our hero when it really counted.

You would think after four major Pacific battles, SGT Gazel would have been sent home.  Instead, he found himself a part of the occupation forces in Japan within viewing distance of the atomic bomb destruction in Nagasaki.

Finally home, SGT Gazel took it upon himself to visit the families of some of the Marines in his company who had lost their lives during the war to try to offer some degree of comfort to grieving mother and fathers.  When we frequently called SGT Gazel on the telephone, he would always answer “I’m listening.”  Instead of “Hello” and start talking, our humble Sergeant would always much rather hear about what was going on in our lives than talk about himself.

What a honor and privilege for all us who knew him.  When we last saw SGT Gazel at the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration and a Michigan football game a few months ago, he was so proud of the Marine Corps dress blues that he finally received only 77 years after he mustered out.  It was a gift well deserved.

Foundation members have often reflected on our visit to Tarawa in 2012 in a mission to help retrieve other heroes from that battle who did not live to fight another day or come home to their families. To think that we walked the beaches of Tarawa and viewed key battle engagement locations, including the exact spot where SGT Gazel fought his way ashore, will always be remembered.

The loss of our finest in such a battle will forever be in our hearts.

Knowing SGT Ed Gazel was a highlight to our lives.  He was our personal hero.

We miss your wise counsel, Sergeant.  “Eat your fruits and vegetables, wear comfortable shoes, drink two shots of brandy every day, and don’t play leapfrog with a unicorn.”  The secret, according to SGT Gazel, of living to be a hundred.

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation continues our work with families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice.  We seek to provide information to the families and to tell their stories to the newer generation.

We want these heroes’ sacrifices for our country to be remembered.

Thank you for your service, Sarge.  Thank you for dedication to your family and to the Marine Corps.  Thank you for your loyal friendship.

We miss you terribly already.

 

Listen to the voice of SGT Gazel tell the story of his actions that led to the identification of a Tarawa MIA, CPL Claire Goldtrap, in a podcast episode of NO HOME FOR HEROES:

Episode 9: Goldy Goes Home

 

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March 6, 2022

 The March 5, 2022 edition of Chattanooga Times Free Press features an article highlighting the Foundation’s involvement in bringing another hero home:

World War II veteran Marine Corps Cpl. Thomas H. Cooper’s remains were accounted for on Aug. 9, 2019, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency after being identified from among remains of 94 Tarawa unknowns disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

World War II veteran Marine Corps Cpl. Thomas H. Cooper’s remains were accounted for on Aug. 9, 2019, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency after being identified from among remains of 94 Tarawa unknowns disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

(Tribune News Service) — Chattanooga resident and Marine Corps Cpl. Thomas H. Cooper’s journey from a World War II battlefield cemetery on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean back to his family in the U.S. will end with his burial with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Thursday.

His family called him by his middle name, Harley, and many of his relatives will come together at Arlington to honor him, some meeting each other for the first time.

Cooper was killed at 22 in the Central Pacific in November 1943, a member of Company A, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Over several days more than 1,000 marines and sailors were killed, including Cooper, and more than 2,000 were wounded in what was deemed a U.S. military success, according to the agency.

Cooper’s family now is scattered and disconnected, and those who knew the young corporal have passed away.

Daughter

To Cooper’s daughter — Laguna Woods, California, resident Virginia Cooper Frogel — her father is a mystery, someone she never met. The upcoming service at Arlington is a source of uncertainty for her.

“It’ll be very meaningful for my kids,” Frogel said Tuesday telephone interview. “I think that it’s closure and history, family history, and I think it’s important to them to know that a member of our family lost his life in a war that happened before I was born and way, way before they were born.”

As for herself, she said, “it’s kind of an emotional upheaval because I never knew my father. He was killed in November and I was born in March, so I really had no ties.

“I didn’t know him, I didn’t know any stories about him, my mother knew very little about him,” she said.

It’s a loss that cuts deeply, even 78 years later.

“I have a lot of anger about war,” Frogel said.

War takes so much from everyone, it seems an unfair burden on humanity, she said.

“I just feel like war shouldn’t happen and here we’ve got another one in the Ukraine right now,” she said. “I feel for all the families who have lost their loved ones to war.”

Granddaughter

The pandemic created a hitch in plans in 2020 and led to the cancellation of a couple of funeral dates, Rachel Frogel Lukens, 45, of San Diego, California, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. Lukens was born in Chattanooga and is Cooper’s granddaughter.

She said she and her brother, Jason Frogel, pressed for the service at Arlington.

“When the news arrived, I was ready to get on the plane for Chattanooga to try to track down all these people I really have never known about before, then it all came to a screeching halt as everything shut down with the pandemic,” Lukens said. “I hadn’t really revisited anything until Arlington gave us a new date, and it all came together rather quickly. And now it’s like, OK, here it’s finally happening.”

As tentative plans were made since 2020, Lukens enjoyed reconnecting with family in Tennessee, she said.

“It’s been nice. My second cousin, Kim McCormick, and I have been communicating over the past couple of years. That’s been a treat,” she said. “I’m really excited to meet her.”

Half-brother

Like Frogel, Cooper’s only living sibling, a half-brother, has no memories of Harley Cooper because of the timing of his birth.

“I was a baby when he was alive, so I didn’t really know him,” the corporal’s half-brother, Apison, Tennessee, resident Larry Cooper said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Larry Cooper remembers his mother and father talking some about the brother who never came home, but it’s a distant, far away memory.

“I don’t remember a lot,” the 82-year-old said.

But Larry Cooper said the family left behind by his half-brother was well-known in East Chattanooga in the middle of the last century.

“My father owned a restaurant in Chattanooga for years before he sold it. It was called ‘Mickey’s Place.’ It was at Fourth Avenue and 23rd,” he said. The place is now the Hunan Wok.

Larry Cooper said the father rarely spoke of the missing son, but the weight of not knowing what happened to him was apparent.

“I know the family cared about him, and he was missed,” he said.

Thursday’s service at Arlington will be a fitting farewell, he said, and he wished he could attend.

Cooper’s death, 1943

Cooper was born Nov. 2, 1921, in Omaha, Nebraska. His remains were accounted for on Aug. 9, 2019, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency after being identified from among remains of 94 Tarawa unknowns disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, according to a statement the agency released in February 2020.

Cooper enlisted in Nashville on Sept. 18, 1940, according to the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association. He died in “an undisclosed theater of operations,” according to his death notice in the Dec. 25, 1943, edition of the Chattanooga News-Free Press.

The confirmation of his death, published on the front page on Jan. 11, 1944, listed the family’s home in the 2600 block of East 46th Street in Chattanooga and noted Cooper once worked at Richmond Hosiery Mill.

He was the son of Thomas G. and Alline Patterson Cooper and the brother of Katherine Brogden, Betty Sue Huckabee, Mickey and Jerry Cooper, all of Chattanooga, and Bobby Cooper, who at the time was serving in the U.S. Navy, the notice states. He also was survived by half-brother Larry Cooper.

Harley Cooper and his wife, Rachel Campbell Cooper, who was from Wellington, New Zealand, met at a dance at the Jewish Community Center there while he was on a stopover, according to Frogel.

Sister-in-law

Ringgold, Georgia, resident Marjorie Cooper, 87, who was married to Harley Cooper’s younger brother, Jerry, said she remembers how the missing brother weighed on the family he left behind.

“They all stressed over it, of course, and talked about it through the years, but they didn’t have that much time with him either; he was so young when he went in,” she said. “I know it grieved his father really bad.”

At one point, she remembered, there was a family story of military officials contacting the Coopers to offer some kind of “remains” but there was no certainty at all of who it really was, she said. The family wasn’t interested, she said. It had to be certain.

It was a phone call from a cousin of the Cooper brothers that changed everything.

“His cousin Larry Ward is the one that really got it going,” she said. “Jerry got a phone call from him and they were talking constantly and Larry was constantly getting this paperwork, forwarding on to Jerry.”

The government officials wanted DNA.

“Jerry was ready to do that,” she said. “He gave the DNA, and that’s when they said it was a match.”

Sadly, Jerry Cooper died in 2015 before his older brother was officially accounted for.

Cousin provides link

Ward, 79, who lives in Colorado, said by phone on Friday that a military family group called Chief Rick Stone & Family Foundation put him in touch with Marine Corps officials in Washington, D.C., several years back. The officials said they thought they had identified a family member’s remains in Hawaii. He knew there were family members in the Chattanooga area, so he called them.

“Harley at the time had one full brother, Jerry,” Ward recalled. “I told Jerry, if he would, they needed his DNA, and I sent mine in.”

Ward said that was the last he heard from the Marine Corps but he was glad to learn later that he’d help make the link.

It’s been decades since Ward and the family’s “ Chattanooga group,” as he referred to it, had been together.

“I met that group in 1957 or ‘58 when we took a trip down from Colorado to Florida to see Uncle Grady, my grandmother’s brother, and that’s when I met the group in and around Chattanooga,” Ward said. “Then Larry Cooper made a trip to Colorado to visit us. I want to say that was in the 1980s or early-’90s.”

Ward said he is happy the service at Arlington will reunite some of the family, though he won’t be there.

More to the story

Cooper was Nashville resident Kim McCormick’s great uncle, she said Tuesday in a telephone interview. She’s excited to meet some her family and hopes to catch up.

“I knew Harley Cooper’s father, he was my great-grandfather, and he died when I was little. He kept looking for [Harley] for decades. I know mother said he’d talk about Harley all the time,” McCormick said, noting there were family ties all around Chattanooga in those days.

She said Mickey Cooper’s restaurant, “Mickey’s Place” — which existed in the years after Cooper was killed — was eventually sold to become the iconic “ Holder’s Restaurant,” owned for more than 30 years by George Holder, who died in 2010.

McCormick said she wishes Jerry Cooper was alive to see his brother honored at Arlington.

Some other gaps and details in Cooper’s history were filled by research performed by New Yorker Geoffrey Roecker, who has an online site dedicated to U.S. Marines missing in action and their stories. The site, missingmarines.com, details some portions of Cooper’s life and service.

According to Roecker’s research, Cooper, his older sister Katherine and his parents moved frequently early on, first living in Georgia and then in Tennessee. Roecker used military records, National Archives and talked to family members when the identification was made in 2020.

Once enlisted, Cooper was sent to Parris Island for training, then to the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, but instead of flight school, Cooper “worked as a specialist carpenter and painter, feet planted squarely on the ground,” Roecker wrote.

“In late 1941, around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Cooper was transferred to Dunedin, Florida, for training as an amphibian tractor crewman,” Roecker wrote. “He first learned the craft of a gunner, but showed some mechanical aptitude and in January 1942 was promoted to corporal and, possibly, reassigned as a driver. Corporal Cooper’s Company A would ship overseas in July 1942 and be among the first ‘alligator’ Marines to see combat during the Guadalcanal landings the following month.”

Roecker also uncovered some details about Cooper’s romance that followed the end of that fighting.

“When the campaign ended, they traveled to New Zealand for training, rest and recreation. Many Marines fell for the local ‘Kiwi’ girls, and Cooper was no exception,” Roecker wrote. “He married his girlfriend in 1943.”

Science brings Cooper home

In November 1943, Cooper was fighting on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll in an attempt to secure the island, according to the accounting agency. The Japanese were virtually annihilated in the fighting.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered, military success in the battle of Tarawa was considered a huge victory for the U.S. because the Gilbert Islands provided the Pacific Fleet a platform for launching assaults on the Marshall and Caroline islands, advancing their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan, according to agency officials.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, officials said, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island.

The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Cooper’s remains were not identified then, officials said.

In March 1980, the Central Identification Laboratory, a predecessor to the accounting agency, sent officials to Betio Island to receive skeletal remains recovered during a construction project, officials said. Of the three sets recovered, two were identified.

The third was declared unidentifiable and buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Cooper lay unaccounted for again, but his brother’s DNA would finally come into play.

In 2016, the accounting agency disinterred the remains of 94 Tarawa unknowns from the Honolulu cemetery for identification. The remains were sent to a laboratory for analysis, officials said. In 2019, advances in forensic techniques led to the identification of that third set of remains as Cooper.

Arlington

Lukens said she hasn’t attended a military funeral but sought out some videos online after her children asked what the service would be like.

“I definitely got choked up just watching any footage that we saw, even not having a connection to the person,” she said. “I can’t even fathom what it’s going to feel like to know that we’re actually connected to this person that’s being honored.”

Lukens said her mom — Harley Cooper’s only daughter — has the courage to go to Arlington to face the past.

“My mom is definitely a very stoic person and has been my whole life,” she said. “She’s very upbeat and positive and doesn’t want to focus on emotional things. I think this is going to kind of force her to look into that hole in her life.”

Cooper’s service at Arlington is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday (End of article).

*******

Here is the actual timeline of Corporal Cooper’s loss and recovery:

20 November 1943 – Killed in Action on Tarawa (Body not recovered).

13 March 1980 – Remains Recovered on Tarawa and designated CILHI 0002-80

8 May 1980 – Army’s Central ID Laboratory failed to identify remains

31 March 1982 – Remains buried in Punchbowl Cemetery as “Unknown” and case closed

5 October 2011 – Chief Stone re-opened case and submitted report to the Department of Defense (DoD) listing CPL Cooper as a “Most Likely Match” to CILHI 0002-80

16 October 2014 – Foundation researchers confirm CPL Cooper as a “Most Likely Match” to CILHI 0002-80

3 April 2017 – CILHI 0002-80 is finally exhumed from the Punchbowl by the DoD

4 November 2019 – CILHI 0002-80 is identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory as CPL Thomas Harley Cooper

10 March 2022 – CPL Cooper is returned to his family and buried at Arlington National Cemetery: 78 years after his death, 42 years after his remains were recovered, 40 years after he was buried as an “Unknown”, 10 years after Chief Stone listed him as a match to the “Unknown”,  8 years after the Foundation confirmed the “Unknown” as CPL Cooper, 6 years after his remains were exhumed and 3 years after his identification was confirmed by DNA.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Mr. Ben Benton, Staff Writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press via the link at  www.timesfreepress.com or the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com          

 

 

 

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January 24, 2022

“LEATHERNECK: Magazine of the Marines” Highlights Efforts of the Foundation to Assist a 100 Year Old Marine Who Helped the Foundation Bring A MIA Home

The February 2022 edition of Leatherneck Magazine features a brief article as described below:

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Ms. Sara Bock, Staff Writer at Leatherneck Magazine via email mca@mca-marines.org or the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com          

 

 

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November 1, 2021

Foundation’s “NO HOME FOR HEROES” Podcasts Surpass 6,000 Downloads

“NO HOME FOR HEROES” explores history’s military mysteries regarding lost service men and women who were classified as “Missing In Action.”  Each podcast features information from the actual investigative case files of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation who is committed to providing information to the families of America’s long forgotten MIA’s.

For the past nine years, thousands of supporters have followed the Foundation’s investigations into missing American service members probably know we have now completed over 525 comprehensive case reports requested by the families of these MIA’s…all at absolutely no cost to the families and with absolutely no government funding.

The incredible stories to be found in each case often go untold outside a very small group but in 2019, the Foundation began producing a series of weekly trademarked podcast episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES – History’s Military Mysteries:  Missing In Action.”

And, after a yearlong absence while our Founder was on assignment with United States Navy in 2020, the Foundation renewed production with all new episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES” in 2021.

We have just been informed by our hosting platform that over 6,000 of the current 78 episodes have been downloaded worldwide, including in over four dozen foreign countries!  Episodes that have been downloaded over 100 times each include Episode 1: How It All Began, Episode 2: The Myth of No Man Left Behind, Episode 26: A MIA Born on the Fourth of July , Episode 29: A Cook Who Refused to be Left Behind (which prompted a Sacramento news story which was a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award Winner),

Episode 30: Every Burial as An Unknown is Really a MIA, Episode 33: Is A Tarawa MIA Buried in Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?A Episode 47: MIA Ghosts Trapped On the Bottom of Pearl Harbor , Episode 57: Come Home to Me, Cliff. Episode 67: A Pearl Harbor Mystery That Had Even the Navy Confused, .Episode 70: Lost At Sea for Over 75 Years? No, Not Really, .and Episode 73: A Lost Marine Destined For the Silver Screen.

Episode 36: Love and Loss in the South Pacific now has OVER 225 downloads!

Episode 70: Lost At Sea for Over 75 Years? No, Not Really now has OVER 330 downloads!

Listeners may access “NO HOME FOR HEROES” on the Foundation’s website at:

www.ChiefRickStone.com

…or platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Music Play, Blubrry, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or just about any other favorite podcast site.  The episodes are FREE and contain NO advertising or commercials.  The Foundation receives absolutely no financial compensation from the broadcasts.

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is a private non-profit charitable foundation whose mission, in part, is to promote education by providing information to the family members of missing American servicemen and service women.  Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Chief, Naval Historian at the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command on the Washington Navy Yard.  He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.

Photos

NO HOME FOR HEROES

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com

 

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October 1, 2021

Foundation Presents “POW/MIA Chair of Honor” to the Glen Rose Independent School District

POW/MIA Honor chairs are found across the United States, in sports arenas and stadiums, town halls, state capitols, and even in the United States capitol in Washington, D.C.  The chairs are intended to represent those service members who are unable to fill them because of their sacrifices in the name of freedom. The chairs also remind us of the men and women who serve our country every day.

With the enthusiastic support of school superintendent Dr. Trig Overbo, the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is pleased to present a POW/MIA Chair of Honor to the Glen Rose Independent School District for installation on the campus of Glen Rose High School.

The chair has been permanently installed in the Glen Rose High School arena amidst dedication ceremonies coinciding with homecoming festivities on Friday, October 1, 2021. A custom designed plaque recognizing captured or missing American service personnel is positioned on a special steel pedestal located near the chair. The official POW/MIA symbol appears near the top of the plaque with the following text:

 POOR IS THE NATION THAT HAS NO HEROES.  BUT SHAMEFUL IS THE ONE THAT, HAVING THEM, FORGETS.”

POW-MIA flag. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

CHAIR OF HONOR

FOR

PRISONERS OF WAR – MISSING IN ACTION 

This unoccupied chair is in honor of those who remain Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) and symbolizes there will always be a place for them in this stadium awaiting their return as American heroes. 

Presented in 2021 to the Glen Rose ISD by

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation would like to thank the Glen Rose ISD Board of Trustees, staff, faculty, students and their families who honor our lost American heroes with their support of the Foundation’s mission to support education.  Chief Stone and Superintendent Overbo are shown together below during the dedication ceremony:

Special thanks is given to Mr. Scott Campbell, of Glen Rose Metal Works, who donated his time, materials, and expertise to provide the plaque’s unique pedestal in honor of his own hometown heroes from Glen Rose, Texas.

Established in 2006, the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is a private non-profit charitable foundation whose mission, in part, is to provide information to the family members of missing American servicemen and service women.  Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the United States Navy’s Chief, Naval Historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) on the Washington Navy Yard.  In this capacity, Chief Stone received the Superior Civilian Service Award, the highest honorary award the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps may bestow on a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy.

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation, headquartered in Glen Rose, Texas.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com or the Administrative Offices for Glen Rose ISD at 254-898-4000.

 

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July 11, 2021

Foundation’s “NO HOME FOR HEROES” Podcasts Surpass 5,000 Downloads

“NO HOME FOR HEROES” explores history’s military mysteries regarding lost service men and women who were classified as “Missing In Action.”  Each podcast features information from the actual investigative case files of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation who is committed to providing information to the families of America’s long forgotten MIA’s.

For the past nine years, thousands of supporters have followed the Foundation’s investigations into missing American service members probably know we have now completed over 520 comprehensive case reports requested by the families of these MIA’s…all at absolutely no cost to the families and with absolutely no government funding.

The incredible stories to be found in each case often go untold outside a very small group but in 2019, the Foundation began producing a series of weekly trademarked podcast episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES – History’s Military Mysteries:  Missing In Action.”

And, after a yearlong absence while our Founder was on assignment with United States Navy in 2020, the Foundation renewed production with all new episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES” in 2021.

We have just been informed by our hosting platform that over 5,000 of the current 71 episodes have been downloaded worldwide, including in over three dozen foreign countries!  Episodes that have been downloaded over 100 times each include Episode 1: How It All Began, Episode 2: The Myth of No Man Left Behind, Episode 29: A Cook Who Refused to be Left Behind (which prompted a Sacramento news story which was a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award Winner), Episode 30: Every Burial as An Unknown is Really a MIA, Episode 47: MIA Ghosts Trapped On the Bottom of Pearl Harbor and Episode 57: Come Home to Me, Cliff.

Episode 36: Love and Loss in the South Pacific now has OVER 200 downloads!

Listeners may access “NO HOME FOR HEROES” on the Foundation’s website at:

www.ChiefRickStone.com

…or platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Music Play, Blubrry, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or just about any other favorite podcast site.  The episodes are FREE and contain NO advertising or commercials.  The Foundation receives absolutely no financial compensation from the broadcasts.

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is a private non-profit charitable foundation whose mission, in part, is to promote education by providing information to the family members of missing American servicemen and service women.  Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Chief, Naval Historian at the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command on the Washington Navy Yard.  He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.

Photos

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com

_____________________________________________________

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March 1, 2021

Foundation’s “NO HOME FOR HEROES” Podcasts Surpass 4,000 Downloads

“NO HOME FOR HEROES” explores history’s military mysteries regarding lost service men and women who were classified as “Missing In Action.”  Each podcast features information from the actual investigative case files of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation who is committed to providing information to the families of America’s long forgotten MIA’s.

For the past nine years, thousands of supporters have followed the Foundation’s investigations into missing American service members probably know we have now completed almost 500 comprehensive case reports requested by the families of these MIA’s…all at absolutely no cost to the families and with absolutely no government funding.

The incredible stories to be found in each case often go untold outside a very small group but in 2019, the Foundation began producing a series of weekly trademarked podcast episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES – History’s Military Mysteries:  Missing In Action.”

And, after a yearlong absence while our Founder was on assignment with United States Navy in 2020, the Foundation renewed production with all new episodes of “NO HOME FOR HEROES” in 2021.

We have just been informed by our hosting platform that over 4,000 of the current 56 episodes have been downloaded worldwide, including in over three dozen foreign countries!  Episodes that have been downloaded over 100 times each include Episode 1: How It All Began, Episode 2: The Myth of No Man Left Behind, Episode 29: A Cook Who Refused to be Left Behind (which prompted a Sacramento news story which was a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award Winner), Episode 36: Love and Loss in the South Pacific, and Episode 47: MIA Ghosts Trapped On the Bottom of Pearl Harbor.

Listeners may access “NO HOME FOR HEROES” on the Foundation’s website at:

www.ChiefRickStone.com

…or platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Music Play, Blubrry, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or just about any other favorite podcast site.  The episodes are FREE and contain NO advertising or commercials.  The Foundation receives absolutely no financial compensation from the broadcasts.

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is a private non-profit charitable foundation whose mission, in part, is to promote education by providing information to the family members of missing American servicemen and service women.  Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Chief, Naval Historian at the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command on the Washington Navy Yard.  He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.

Photos

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com

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February 1, 2021

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Command recently posted a story on their website by the Arizona Republic newspaper which describes the return home of a MIA who lost his life as a crew member on board the USS West Virginia, a battleship moored at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.  The story reported:

Jan. 22, 2021 — Nearly 80 years after he died in the Pearl Harbor attack, Phoenix sailor Carl Johnson was brought home on Tuesday so he could be buried in his hometown. A small group of Johnson’s relatives gathered next to a plane at Sky Harbor International Airport as his remains, in a coffin adorned with an American flag, were carried by four Navy sailors from a conveyor belt to a hearse. All in attendance watched in silence while some held their hands over their hearts. Fire and police vehicles parked nearby with flashing lights as an American flag waved in the background.  “It was an experience that I’ll never forget,” said Dr. Carl Dahl, Johnson’s nephew. “It was an opportunity to be able to realize the hopes of his parents. It just made me feel quite humble … and quite proud to see this happen.”

After the attack Seaman 1st Class (S1c) Carl Johnson’s body could not be identified and he was listed as “Missing in Action” (MIA).  While at the Department of Defense in January 2012, Chief Rick Stone prepared reports on all of the West Virginia’s MIA’s which listed S1c Johnson as a Most Likely Match to “Unknown X-110”, buried in the Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu.  In December 2016, S1c Johnson’s family contacted the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation for a comprehensive “Family Report” on the case. Foundation researchers, using advanced law enforcement investigative techniques and sophisticated technologies not available at the Department of Defense, confirmed S1c Johnson as a match to Unknown X-110.  On 13 June 2017, after over five years, the Department of Defense finally decided to act on Chief Stone recommendations and began disinterring all of the USS West Virginia Unknowns.  S1c Johnson was recovered from the grave site in the Punchbowl Cemetery indicated by Chief Stone’s research in 2012, as confirmed by Foundation investigators in 2016, and identified as Unknown X-110 on 19 August 2019.

Seaman 1st Class Carl Spencer Johnson

On January 19, 2021, S1c Johnson’s nephew contacted Chief Stone in appreciation for the Foundation’s role in the recovery and identification of their long lost hero which is reprinted here with permission:

“Chief Stone,

The family of Carl Spencer Johnson would like to thank you for featuring his story on your podcast “No Home for Heroes” on you latest episode, “All Things Come to Those Who Wait”. 

As you know, last Friday we had a beautiful graveside ceremony, where Uncle Carl was given full military honors.  The Navy, Admiral Nowakowski,  the Patriot Riders, a detail from Luke AFB, and my brother Carl Robert Dahl, who was also in the Navy as a physician at the end of the Vietnam War,  made it a day to remember!

 All of my siblings were in attendance, and nearly one hundred family members were there. 

 Thank you and the Chief Rick Stone and Family Foundation for your part in making this all possible.  It has been such a blessing to our family.  I am so grateful that my niece, Gretchen Allen, contacted you in 2016 and that we went from a series of “ … and nothing happened…” to a wonderful day of tribute to a brave young sailor who was part of saving the lives of hundreds of his fellow crewmen, as he did his duty in flooding the powder magazines deep in the battleship West Virginia. 

 This fulfilled my Grandparent’s dream of having their son return home.  Carl is buried by his parents (my grandparents) Zeno and Margaret Johnson, my parents, his sister Katherine and Richard Dahl, and also his sister Anita and his cousin David.  It is in a old part of the Greenwood Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix.  We thought it would be difficult to find a plot, when we found there was one waiting for him all this time!

 A boyhood friend of Carl’s, Ronnie Luplow, age 97 (same age Carl would be) was watching his usual news channel on Christmas Eve when for some reason he changed the channel and saw a news story about Carl coming home.  His daughter commented on the news channel’s website, my niece saw it and managed to contact her.  Ronnie was able to be at the ceremony!  Ronnie served in WWll as a landing craft pilot on Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.  He was finally able to say goodbye to his friend he had grown up with. 

 Again, Thank you for making this possible!

 Daniel Dahl, M.D.”

The Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation is a private charitable foundation whose mission, in part, is to promote education by providing information to the family members of missing American servicemen and servicewomen.  Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Chief, Naval Historian at the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) on the Washington Navy Yard.  He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the public affairs volunteer of the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation via any link at www.ChiefRickStone.com

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January 1, 2021

Retired Police Chief Rick Stone received the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award (SCSA) at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. This military award is the highest honorary award the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps may bestow on a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy.

The SCSA is awarded to civilians who make contributions in a variety of areas ranging from successful project leadership and scientific or technical achievements to unusually heroic acts.

Chief Stone received the SCSA award for his service as the Chief, Naval Historian in the Navy History and Heritage Command (NHHC) while in command of the Histories Branch of the Histories and Archives Division.  He was appointed to the position in 2019 by the Director of NHHC, Admiral Samuel J. Cox.

Chief Stone’s medal citation reads in part:

“For superior civilian service as demonstrated by exemplary performance, outstanding achievements, and exceptional contributions to the Navy History and Heritage Command…Rick Stone distinguished himself through his untiring work ethic, exceptional pursuit of superior performance, and highly professional manner…provided effective and authoritative leadership of Histories Branch, greatly improving the morale of all branch members and fostering a strong sense of team cohesion…streamlined and standardized countless branch processes and procedures, producing the branch’s first-ever Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Supervisory Guide.  He also created the branch’s first ever Leadership Development Program (LDP)…shepherded all Histories Branch team members through a comprehensive branch reorganization…provided consistent support and oversight…providing a steady, calming presence.  Mr. Stone performed all of these important duties and achievements with the utmost professionalism, attention to detail, and positive attitude, providing purpose, direction, and motivation to all Histories branch personnel each day.  Mr. Stone’s exceptional professionalism, personal initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty reflects credit upon himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Rick Stone is a retired Dallas Police Commander and Chief of Police in Wichita, Kansas and Hollywood, Florida.  A Medal of Valor recipient in Dallas and former national “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” as Police Chief in Wichita, Chief Stone previously served as the Deputy Chief of the World War II Research and Investigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Chief Rick Stone and Family Charitable Foundation.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact the Naval History and Heritage Command public affairs office at 202-433-7880 or via email at nhhcpublicaffairs@navy.mil.