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The Progress Home >> Monday, November 12, 2012 - League celebrates USMC birthday in DuBois

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League celebrates USMC birthday in DuBois
Monday, November 12, 2012
By Jane Elling Correspondent
DUBOIS - The Sergeant William L. Dixon Detachment No. 289 Marine Corps League celebrated the birthday of the United States Marine Corps Saturday evening at the DuBois American Legion Post No. 17 in DuBois. Approximately 52 Marines and their guests attended the event and dinner.
Sgt. Dixon, for whom the Clearfield County detachment of the Marine Corps League was named, was a Clearfield young man who met death on Iwo Jima while serving with the Marine Corps in World War II. He was 23 when he was killed March 5, 1945, and had already received two Purple Hearts and various other medals while seeing action during the war. He was buried at Crown Crest Memorial Park May 1, 1948. He was born at DuBois Jan. 28, 1922, and later lived at O'Shanter until 1935 when his father died and the family then moved to Clearfield.
Three of the Marines attending the event on Saturday also received Purple Heart medals.
The welcome was given by Commandant Donald DeSantis who also recognized special guests including DuBois American Legion Commander John Shenkle and wife Cheryl. He was a member of the U.S. Army and spoke to the audience about that service.
A special presentation was given and announced by DeSantis.
The citation read in part: The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (posthumously) to Corporal John Leon Lowerantis, USMC, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on Sept. 3, 1966. After the 60 millimeter mortar team of which Cpl. Lowerantis was an ammunition man had expended all of its ammunition he boarded an "ontos" (tracked vehicle) that was under heavy fire with its commander and machine gun out of action. Details were given of his initiative and courageous action and how it reflected upon himself and the United States Marine Corps. Corporal Lowerantis was born Dec. 28, 1944, in DuBois. His father, Joseph, was a World War II veteran. The photograph will be hung in the DuBois American Legion.
Another speaker was Joel Woods, a boyhood friend of Lowerantis, who told how his life was saved when they were young by Lowerantis after he fell in the creek and was pulled out.
The two men served together in the USMC at Camp Geiger, N.C.
There was a moment of silence for deceased Marines and those attending sang the "Marines Hymn." Daniel W. Robbins was named Marine of the Year. David Radaker was named the new Commandant taking the place of DeSantis. Other officers are, according to DeSantis: Service Commandant, James Thorp; Junior Vice Commandant, Jimm McGary; Adjutant, Dan Robbins; Paymaster, Dennis Cherry; Judge Advocate, Carl Belin Jr.; Chaplain, Richard Provost; Sergeant at Arms; Richard Wantuck and Charles Rothrock. Donald DeSantis is Junior Past Commandant and Assistant Vice Commandant.
John Hibner spoke about the Toys for Tots program for county children. It was stated that as of Nov. 10 approximately 337 children had signed up for the program that will continue its tradition to help area children. It was noted Robin Clark assisted in Clearfield County last year.
On the tables were red, white and blue bearded soldier statues painted like Marines with hats marked with USMC tags and holding a sword. They were presented to the ladies whose names were drawn from a container.
It was stated the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge is now installed in Brookville.
Music for dinner and dancing was presented by the Bob Moline Quintet.
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