Memorial Day is approaching and I want to use this column to remember just a few of the many young people who gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.
One of the most touching is that of Guy William Liggett who was born on a farm south of Fulton, attended elementary school there and later attended Marengo High School from where he dropped out at the age of 16. He found work with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), was sent to southern Nevada and worked on the final stages of the Hoover Dam. Later he returned to Ohio worked for a trucking firm that took him over the eastern states including Massachusetts where he met and married Dorothy.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor when the draft was enacted, Guy chose to enlist in the U S Navy and was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Center where he volunteered for the submarine service and was placed on the USS Dorado with a crew of 76 sailing from New London, Conn on October 6, 1943 headed for the Panama Canal. There were experienced men in charge; a captain who was the Lieutenant Commander and the executive officer, also a Lieutenant Commander.
None of the crew members were ever seen again nor was the Dorado heard from at anytime after the departure. The ship was launched May 23, 1943, by the Electric Boat Company at Groton, Conn, commissioned on Aug. 28 and was on its maiden voyage.
Air searches were begun immediately after the Dorado’s scheduled date of arrival Oct. 14 but only widely scattered oil slicks and occasional debris were found. It was later revealed that a patrol plane from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba delivered a surprise attack on an unidenti- fied submarine on Oct. 12 and the plane was later fired upon by another unidentified submarine. At the same time a German submarine was known to have been operating near the scene of the two contacts
A Naval Court of inquiry concluded from its investigation that there were three possible causes for the loss and disappearance of the Dorado- operational failure, enemy action or an attack by friendly forces. The actual fate of the Dorado remains unknown. Six months after his death, in April, 1944, Guys’ son, Guy, Jr. was born, a son he never knew about. He currently lives in Massachusetts.
Guy’s parents, now deceased, placed a tribute to their son — an engraving on the tombstone over their grave site in the Fulton Cemetery. “In memory of our son, Torpedo Mate Third Class Guy W. Liggett , born November 20,1920 and lost at sea aboard the USS Dorado, October 12, 1943.”
A softly colored photo of a smiling Guy William Liggett, wearing his Navy blue Navy shirt with his Navy hat topping his curly red hair can be seen on the web site, On Eternal Patrol, Lost Submarines of World War Ii. This article states that an effort is being made to award every man on that submarine a Purple Heart.
(Portions of this story were contributed by Paul Collins, whose wife is a cousin of Guy. Other parts were from the Morrow County Sentinel and The Eternal Patrol web site).
70 years ago, May 1979: Three Morrow County men received degrees from Ohio Northern University: Gary Dodds and Carl Powers, Cardington and Richard Lee, Mount Gilead Site of the Cardington village dump was changed to a one acre section of the F. W. Lawhead farm south of Williams Street. Entrance was from North Fourth Street.
Students from Cardington High School who competed in the one act play contest at Ohio State University, Columbus, included Harry Mosher, Joan Richeson, Fred Williamson and Evelyn Fricke
40 years ago, 1979: Nelda Akron, Cardington High School teacher for 35 years, was named “Teacher of the Year” by the local chapter of the National Honor Society.