Technician 4th Grade Laverne Parrish

Tec4 Parrish

World War II

US Army
Medical Detachment, 161st Infantry, 25th Infantry Division
Service Number: 39601126
Born: July 16, 1918, Knox City, Missouri
Inducted: March 1941
Killed in action January 24, 1945, Luzon, Philippines
Buried: Mountain View Cemetery, Ronan, Montana

Medal of Honor, Purple Heart

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Clatious Parish of Ronan, Montana (formerly of Harrisburg.)


Mt. View Cemetery


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, February 22, 1945

WAR CASUALTIES (front page)

Laverne Parrish

     Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Parrish of Pablo received a telegram Friday from the War department advising them that their son, T. Sgt. Laverne Parrish was killed January 24, in the Luzon invasion. A brother, Pvt. Lewis Parrish, returned last week to Fort Ord, Calif. after spending his furlough with his parents.


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, April 19, 1945

NEWS OF OUR MILITARY (inside page)

Laverne Parrish

     The Purple Heart and the President's Citation was received by Mr. and Mrs. Clatious Parrish for their son, Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish, who was killed in action on Luzon, January 24, 1945.

      Laverne was born at Knox City, Missouri, July 16, 1918. He received his schooling at Elba, Colorado, and came to Montana with his parents in 1934. He worked for the Dupuis Bros. Lumber Mill for several years and was farming with his father near Pablo [MT] before enlisting in the Army March 4, 1941. He spent three years overseas.

    Technician Parrish is survived by three brothers, Irin of Ronan, Pfc. Ivan Parrish who is in Italy, and Pvt. Louis C. Parrish who has just arrived in the Philippines.


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, June 14, 1945 (front page)

COMMANDING OFFICER WRITES TO PARENTS

     Mr. and Mrs. Clatious Parrish of Ronan, whose son, Laverne, Technical Sergeant Fourth Grade, was killed in action in the Philippine Islands in January 24, have received a letter from the major of the commanding detachment of the Medical Corps giving the available details of the death, of his burial, and location of his grave. He stated:

     "It was on the 24 January 1945 around three thirty in the afternoon in the battle for San Manuel, Pangasinan Province, Luzon, Philippine Islands that your son was killed. The fighting was bitter and the enemy resistance particularly stubborn. At considerable risk to himself, Laverne helped several wounded men and was approaching another wounded man when he knew he was struck. The enemy fire was so intense that I do not believe he knew what hit him and it happened so quickly that he did not suffer.

     "In losing his life while helping the wounded under intense fire, Laverne achieved a high manly and Christian ideal. We are proud to have known such a man and miss him greatly. We send you our deepest sympathy.

     "I realize that the burden of his loss weighs heavily upon you, and I sincerely hope that knowledge of the heroic circumstances in which he died will lighten the burden in some degree."

Technical Sergeant Francis Port of Pablo [MT] also stationed on the Philippines, visited Laverne a few days before he went to the front. He wrote Mr. and Mrs. Parrish to tell them of that fact and that he had visited the grave in the military cemetery which is being maintained by the soldiers. The deceased was born at Knox, Missouri, July 16, 1918.


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, July 26, 1945

MEDAL of HONOR (front page)

     The Congressional Medal of Honor will be posthumously presented to Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish, at a ceremony to be held at Ronan Saturday, August 2, at 8:00 o'clock. The presentation will be made by Colonel A. M. Weyand of Fort Missoula, to Mr. and Mrs. Claitous Parrish of Pablo, parents of Technician Parrish, who distinguished himself at Binalonin, Luzon, Philippine Islands in the service of his country. The ceremony will be held in the grandstand at the local athletic field. The public is urged to attend.


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, August 2, 1945

MEDAL of HONOR (front page)

     The public is invited to pay tribute to one of Lake County's Gold Star sons by attending a brief and simple ceremony at 8:00 pm tonight, Thursday, August 2, 1945 at the city park when the Congressional Medal of Honor will be awarded posthumously to Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish of Pablo [MT].

     The presentation will be made by Colonel A. M. Weyand of Fort Missoula, to Mr. and Mrs. Claitous Parrish of Pablo, parents of Technician Parrish, who distinguished himself at Binalonin, Luzon, Philippine Islands in the service of his country.

     Lt. Col. Francis E. Birstadt of Fort Missoula will also be present for the ceremony.

     The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award the nation can bestow upon its heroes.


The Ronan Pioneer
Thursday, August 9, 1945

MEDAL of HONOR AWARDED PARRISH

     The Ronan City Park was the scene of a memorable solemn occasion Thursday evening, August 2, when the Congressional Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish of Pablo [MT]. This was the fourth Congressional Medal won by a Montanan in World War II. The ceremony, simple at the request of the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clatious Parrish of Ronan, was arranged by Mount Harding Post No. 124, American Legion of Ronan [MT].

     Colonel A. M. Weyand, Commandant of the Northwestern Branch of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, presented the medal to the parents of Technician Parrish, on order from General William Shedd, Commanding General of the Ninth Service Command. He commended Technician Parrish for his gallantry, his determination to serve others, and his unselfish devotion to duty.

CITATION:

     The following citation, awarded by President Truman, was read by Lieutenant Colonel F. E. Bierstadt of Fort Missoula [MT].

"Sergeant Parrish was medical aid man with Company C during the fighting in Binalonan, Luzon, Philippine Islands on 18 and 24 January 1945. On the 18th, he observed two wounded men under enemy fire and immediately went to their rescue. After moving to cover, he crossed twenty-five yards of open ground to administer aid to the second. In the early hours of the 24th, his company, crossing an open field near San Manuel, encountered intense enemy fire and was ordered to withdraw to cover of a ditch. While treating the causalities, Sergeant Parrish observed two wounded still in the field. Without hesitation he left the ditch, crawled forward under enemy fire, and in two successive trips brought both men to safety. He next administered aid to twelve casualties in the same field, crossing and recrossing the open area raked by hostile fire. Making successive trips, he then brought three wounded in to cover. After treating nearly all of the thirty-seven casualties suffered by his company, he was mortally wounded by mortar fire, and shortly after was killed. The indomitable spirit, intrepidity and gallantry of Sergeant Parrish saved many lives at the cost of his own."

     The Ronan City band played patriotic numbers to call together about the grand stand the many citizens who had assembled to pay honor to the soldier hero. H. E. Olson, veteran of World War I, acted as master of ceremonies and called on Rev. John W. Bartram, pastor of the Ronan-Charlo Methodist parish to give the invocation.

Senator Lloyd I. Wallace of Polson, also a veteran of World War I, gave the address of the evening. He lauded the spirit and efforts of the soldiers of the present war. He spoke of the United Nations Charter meeting in San Francisco as being the most important meeting in history, carrying the possible proponents of everlasting world peace. He read the message of President Truman to that conference and expressed the hope that the efforts of that meeting may be realized soon.

Technician Parrish was born at Knox City, Missouri, July 19, 1919 [sic]. He attended school at Elba, Colorado and came to Montana with his parents in 1934. Entering the service in 1941, he served in the Hawaiian Islands, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, New Georgia, New Caledonia, and the Philippine Islands.

Present at the ceremony and introduced by Mr. Olson, were the parents of Technician Parrish, Mr. and Mrs. Clatious Parrish of Ronan [MT]; his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Parrish and son, also of Ronan; and Technical Sergeant, Robert Meyers of Polson [MT] who enlisted with Tech. Parrish and served with him throughout the entire time of his life in the army. Sgt. Meyers was wounded two months after Tech. Parrish was killed and is now on convalescent leave.


MOH
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

PARRISH, LAVERNE

Rank and organization: Technician 4th Grade, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 161st Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Binalonan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 18-24 January 1945.
Entered service at: Ronan, Mont. , Born: Knox City, Mo.

G.O. No.: 55, 13 July 1945.

Citation:
He was medical aid man with Company C during the fighting in Binalonan, Luzon, Philippine Islands. On the 18th, he observed 2 wounded men under enemy fire and immediately went to their rescue. After moving 1 to cover, he crossed 25 yards of open ground to administer aid to the second. In the early hours of the 24th, his company, crossing an open field near San Manuel, encountered intense enemy fire and was ordered to withdraw to the cover of a ditch. While treating the casualties, Technician Parrish observed 2 wounded still in the field. Without hesitation he left the ditch, crawled forward under enemy fire, and in 2 successive trips brought both men to safety. He next administered aid to 12 casualties in the same field, crossing and re-crossing the open area raked by hostile fire. Making successive trips, he then brought 3 wounded in to cover. After treating nearly all of the 37 casualties suffered by his company, he was mortally wounded by mortar fire, and shortly after was killed. The indomitable spirit, intrepidity, and gallantry of Technician Parrish saved many lives at the cost of his own.


Akron News-Reporter February 14, 1946

With Our Boys in Service

Mr. and Mrs. Clatius Parrish of Ronan (Mont.) have been advised that a camp near Nagoya, on the island of Honshu, has been named "Camp Parrish" in memory of their late son, T/4 Laverne Parrish. An announcement of the honor appeared as follows in the Stars and Stripes, soldier newspaper, which together with a letter, was received from Capt. Arnold J. Herrmann of the medical corps with which Parrish served:

"The present regimental area will hereafter be known as Camp Parrish, in commemoration of Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish, 39601126, Medical Detachment, 161st Infantry, who has been posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the Japanese forces on Luzon island in the Philippines. On the morning of 18 January 1945, Tec 4 Parrish after thrice braving close-range and concentrated enemy fire to succor wounded men was himself killed in an attempt to move other wounded men to safety."

Parrish's division, now known as the 4th division, is stationed at the camp, assigned to inventory all Jap military equipment in the area. The supplies which could be used to wage another war are being destroyed by the truckload, Capt. Herrmann's letter said. Supplies which can be used by civilians are being turned back to them.

The camp was a Jap naval base. There are many buildings, some of which are being used, but many were damaged by air raids. The men are living in tents which have frames and floors built for them. A stove in each tent supplies enough heat to keep them comfortable during the Japanese winter season.

Capt. Herrmann closed his letter with this paragraph:

"Naming a camp in honor of your son won't repay you for his loss, but you will undoubtedly find consolation in the fact that his memory will remain and that his memory is honored by all the officers and men of the regiment."

The Congressional Medal of Honor was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Parrish Aug. 2, in a ceremony held at Ronan, the presentation being made by Col. A.M. Weyand of Fort Missoula. - From a Ronan, Mont. Newspaper.

Laverne Parrish was a nephew of D. Parrish, who resides near Akron.


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