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Honoring Trinidad WWII Hero Monument PDF Print E-mail
February 28, 2014 Honoring a WWII hero Monument placed on square for Trinidad's Onclo Airheart Rich Flowers The Athens Review The Athens Daily Review Fri Feb 28, 2014, 05:50 AM CST Athens - Officials from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Athens were on the County Courthouse lawn on Thursday for the setting of a monument to a Henderson County World War II hero. Onclo Airheart received multiple decorations for his service in Europe, while fighting alongside another Texas native, Audie Murphy, the nation's most-decorated soldier in the conflict. Airheart returned to his native Henderson County after the war and lived here, until his death in 2001. Athens VFW Commander Ken Bragg was joined by 2nd Vice Commander Bill Harwell and Sergeant-at-Arms Dwayne Garner as the stone was being placed on the northeast side of the courthouse lawn. Bragg said that at a later date, family, friends and the community will be invited to the site for a dedication ceremony. The long list of honors Airheart received include the Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre avec Palme. According to a 1995 Athens Review Story, there were 18 medals decorating his military jacket. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. The French Croix was awarded in response to Murphy, Airheart and the other members of B Company shooting through a division of Germans, and escorted a truckload of weapons to a division of French troupes. When the French soldiers were armed, B Company helped them capture the Germans, and escort them 10 miles to a prison camp. Airheart's Bronze Star citation states that on March 26, 1945, PFC Airheart destroyed a load of German ammunition. Under heavy sniper fire, he exploded the enemy ammunition, then with an accurate shot, killed an enemy messenger, knocking him from his motorcycle, preventing him from contacting German troops. After the war, Airheart was content to return to a life of farming in the Trinidad area. According to several sources, he was offered a chance to appear with Murphy in the movie "To Hell and Back," which depicts the exploits of Murphy and his men. Airheart declined because the movie was to be shot during planting season. The stone used for the monument was donated by Tomlinson Funeral Home. - See more at: