Cole R-V School District
Eugene, Missouri
Clicking on most images will display them in a larger size.


Liberty's Heroes

Allen Norfleet Raymond Farris Hobart Etter Robert Spalding
Private First Class
Allen Montgomery Norfleet
1918 - 1942
Seaman First Class
Raymond Daniel Farris
1923 - 1942
Hobart Yancy Etter
1921 - 1945
Chief Pharmacist's Mate
Robert Bruce Spalding
1922 - 1945
Gary Berendzen Patrick Kempker Darin Settle
Gary William Berendzen
1937 - 1964
Specialist Fourth Class
Patrick Benjamin Kempker
1948 - 1969
Lance Corporal
Darin Thomas Settle
1982 - 2006


May 18, 2005, professional ship divers Jamie McCleod and Stewart Oehl found the wreck of the USS Logarto, an attack submarine sunk in the Gulf of Siam (now Thailand) by a Japanese mine layer on or about May 3, 1945.  The Logarto was found intact with one of its torpedo tubes open, suggesting active engagement at the time of sinking.  Entombed within the wreck are the remains of the entire 86 man crew, including Chief Pharmacist's Mate Robert "Bobby" Bruce Spalding of Eugene, Missouri, the sole medical specialist aboard.  Bobby Spalding was a 1939 graduate of Eugene High School.  Later, The U.S. Navy verified the identity of the Logarto and deemed the wreckage, submerged in 230 feet of water, as a "war grave" to be left undisturbed.

USS Logarto

After reading an account of the finding of the USS Logarto, Alan T. Wright of St. Louis, Missouri made a decision.  He resolved to create and donate to the Cole R-V School District an appropriate memorial to all Eugene school students serving in the military and killed in the line of duty during wartime.  Alan, a 1964 graduate of Eugene High School, explained why:

I'm proud to have attended 12 years of schooling at Cole R-V, but I do not recall there being a mention at school assemblies or other gatherings of those Eugene students who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms.  Somehow, it seemed that other than in the memories of family members and a few surviving classmates, they had been forgotten.  I felt that it was time to recall and honor these heroes in a special way. I approached Superintendent Mark Blythe and the School Board with the idea of a memorial and they welcomed it and assisted in the project in every possible way.

Alan then set about the task of researching government records, seeking the memories of classmates, and interviewing family members to gather necessary facts, photos and memorabilia for the memorial.  Sadly, during this research, Marine Lance Corporal Darin Thomas Settle, Class of 2001, was killed in Iraq and his name was added to the list.  Alan continues:

Talking and corresponding with parents, brothers, sisters, and friends of those who went off to war but did not return was a very emotional but necessary task.  I was determined that this memorial would be more than just names and dates on a plaque.  If possible, there would be photos of these young men in both civilian and military life, a good accounting of their service within a historical context, and a narrative of where and how they lost their lives.  And lastly, if known, where their remains rest.

Alan Wright 
L-R:  Cole R-V Superintendent Mark Blythe; Memorial donors Alan & Mary Wright;
and school Music Director Donna O'Neal


Below is a list of those who provided information, photos and memorabilia about their loved ones:

  • Norman Benteman, spouse of Myrene (Norfleet) Benteman (deceased), sister of Allen Montgomery Norfleet
  • Neville (Farris) Neiman, sister of Raymond Daniel Farris
  • Kelan Spalding, brother of Robert Bruce Spalding
  • Daniel "Danny" Etter, brother of Hobart Yancy Etter
  • Lois Berendzen, mother of Gary William Berendzen
  • Charles "Chuck " Kempker, brother of Patrick Benjamin Kempker
  • James and Arlene Settle, father and mother of Darin Thomas Settle

Special mention should be made of Helen (Henley) Gibson, classmate or acquaintance of several of the honorees, who provided invaluable information in helping identify and locate surviving relatives.

On or about November 8, 2006, the finished memorial, manufactured by AdCraft of St. Louis, Missouri was delivered to the school and assembled in the gymnasium.

Freedom Memorial Freedom Memorial
Freedom Memorial before unveiling
Freedom Memorial after unveiling


As a Veteran's Day observance, the memorial was dedicated Friday, November 10, 2006, at an all-school assembly.  The entire community, as well as family members of the honorees, were invited.  Highlights of the program included:

  • Welcome by School Superintendent Mark Blythe
  • Addresses by Alan T. Wright and Congressman Ike Skelton
  • Posting of the colors, hand salutes, and bell toll tributes by a special Inter-Service Honor Guard from Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, IL.
  • National Anthem, patriotic music and playing of Taps by the school concert choir and band, directed by Donna O'Neal
  • Remarks and readings by Cole R-V students
  • Unveiling of each honoree's panel by family members
  • Violin solo "Ashokan Farewell" by Kenny Schetzler

Dedication Program
Memorial Dedication Program
Click the image above to view the Program in PDF format.


The Cole R-V School District's "Freedom Memorial" is now permanently located in the lobby of the School's Performing Arts Center.  The District believes it is one of the best memorials of its kind found anywhere.  Those wishing to visit the memorial must check in at the school administrative offices. Guests will be provided an escorted tour.  If a personal visit is not possible, the accompanying photographic "virtual" tour below helps portray the memorial in a meaningful and moving way.

Freedom Memorial
Freedom Memorial in the Performing Arts Center


Poet Laurence Binyon once wrote of soldiers killed in wars:

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Move your cursor over the images below and click on a panel to view a larger panel image:

Allen Norfleet Raymond Farris Robert Spalding Hobart Etter Gary Berendzen Patrick Kempker Darin Settle
Allen Norfleet
Raymond Farris
Robert Spalding
Hobart Etter
Gary Berendzen
Patrick Kempker
Darin Settle


Musical Selections

"Ashokan Farewell" composed by Jay Ungar and performed by Jessica McAllister.
"Mansions of the Lord" composed by Nick Glennie Smith, lyrics by Randall Wallace, and performed by the United States Military Academy Glee Club.
"Echoing TAPs" performed by unknown bugleists.

Renditions of the above songs were performed at the Memorial's dedication on November 10, 2006.

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