Woodrow Acton Abbott entered active military duty in June 1942, attended Artillery Officer Candidate School and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1943. He entered pilot training in June 1943 and completed advanced pilot training in September 1994. From November 1944 to June 1945 he was assigned as a B-17 pilot with the 2nd Bombardment Group at Foggia (FAA-JUH), Italy. At the close of World War II, he returned to the United States and after several assignments went to Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois in February 1950 as an operations and training officer and later as a public relations officer. During the Korean War General Abbott served with the Far East Air Forces. He returned to the United States in 1952 and served until January 1955 with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. General Abbott served with the 310th Bombardment Wing from March 1956 to July 1963 as Operations Officer, B-47 aircraft commander, squadron commander, assistant deputy commander and deputy commander for operations. General Abbott served at the command level as Commander of the 92nd Strategic Aerospace Wing, the 93rd Bombardment Wing, Inspector General for the Strategic Air Command and Director of Intelligence, J-2, at U.S. Readiness Command. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Purple Heart.
Mary Lou Aurtrey
Mary Lou Aurtrey served in the Army for 22 years rising to the rank of Sergeant Major in the Adjutant General’s Corps, while serving in various leadership assignments throughout the United States, Korea and Europe. Following her retirement in 1991, she worked as a financial manager and systems accountant for the federal government for 25 years. During her service in the military and federal service, Mary continued to volunteer extensively in her community. Her volunteer efforts have extended into advocating for homeless veterans, serving as Chaplain of American Legion Post 438, leading organizations that provide hot meals, hygiene and clothing items to homeless individuals and families, conducting research for the Crispus Attucks School and Museum, establishing the Claudia Gilliard Scholarship Fund, and serving in the Sister Soldier Network advocating for homeless female veterans and their families. As the long-time Network Director for Women in Networking Indianapolis, she has coordinated monthly knowledge sharing events on topics such as mental illness, income tax updates, homelessness, government relations, domestic violence and suicide prevention. Mary’s volunteer efforts have been widely recognized within the State of Indiana, most notably when she was selected for the prestigious Indiana Governor’s Torchbearer Award in 2013. This award, in conjunction with the Indiana Commission for Women, recognizes Hoosier women who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to serve Indiana. Recipients of this award have been recognized for their ability to eliminate barriers, be pioneers in their fields, and overcome obstacles. In 2021 Mary was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence for Community Volunteer Service. Mary exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. Mary Lou Aurtrey’s military awards include three Army Commendation Awards, two Army Meritorious Service Awards, the Defense Meritorious Award, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
Cladie Alford Bailey
Cladie Alford Bailey earned the Distinguished Service Cross for actions in the South Pacific during World War II. Mr. Bailey is also the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. First Lieutenant Cladie Bailey earned the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while service with Company G, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, on December 2, 1942 in the vicinity of Buna, New Guinea. As a commander of a rifle company, Lieutenant Bailey led assault elements of his unit in an attack on Buna Village. He advanced without regard for his personal safety, inspiring his command by his example of initiative and courage. He overran enemy bomb shelters and machine gun emplacements and mopped up a hostile bivouac and command post area. He advanced with his company to Entrance Creek and placed it in position to cover the flank of the attacking force. First Lieutenant Bailey’s intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States.
James. L. Bauerle
General James. L. Bauerle has spent his life serving in the United States Army and the United States Army Reserve from 1968 – 2000. During his active-duty Army service he held many positions including Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Battalion Advisor, Commander of Logistics, Commander Task Force Freedom, Assistant Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff just to name a few. He has also held positions as Ambassador of the United States Army Reserve for Indiana; Vice President and Legislative Director for the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana; State President, Legislative Director, Publisher and Chapter President; Commanding General of the 88th Regional Support Command, United States Army Reserve; Deputy Commanding General, and Chief of Staff of the 123rd Army Area Command, United States Army Reserve; Chief of Staff Support Command, Central Command, United States Army Southeast Asia (Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain); Battalion Commander of the 972nd Engineer Battalion, United States Army Reserve; and Company Commander of the 425th Personnel Service Company, United States Army Reserve. General Bauerle’s Awards and Honors include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with a 20-year Device, National Service Medal with Silver Star, Vietnam Service medal with three Service Stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Medal and many more.
James Wiggins Coe
James Wiggins Coe earned the Navy Cross while assigned in the South Pacific military operations area. Lieutenant Commander Coe exhibited extraordinary heroism as the Commanding Officer of U.S.S. S-39 during the first through fourth war patrols in the Southwest Pacific from December 8, 1941 through March 1942 and as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Skipjack on the third war patrol of that submarine during the period April 14, 1942 to May 17, 1942 in enemy controlled water at Cam Rahn Bay. While conducting war patrols as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. S-39 Lieutenant Coe boldly and successfully delivered an attack under hazardous and difficult conditions which resulted in the sinking of an armed enemy auxiliary vessel in Philippine waters and later a large enemy naval tanker in the Java Sea. Furthermore, while Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Skipjack he skillfully evaded enemy naval and air patrols to deliver a vigorous and effectively executed attack against enemy vessels, armed or escorted by anti-submarine craft. In these engagements, the Skipjack succeeded in destroying two large enemy auxiliaries and an enemy Japanese transport in the South China Sea and seriously damaging and presumably sinking another enemy armed auxiliary. Lieutenant Commander Coe displayed the outstanding characteristics of a leader and the aggressive and intrepid spirit of a fine seaman in keeping with the traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Paul G. Gentrup
Specialist Paul G. Gentrup served on active duty in the United States Army from November 1966 through August 1968. As a Military Policemen he was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi, Vietnam. Specialist Gentrup was involved in four battle campaigns and the TET offensive. During his active duty he was willing to sacrifice his life for the protection and freedom of all people. He still carries those beliefs to this day, and now focuses his time and attention towards honoring fellow veterans to help ensure they have the best resources available. Since being honorably discharged from the United States Army he has earned the title of “Mr. Everything”. Paul has personally been involved with building the War Memorial to the Common Man in Lawrenceburg; bringing the Moving Wall to Lawrenceburg and Rising Sun; taking the initiative to establishing several Honor flights for WWII Veterans; assisting in getting the first Veterans Tribute Tower on the Ohio River, coordinating bus trips to Washington DC for WWII and Korean Veterans to visit various monuments and Arlington National Cemetery, delivering numerous speeches at schools and public functions to keep the voice of the American Veterans alive, presenting Purple Heart plaques to recipients and family members, and many numerous other acts to honor our military heroes. Paul Gentrup has been awarded the “Circle of Corydon” Award by Governor Holcomb and was presented with House Resolution No. 82 for his devotion to assisting and recognizing veterans and their families.
Irving M. Heath
First Lieutenant Irving M. Heath enlisted in the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor on 25 July 1942 and was honorably discharged on 15 October 1945. He was a Tank Commander with the 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division of General Patton’s 3rd Army. On December 27, 1944, while on the Arlon Road outside of Bastogne, Commander Heath’s Tank driver got out just as German artillery hit their location. Irv jumped from the tank to help his driver and was hit by an incoming barrage; his driver was killed. He put himself in harm’s way for one of his troops. After his recovery, he returned to his unit and continued across Europe. Irv spent 21 months overseas and 6 months in combat covering many locations including Normandy D-Day +36, Bastogne/Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, and all the way to Czechoslovakia to meet the Russians as the war ended in Europe. His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart with 2 oak leaf clusters, the European Theater ribbon with 5 clusters (Normandy, Northern France, Moselle River, Ardennes, Ardennes/Alsace), the Victory in Europe Medal, the French Croix de Guerre medal, the Combat Service Commemorative medal, the WWII D-Day commemorative Medal, and the Battle of the Bulge Medal. Irv Heath gave of himself tirelessly to his community his entire life. He was a 50+ year member of the American Legion. He was a founding member of the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville and served this organization for 41 years. He helped found the Cancer Service Club of Hamilton County and was Treasurer of the Hamilton County Historical Society for 20 years. His civilian awards include the Boys and Girls Club Founders Award, the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award; City of Noblesville “Irving M. Heath Day” for all he has done for the community; the DePauw University Distinguished Alumnus award and was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash which is the highest honor bestowed upon a citizen of Indiana by the Governor.
William D. Jeffries
William D. Jeffries during his military career earned two Silver Stars and the Bronze Star for Valor. On the night of August 12, 1952 Sergeant First Class William D. Jeffries, while attached to Company L, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division was assigned the mission of protecting an enemy held position in the vicinity of Choko-Ri, Korea and capturing a prisoner for intelligence purposes. As the friendly assault elements approached their objective they became the recipients of intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons, and grenade fire. Immediately and with complete disregard for his personal safety, Sergeant Jeffries moved through the treacherous enemy fire shouting words of encouragement to his men, deploying them into a skirmish line and directing their fire upon hostile forces. He directed their fire so skillfully and effectively that the chattering of the enemy weapons soon ceased. After the battle and while organizing and leading his men toward friendly positions after the order had been given to withdraw, he observed that the fanatical foe had charged and were threatening to overrun the forces covering the withdrawal of the friendly unit. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sergeant Jeffries rushed to the scene of turmoil and exposed himself to the ferocious enemy fire has he hurled a white phosphorous grenade upon the foe and subdued their new threat by personally killing four of them with the withering fire of his rifle. Sergeant Jeffries’ extreme gallantry, courage and inspirational leadership which enabled the friendly unit to complete its mission and safely evacuate its casualties reflect the highest credit upon the military service.
On December 16, 1944 Private Louis Kalil exhibited conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces while serving with the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters Company, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division. Private Kalil was a member of an 18-man intelligence and Reconnaissance unit that was able to delay the main thrust of the German forces in the Battle of the Bulge for 18-24 hours giving other U.S. Forces precious time to prepare to defend the German offensive. These 18 men, including Private Kalil fought off three major German charges and prevented German force advancement until they ran out of ammunition and finally surrendered. Private Kalil was severely wounded in the final assault, became a prisoner of war and managed to survive four months before freed by British troops in Germany. Had it not been for this 18-man unit delaying the German forces, the Battle of the Bulge would have delayed Allied advances for many months and extended the war in Europe. Private Kalil’s outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Carver McGriff was 19 years old when he left Indiana to join in the battle for freedom on one of the most important and bloodiest battlefields of WWII. He found himself in the European Theater wading through the surf of Utah Beach with the 357th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Division. Severely wounded by artillery barrage, he was captured and became a prisoner of war while the battle at Normandy raged on. Fortunately, American forces pushed through the city of Rennes and recaptured Carver and his fellow wounded American POWs. For the remainder of the war, young Private First Class McGriff recovered from his wounds in London and eventually returned to the US and was mustered out of the Army over a year after his experience as a Prisoner of War. Carver learned much during his time in service, which became the bedrock of his life as a man of faith, character, courage and leadership. His war experiences are chronicled in his book “Making Sense of Normandy.” Instead of harboring anger after the war, he was called to the ministry in Indianapolis, and eventually was called to be the head pastor at St Luke’s Methodist Church. He served as its pastor for 26 years. After retirement from St. Luke’s, he continued focusing on veterans’ advocacy. What Dr. Carver McGriff has done on behalf of the veterans of his wartime unit, the 90th Infantry Division, is monumental. He has blessed the WWII veterans in the 90th Division with nearly 20 trips to Normandy, leading veterans to tell their story to fellow veterans, their families, and over 500 escorted travelers with grace, dignity and courage. Not to be ignored are the bonds of friendship he has established with the people of Normandy who have come to know him as the face of the 90th Division. In 2022, at the age of 97, Dr. Carver McGriff delivered three separate remarks at the 78th Anniversary Celebration of the D-Day landings, linking once again the extraordinary bonds between the people of Normandy and the brave Americans who freed them. Everett Carver McGriff’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, POW Medal, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, the French Legion of Merit, the “Sagamore of the Wabash” by Governor Evan Bayh, and distinguished Alumni awards from several universities.
Clair Lemoine Miller
Clair Lemoine Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Air Officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CV-14) while deployed over Formosa on January 21, 1945. Commander Miller repeatedly risked his life in directing and coordinating the Air Department crews in fighting fires and jettisoning bombs. With the ship under continuing air attacks, he went to an exposed station to better direct his men. As the second suicide plane dove on the ship he ordered his men to take cover while he chose to remain on station and lost his life in the resulting explosion. His great personal courage and outstanding ability were an inspiration to his officers and men. He was buried at sea from the U.S.S. Ticonderoga on January 22, 1945.
Robert A. Nester
Major General Robert A. Nester enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1963 and served on active duty until 1971. He subsequently served in the Air Force Reserves from 1971 until retiring in 2000. He held many positions while serving as a pilot with the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 72nd Special Operations Squadron; Instructor Pilot with the 3501st Flying Training Squadron; Deputy Commander of the 906th Tactical Fighter Group; Director of Training of the 434th Tactical Fighter Squadron; Commander of the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron; Vice Commander of the 442nd Tactical Fighter Wing; and Vice Commander of the 10th Air Force to name a few. In the military he logged 5,661 hours flying the T-37, T-38, F-4, A-10 and KC-10 aircraft. Major General Nester was the first Air Force Reservist to ever be selected as a Joint Task Force Commander of military operations abroad while serving as the senior reservist in the 9th Air Force. His military awards include the Legion of Merit; the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters; the Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters; and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is a Life member of the Reserve Officers Association and has served this organization as Chapter President; State President; Nationally as its Vice-President and President and as Assistant Secretary General of the US Delegation and its Secretary General. He is also a life member of the Military Officers Association of America serving as its Chapter Vice President and President. Major General Nester led the artistic design, development, funding, and placement of the Colonel H. Weir Cook bronze statue that stands in the entrance of the Indianapolis International Airport. Major General Nester has been recognized with the Oliver L. Parks Alumni Merit Award from Parks College in St. Louis, and has received the “Sagamore of the Wabash” which is the highest honor bestowed upon a citizen of Indiana by the Governor.
Dorothy Marie Simpson-Taylor
Dr. Dorothy Marie Simpson-Taylor honorably served as a Statistical Specialist in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era. As an Air Force veteran with a strong connection to the military experience of veterans and families, she has been an advocate and leader in creating venues that celebrate and honor men and women who served in the Armed Services for more than 50 years. She has received numerous accolades and awards for outstanding service rendered to, not only veterans, but also to many other families and civilians. Dr. Simpson-Taylor is the Founder of the Sister Soldier Network in Indianapolis and Sister Soldier Network in Iowa which are women veterans’ organizations. She served on the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Veterans and the executive Committee of the Veterans Support Council. Dr. Simpson also served as a Board Member of Operation Job Ready Vets/Indiana and has counseled veteran family Members and veterans and military personnel who served from WWII to present day Afghanistan. She is the founder of Readjustment Counseling Services, a federally funded private agency serving veterans after Vietnam; the past Commander of Luis V. Hider AMVETS Post 99 and served as the Women Veterans Representative of the American Legion District 11 – just to name a few. Dr. Simpson-Taylor has been recognized in Alaska, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska and by the United States House of Representatives for her work of behalf of equity and inclusion. In 2020, she was the recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Award for leadership in veteran issues with the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust, and received the Jefferson Award in 2019 for being a woman who has made it her mission to shine a light on the stories of female veterans.
George William Stavropoulos
George William Stavropoulos earned the Silver Star while assigned to the Republic of Vietnam On July 2, 1967 while serving as a Platoon Corpsman with Company C, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy. On this date Company C was assigned the mission of reinforcing another unit which was surrounded by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force and had sustained numerous casualties. As his company moved forward and came under enemy small arms fire, Hospitalman Stavropoulos , with complete disregard for his own safety fearlessly moved about the fire-swept area administering medical aid to the wounded of both companies. When the evacuation of these casualties had been completed, Company C was suddenly subjected to an intense enemy artillery attack. Although he sustained a fragmentation wound, Hospitalman Stavropoulos continued to maneuver through the enemy fire to treat the numerous wounded Marines. Ignoring his own painful injury and exposing himself to the hostile fire he was wounded a second time by enemy grenade fragments, however, he steadfastly continued to crawl among the casualties rendering medical aid. Finally weakened by his wounds and unable to provide direct aid, he instructed nearby Marines in the proper techniques of administering first aid to the remainder of the wounded. Only after all the casualties had received medical attention and been evacuated would he permit treatment of his own wounds. His resolute determination and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous Marines and were an inspiration to all who observed him. By his steadfast courage, exceptional professional skill and selfless devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger Hospitalman Stavropoulos upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Catherine P. Winslow
Catherine P. Winslow joined the Army ROTC program at Purdue University in 1985. Participating in the Indiana National Guard simultaneous membership program, she became an ambulance platoon leader upon her commissioning as a Distinguished Military Graduate. She served in the National Guard until 1994, when she entered active duty service after graduating from the Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing her residency, Dr Winslow was assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where she eventually became the Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, an Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Services, and a staff surgeon at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland. Her extensive skills were tested on September 11th, 2001, when she was called in from maternity leave to treat survivors of the Pentagon terrorist attack. She would continue to treat and perform reconstructive surgery for combat wounded service members over the following years. In addition to her duties at Walter Reed, Lieutenant Colonel Winslow also served as an Otolaryngology (O – TOW – LARIN – GA – LA – JEE) Consultant to the White House. Dr. Winslow in 2004 established a private practice, where she offers services to service members at drastically reduced rates and virtually at cost for combat related injuries. She still follows up with many of her combat wounded patients and is passionate about veteran care. In 2005 Dr. Winslow was recognized by the Indiana Commission for Women as a Torchbearer Awardee. She has authored over 20 articles, speaks frequently at medical conferences, serves on various medical committees and continues to teach courses at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. We are honored to welcome Catherine P. Winslow into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2022.