Event Pictorials
August 16, 2015
This Park was originally dedicated in January, 1947, by then Mayor Michael Simula, in honor of two Hancock boys who died during action in WWII. However, nothing was ever mounted on site to show that recognition. This Re-Dedication, including on onsite Plaque, is intended to rectify that oversight.
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A view of the ice rink, with recently replaced side boards, the warming hut is at the right rear. Master of Ceremonies for the occasion is Hancock’s City Manager, Glenn Anderson. Next on the speakers list, is Hancock’s current Mayor, Lisa McKenzie. In the background, is Hancock’s Alfred Erickson Post 186, Color Guard. Michigan State Representative Scott Dianda, a local native, also was on hand to give congratulations.
Dennis Hagenbuch, Chairman of Hancock’s Recreation Committee, also thanked the City for the Commemoration. Giving the Biography of Alvin Einart “Govenor” Laurn, was John Haeussler, former Councilman and local Historian. Laurn was serving aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Gambier Bay when it was sunk during the Battle off Samar, during the retaking of the Philippines. He had been in the Navy already prior to WWII, but transferred to the Hancock Naval Reserves in early 1941, when he found they would be shortly called to duty in the Navy, so as to be with his two brothers, Douglas and James, who were Reserve members. They would be called up in March of 1941, to serve aboard the newly commissioned USS Mount Vernon, formerly a cruise ship, the SS Washington, requisitioned by the Navy. In 1943, wishing to get back into battle, he transferred to the Gambier Bay. He did not survive the sinking. Here, surviving relatives, Mrs. Marlene, Klement, niece of Alvin Laurn; Mr. Kenneth Laurn, nephew; and Mr. Arthur Laurn, nephew, give remembrances of Alvin. No surviving relatives of Robert Clayton Grove were able to attend. Grove, and anther Hancock boy, Elmer Schaff, were serving on the Merchant Marine ship SS James Sprunt, in the Caribbean Sea, when it was stuck by a German torpedo, As the ship was carrying many tons of high explosive munitions, it literally blew the ship into splinters as a result of the explosion. There were no survivors. Mr. Gorden Shaff, of Hancock, tells of his brother, Elmer, and of finding a memorial for him aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown, CV-10, (now museumed in Charleston, SC).
Also speaking, new Commander fo Alfred Erickson Post 186, American Legion, Hancock, Ron Olsen, who thanked the City for honoring two boys who gave their lives for their Country in WWII. Reading out the text of the Plaque of Honor, was Kevin Kalinec, Hancock Recreation Commission, and a member of the Hancock Public Schools Board of Education. Family members read the Plaque honoring their boys service to their Country. The Plaque. Our thanks to all who worked on the project and attended the Ceremony.
Photos: Roland Burgan r-burgan@charter.net
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