American Legion will be new home to Medal of Honor recipients mural. 

June 16, 2022

American Legion will be new home to Medal of Honor recipients mural. 

Donations needed to help with relocation. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A mural honoring Mason County’s two Medal of Honor recipients will soon have a new home, thanks to the efforts of the Mason County Historical Society and the American Legion Edwin H. Ewing Post #76. 

The mural, titled “Medal of Honor Recipients: Ludington’s Own” is a 16-feet by 36-feet mural painted by artist Terry Dickinson of Kingsley and installed in July 2004. The mural honors two of Ludington’s Congressional Medal of Honor recipients; Charles H. DePuy and William R. Charette.

The owners of the building located on the southeast corner of South James and East Filer streets have requested the mural be moved. The building is owned by PJP Holdings of Ludington. According to Kelly Parker of PJP Holdings, the building is scheduled for repairs and renovations, which include the installation of windows on the north side, which means the mural will no longer fit on the side of the building. 

The mural is one of 10 murals in downtown Ludington that were originally installed by the Ludington Mural Society. When that organization disbanded in 2014, the Mason County Historical Society took responsibility to maintain them. The painting of the “Heroes” mural was sponsored by Argue Communications (which is no longer in business in that location), Amvets, and veteran friends.

At least one other property owner on South James Street offered the use of her building. Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, a member of the historical society board, also offered the sheriff’s office as a possible location. The historical society board ultimately chose the American Legion post, located at 318 N. James St.

“The board members all agreed that the American Legion would be the most fitting location for this mural as it honors two distinguished veterans,” said Rebecca Berringer, executive director of the historical society. “We are very excited about this move and believe that the mural has found a good home.” 

Mike Kuhn, commander of the post said the decision to help with the mural was pretty easy for the post’s board and membership. 

“It’s the right thing to do,” Kuhn said. “We weren’t real keen for it to sit in limbo. It’ll have a good home at the post. We plan on placing it on the south wall, facing the playground, and it will be very visible from James Street.” 

The move comes with expenses, however. The mural will sit higher than the current wall, so it requires some construction to the post’s building. There are also moving expenses. The estimates for the complete relocation are $15,000. 

Both Kuhn and Berringer said that donations to help with the re-location are welcome. Those wishing to assist may send a check to the Ludington American Legion, 318 N. Jame St., Ludington, MI 49431. Donations may also be sent to the Mason County Historical Society, 1687 S. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington, MI 49431. Donations should indicate “Ludington’s Own Mural” in the check memo. 

 

About the heroes: 

Charles DePuy was a United States Army First Sergeant, in Company H, First Michigan Sharpshooters. His courageous act above and beyond the call of duty occurred on July 30, 1864, at the bloody battle at Petersburg, Va., during the Civil War. DePuy, a former artilleryman, and an officer manned guns in the face of fierce enemy fire and saved countless Union lives. DePuy was born on September 8, 1842, in Sherman, Wexford County, Michigan and lived and worked for many years in Ludington.

Ludington native, William Richard Charette, born on March 29, 1932, was a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman, third class assigned to Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, when on March 27, 1953, in the Panmujom Corridor (Demilitarized Zone), during the Korean War, his unit came under intense attack. Charette forever distinguished himself in 18 hours of combat by courageously tending to wounded and dying Marines while under heavy grenade, machine gun, and rifle attacks. In one instance, he threw himself upon a wounded comrade, shielding him from an exploding grenade which ripped into Charette’s own body. Despite his wounds, Charette unfailingly exposed himself to enemy fire and continuously aided Marines in his and other nearby platoons throughout the fighting. The portrait of Charette on the mural is based on a photograph taken just moments after he received his medal, on January 12, 1954. On May 26, 1958, aboard the guided-missile cruiser, USS Canberra, Charette was given the honor of selecting the Unknown Soldier from World War II. His selection rests in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Charette retired as master chief hospital corpsman following a distinguished career in the Navy.

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