Medal of Honor mural being moved this week

March 6, 2023

Medal of Honor mural being moved this week

American Legion, Historical Society still in need of funds

LUDINGTON — A mural honoring Mason County’s two Medal of Honor recipients is being removed this week from the downtown building that has hosted it since it was created. The mural, title “Medal of Honor Recipients: Ludington’s Own,” is currently located on the north side of the building located on the southeast corner of James and Filer streets. The building is owned by PJP Holdings, of 612 N. Lakeshore Dr. Its resident agent is listed as Kelly Parker. Parker and her husband, Michael, own Nader’s Motel & Suits, which is located at that same address. 

In March 2022, Kelly Parker informed the Mason County Historical Society that the moral would need to be moved to allow for renovations and repairs to the building, adding that she did not want the mural back on the building. 

The mural is a 16-foot by 36-foot 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 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.

Since the original notice to remove the mural, the members of American Legion Post #76, Edwin H. Ewing, offered to host the mural at its location, 318 N. James St. and has since been working on raising the funds for the installation, an estimated $15,000. To date, the Legion has raised about $8,500. 

“We believe that the American Legion will be a fitting home for the mural,” Berringer said. “We are also hopeful that the mural’s former host building’s historical integrity will remain in place. It’s always good to hear that another building is being repaired in our county’s commercial districts.” 

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, PO Box 569, 130 E Ludington Ave, 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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