Mural honoring local military heroes moved to American Legion post

June 22, 2023

Mural honoring local military heroes moved to American Legion post

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON — A mural honoring Mason County’s two Medal of Honor recipients has been installed at the Ludington American Legion post. The mural, title “Medal of Honor Recipients: Ludington’s Own,” was removed in March from its previous host building on the southeast corner of James and Filer streets, at the request of the building’s owners. 

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 the murals. The painting of the “Heroes” mural was sponsored by Argue Communications (which is no longer in business in that location), Amvets, and veteran friends.

After finding out the mural needed a new home, the members of American Legion Post #76, Edwin H. Ewing, offered to host it at the post, 318 N. James St. The cost of removing the mural and installing in the new location was about $15,000. Funds came from the Historical Society, the American Legion, and donations.

“We believe that the American Legion will be a fitting home for the mural,” Rebecca Berringer, executive director the Mason County Historical Society, said. 

Heirloom Carpentry & Construction of Ludington installed the mural. 

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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