Stephan Elkins is the youngest member of the Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment. Sometime this month (Sept. 2011) he is being sent to Bahrain to complete his training as a Navy Seal. Stephan decided at the age of 8 that he was going be a Navy Seal. His preparations from that time on are reflected in all of his activities growing up until he joined the Navy this past spring. He showed the true dedication of his preparations when on a full gear march in Boot Camp he not only carried his own sea bag with all his gear but he carried the sea bag of another man who was unable to carry his own. As a result, the other man finished the march and Stephan was appointed Athletic P.O. When his training officers saw how he handled guns and how much he knew about weapons he was made Weapons Petty Officer. He was recognized at the top of his class at the end of Boot Camp.
The following is an excerpt from the Letter of Recommendation for Stephan Elkins written by Kevin D. Flippin, LCDR, USNSCC, Regional Director 7-1:
"...I first met Stephan when he was about age 11. His father thought he would be interested in joining the US Naval Sea Cadet unit I was in charge of. Stephen was eager and full of energy to learn. He jumped at the chance to participate in any unit function. He joined the Aquarian Division at Naval Operation Support Center Kansas City, MO as a League Cadet. He served as a League Cadet for about 2 years completing League Cadet Orientation and Advanced Orientation. Upon turning age 13, he was promoted into the Sea Cadets. As a Sea Cadet, his first training was to attend Recruit Training, which is our version of Boot Camp. There, just like League Cadet Orientation, he learned basic seamanship skills with a heavy dose of physical training. His ambition was to be a SEAL. He not only met, but exceeded the Sea Cadet physical fitness requirements. Shortly thereafter, the Aquarian Division dissolved and merged with another Sea Cadet unit. It was long after that, that Stephan found other opportunities to challenge himself in school. During the time he was a cadet, he earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Color Guard Ribbon, Physical Fitness Ribbon, and the Expert Rifle Ribbon. I am certain he would have qualified expert with a pistol, but due to recent events in public schools, we did not allow handling handguns. Stephen’s father was mobilized during the time he was a cadet. A close family friend received a direct commission as an Ensign. Stephan was requested to present the first salute to Ensign Stan Suddarth. Stephan presented the salute with all the pomp and ceremony due an event of this nature.
I highly recommend Stephan for enlistment into the United States Navy, as well as, for application into the SEAL program. I have no doubt his performance will be as stellar as it was for me as the Commanding Officer of the Aquarian Division."
His friend George Bucey invited him to join the Marine Corps League and after his first visit he wrote the poem "Coming Home" which expressed his feelings about being reunited with the Marines. He had joined the National Guard in 1947 and was in the 110th Engineers. In July 1948 he took a discharge to join the Navy. He went onboard the USS Piedmont AD17 in 1949 and was there until January 1951. His ship went to Korea and was at Inchon, Korea. In 1951 he went to Hospital Corps School in San Diego and from there was sent as a Hospital Corpsman to Naval Hospital at Camp Pendelton. In July of 1951 he re-enlisted to get his ship back which he did not get. He complained and was sent to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and then to the Marine Corps Rifle Range at Camp Mathews in 1952. Then in 1953 went back to MCRD where he irritate his Captain and was sent to the Fleet Marine Force at Camp Delmar and in 1954 refused a medical discharge so he was retired and then was discharged in 1958.
He says he is proud of the fact that his poem "Semper Fi" is often read at Marine funerals because it tells how he feel about the Marines. He said "I was well-treated by every Marine on every base I served on."
Robert J. Rhodes
Grew up in Toronto, Canada and returned to the U.S. to join the Marines at 17.
Served overseas in the 13th Defense Battalion. Then after discharge the 17th Infantry
Battalion (Reserves) in Detroit. Activated in 1950, arrived in Korea in October
shortly after the Inchon landing as a heavy machine gun section leader through
the Chosin Resevoir, Operations Killer and Ripper up to the Punchbowl, then
hospitalized 3 months in Japan.
Back in the States I returned to college where I earned a doctorate and was on the
faculty of the University of Washington (Seattle), UCLA and the University of
Kansas Medical Schools. As a professor I also earned a Diploma in Clinical
Psychology (ABPP) and appointed a Fellow of the American Academy of
Clinical Psychology (FACP).
Have been an active leader in the First Marine Division Assn, Simpson Hoggatt
MCL, the KWVA, Chosin Few and founding president of the local Marine Corps
Bill entered the Marine Corps on September 11, 1952 and went to boot camp at MCRD,
San Diego. From boot camp he was assigned to "schools troops" whose job was
to help train 2nd Lieutenants in their basic training. Bill was later sent to the
"screening courses" which was the procedure to select enlisted marines for
commissioning as 2nd Lieutenants. After officer's basic school Bill served as a
platoon commander, company executive officer and company commander. His
duty assignments took him to Vieques, Pickle Meadows, Japan, Iwo Jima,
Okinawa and Korea. He was released from active duty in 1955 and spent 18
years in the Marine Corps Reserve. He retired as a Major. His civilian
occupation was in sales and sales management. Bill presently serves as
Judge Advocate for the Simpson-Hoggatt Detachment and devotes much time
to a charitable organization for children with cancer.
Hans was born in 1925 and grew up in Concordia, Mo. After graduation he enlisted
in the Marine corps. He participated in the Iwo Jima invasion and was one of only 18
survivors out of 351 in the two companies he served with. After WWII he served
in the Korean War where he lost an eye, suffered leg wounds and spent 5 months
in the hospital. He was awarded the Purple Heart. After military service Hans
spent 30 years at General Motors. He and his family spent much time together
visiting in Concordia and making frequent trips to Colorado. Hans is an active
member of Simpson Hoggatt and an inspiration to us all.
Raymond was born and raised in Lone Jack, Mo. He graduated from high school in
1942. Immediatly after graduation he enlisted at the age of 17 in the Marine Corps.
During the next three years he served in combat in the campaigns of Bouganville,
Choisez/Guam and Iwo Jima. Raymond was discharged in 1945. He returned to
the Kansas City area where he enjoyed a very successful career as a serial
entrepreneurial owner and operator of a dairy farm, a wholesafe dairy distributorship,
a bowling alley and an insurance agency. He is active in the American Legion,
VFW, and Marine Corps League. In addition he and his lovely lady, Ann, are
accomplished and very active ballroom dancers.
The first time Lamkin left his hometown, Hudson, Wis., was when he joined the
Navy in 1940. He was a corpsman on the USS Nevada at Pearl Harbor. After
the attack he went to Navy lab school and served on the USS San Francisco
from 1943-44 at the batles of Tarawa, Kwajelein (Marshall Islands), Saipan,
Tinian, Guam, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Attu (Alaska). He attended the
University of Kansas for over a year, and was in a receiving station in San
Francisco expecting to be part of the invasion force when the bombs were
dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lamkin was then sent to the Philippines
as a hospital Lab technician, ening his 6 years of service as a pharmacist's
mate 1st Class. In civilian life, Dorwin enjoyed h highy successful career
as a salesman for a major pharmaceutical company. He presently serves
as the head of the Kansas Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn.
Gene entered the Marine Corps in January of 1952. After several training
assignments he was assigned to the aviation machinist mate school as
a full time instructor. He was released from active duty in January 1955 with the
rank of sergeant. In civilian life he had a full career serving as a radio announcer
and program manager for radio stations. He served 27 years with the Post
Office while continuing work as a sports writer and a all night disc jockey.
Gene has served as President of the Noland Road Lyons Club, commander of
the Koran War Veterans and is active in the First Marine Division Assn. He
has served as commandant of The Independence Detachment and also of the
Simpson Hoggatt Detachment of the Marine Corps League. He is a very
active volunteer for the Liberty Memorial.
Max enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1942. As a member of the repair
and salvage battalion he served at Guadalcanal and gradually moved down
the coast to New Caledonia. Subsquently, Max served on a carrier when
his unit ran the flight deck. Max spent his civilian life as a highly
successful carpenter and served as the commandant of the Simpson Hoggatt
Detachment. He is still active as a leader of a VFW military honor guard at
funerals for deceased veterans. So far this year his unit has rendered
honors for 155 veterans funerals.
Donald E. Lynn
Don is a past Commandant of Simpson-Hoggatt. He serves on the detachment's executive committee and he recently directed the nominating process for detachment officers.
Don served on active duty with the 1st Marine Air Wing during the Korean War attaining the rank of Sgt. He is a retired civil engineer and is a dedicated volunteer with numerous community service groups. In addition he dedicates many hours to the detachment's Toys For Tots campaign. Don is an exemplar of service to his community and the Marine Corps League.
Don is a veteran of the Korean War, serving with the First Marine Air Wing. His profession was preforming as a pilot and Captain for TWA serving for 30 years with the airline. He has devoted much of his time to the Marine Corps League, serving as Commandant of the Simpson Hoggatt detachment, Vice Commandant, midwest division of the Department of Missouri. He was also the installing official for all new detachment officers. In addition he has been a valuable mentor to me, Ken Spencer. Don Fligge represents the highest form of service to the Marine Corps League.
Charles Barnes, Jr.
Charlie has served our detachment for years as adjutant/paymaster, web master, historian, detachment representative to the Marine Corps League Coordinating Council, detachment contact to Young Marines, Boy Scouts and coordinator for Toys For Tots. He also devotes much energy to our Memorial Day ceremony held at Mt. Moriah. Charlie now will be devoting most of his time building the best Toys For Tots program in the area. Charlie is the model of service to the Marine Corps League to which we all should aspire.