Decatur Residents Honor Those Lost in Military Service This Memorial Day

springfield grave

Decatur residents, led by long-time resident Chris Billingsley, placed flowers on the Decatur cemetery graves of those lost in military service over the weekend.

Above, CSD student Ford Parler places a flower on the grave of Lt. Robert Springfield, who’s story of service only recently resurfaced thanks in part to the marvels of 21st century technology.  Chris explained in a comment last week…

Last year, I mentioned in a post that the grave of Robert Springfield, a pilot who was killed on a training flight in New Mexico and later buried in the City of Decatur cemetery, could not be found. Six months ago, I heard from Springfield’s great nephew who read my post on Decatur Metro and described where Springfield was buried. He sent me pictures of Springfield and other crew members including this account from Bobby Lee Silliman who edits the Carlsbad Airfield Facebook page, “I know a lady in her nineties who served at C.A.A.F as a WAC during WW2 ( she lives in Youngstown Ohio ), and she tells me that she recalls that horrible accident and how a hush fell over the air base out of respect for all who perished in it”. Springfield’s gravesite is located near many of his DHS classmates who were killed while serving during World War II.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.04.00 PMSpringfield’s great nephew Jones Fowler followed up with a note to us and sent a report of Springfield’s service in he had pieced together over the last year. He writes…

Thank you very much for remembering my relative on this Memorial Day. Robert Springfield was my father’s aunt’s first husband. Early on in World World II he joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Carlsbad, New Mexico for training to become an aircrew member on a B-24 Bomber. Unfortunately on a stormy night he and his training crew of 4 others were killed in a plane crash. Dad’s aunt Dot got remarried and never spoke a word about him ever again. Honestly I think his memory would have been lost forever had I not found a medal that was inconsistent with my grandfather’s service as a pilot. Given that medal, largely with the help of Chris last year I was able to dig up and string together the report attached. I am very happy that we have found out his story and amazed at the honor you all have shown him. I will certainly visit the grave the next time I’m in Atlanta.

Thank you to Lt. Springfield and all those lost in service to our country.

Cemetery photo courtesy of Chris – used with Parler’s father’s permission.  

Photo of Lt. Springfield courtesy of Jones Fowler

3 thoughts on “Decatur Residents Honor Those Lost in Military Service This Memorial Day”

  1. Thanks Nick. We had a great turnout this afternoon at 5:00. The honor roll of the fifty men buried in the cemetery was read. During the readings to honor of those not buried in the Decatur Cemetery, two young ladies placed roses on the monument dedicated to American veterans. We ended the ceremony with the following statement and the singing of “God Bless America”:
    “To the families of all those who died while in the service of our country, may you find peace knowing that the City of Decatur will never forget your loss and may you rest in peace.”

  2. The 2016 Memorial Day rememberance was made possible because of the generous support of sponsors. Several live and or have businesses located in Decatur. They are Eric Schulman and Ilene Zeff, owners of Mid City Management, Cathy Herman, licensed electrician specializing in creative lighting solutions, Robin Moore of Howard Street Properties, Ryan Garrett of Keller Williams Realty, the owners, managers and staff at “World Famous” Trackside Tavern, Furry Tails Pet Shop owners Anna Zaveryulkha and Julian Perez-Dowdy, Dave Jones and Tony Powers, owners of InTown Hardware and several other businesses outside of Decatur. All will be recognized at the next city commission meeting.

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