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HCR120 SUB As Adopted House Concurrent Resolution 120 History

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 120

(By Delegate Ashley)

 

 

Requesting the Division of Highways to name bridge number 44-905-0.61 on Market Street near the junction with Front Street in the City of Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia, the “1st Sergeant Walter Criss Bridge, United States Army.”

    Whereas, Walter Criss was born and raised in a log cabin on Sang Run, near Beech, in Calhoun County, West Virginia; and

    Whereas, After dropping out of school at a young age, Walter Criss impulsively joined the Army in 1940 after seeing a recruitment poster on the streets of Charleston, West Virginia, an impulsive decision that set the path of his life; and

    Whereas, Initially, as a young soldier, Walter Criss was assigned to the 21st Field Artillery Division, stationed in Battle Creek, Michigan, earning wages of a whopping $17 per month; and

    Whereas, In the fall of 1941, Walter Criss and his unit were sent to Iceland for a 6-month tour that turned into a 25-month tour due to the start of WWII; and

    Whereas, While in Iceland, Walter Criss served as a guard and was, ultimately, promoted to Corporal of the Guard; and

    Whereas, In 1943, Walter Criss was assigned to the 955th Field Artillery stationed in England preparing for the D-Day invasion scheduled one year hence; and

    Whereas, As the days led up to D-Day, Walter Criss and other members of his unit engaged in a ploy to disguise the invasion and throw off German intelligence by using passes to go to another part of England; and

    Whereas, During his tour in Europe, Walter Criss was involved in five major battles and witnessed the bombing of Saint-Lo; and

    Whereas, After a brief leave to come back to the States in 1945, Walter Criss rejoined his unit, first in Czechoslovakia with the Russian Army in eyesight and then later through Germany, France, Morroco, Dakar, Brazil, Florida and, finally, Ft. Meade, Maryland, where he was honorably discharged in July, 1945; and

    Whereas, Shortly after his discharge in July, 1945, Walter Criss met and married Frankie Greathouse of Spencer, West Virginia, a woman with whom he remained until her death in 2006; and

    Whereas, Walter and Frankie had two children, Norman of Louisville, Kentucky, and Nora Ann Cox of Barberton, Ohio; and

    Whereas, In 1946, Walter Criss reenlisted in the United States Army and was stationed, first in Alaska and, then, Oklahoma; and

    Whereas, Walter Criss was sent to Korea where he saw action during the Korean War and was promoted to 1st Sergeant; and

    Whereas, After the Korean War, 1st Sergeant Criss’ military duties took him to Texas, Louisiana, Germany and Virginia where he was assigned to a guided missile unit protecting Washington D.C.; and

    Whereas, 1st Sergeant Criss later served in Germany, again, and Ft. Meade where he obtained his GED; and

    Whereas, After one more tour in Germany, 1st Sergeant Criss transferred to the Guards in 1961; and

    Whereas, Most recently, in February, 2012, 1st Sergeant Criss was appointed a “Chevalier”, or Knight, of the French Legion of Honor by the French for his role in the liberation of France during WWII, an honor which began two centuries ago under Napolean; and

    Whereas, In light of Walter Criss’ significant history in the United States Army and substantial risk and contributions during two major wars, WWII and the Korean War, it is more than fitting to designate a bridge in his town by his name and rank; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to name bridge number 44-905-0.61 on Market Street near the junction with Front Street in the City of Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia, the “1st Sgt Walter Criss Bridge, United States Army”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to cause to have made and be placed signs at both ends of the bridge, in prominent lettering, the “1st Sgt Walter Criss Bridge, United States Army”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates, forward a certified copy of this resolution to Walter Criss, to his children, Norman of Louisville, Kentucky, and Nora Ann Cox of Barberton, Ohio, and to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

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