SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10
(By Senators Stollings, Kirkendoll and Unger)
[Originating in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure]
Requesting the Division of Highways to name the Atenville Beam Span Bridge on Rt. 10, Lincoln County, .1 mile south of South Route 68, bridge number 22-10-6.54, the “Shelton Topping Bridge”.
Whereas, Shelton Topping was born May 11, 1926. He has been married to Edith Maynard Topping for sixty-two years. They had three children, eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He is an Elder at 14 Mile Church of Christ and upstanding member of the Harts Community. He is a World War II veteran, joining the Army in November, 1944, at seventeen years old. He was awarded the Bronze Star, badges for Marksmanship, the Combat Infantry and a European African Middle Eastern campaign ribbon. Additionally, he has the Honor Service Lapel, commonly known as the ruptured duck. Shelton Topping says the reason for joining the Army was “There were six boys in our family and five of them were in the service. My older brother told me I’d better join up soon, or the war would be over before I’d get to go in.” He was a member of the Third Infantry Division of the Army in Company D. Company D was the oldest outfit in the U. S. Army. It was founded and served under General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. When General Patton died in Europe, in December, 1945, Company D served as an Honor Guard at his funeral. Shelton Topping began his military training at Camp Joseph T. Robertson, near Little Rock, Arkansas, was later sent to Fort Meade, Maryland, and then to Camp Shanks in New York before leaving for Europe. He left New York, crossed the English Channel to reach Le Havre, France, and then traveled by train to Germany. In January, 1945, the Third Infantry Division had smashed the Colmar pocket and was driving the last German soldier from the area. The division hit the line again in March, 1945. The main Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibruecken, Germany, were breached and the Third was on its way to the Rhine River a second time. Light opposition was encountered and on March 23, the division was moved on the Rhine Plain, in the triangle formed by Bad Duerkheim-Frankenthal-Worms to prepare for a crossing of the river. In March, the division was across the Rhine and driving deep into the heart of Germany. The Third’s last major battle was at Nuremberg where the Germans put up their last big effort to deal a mortal blow. After three weeks there, the war ended. Shelton Topping’s company turned to guarding prisoners of war. They had 4,500 prisoners to guard. They processed the prisoners five hundred men at a time and only eight American soldiers would guard this large group of men. Although he was eighteen at the end of the war, he celebrated his nineteenth and twentieth birthdays overseas. Mr. Topping served as a Special Honor Guard at the United Nations building at the American Embassy in Berlin. The Honor Guard was made up of four soldiers from four countries: The United States, England, France and Russia. There were eighteen regular guards and four honor guards. In order to be an American Honor Guard, one had to be a Bronze Star recipient. Upon returning to the United States from active duty, Mr. Topping studied for his General Educational Development Test, then attended Marshall University. He taught in a one-room school in Sand Creek, West Virginia, and later at a one room school in Atenville, West Virginia. Because teaching school made it difficult to support a family at that time, he had to quit teaching and go work in the coal mines. He worked for Island Creek Coal Company in Logan County until he retired; and
Whereas, The contributions of Shelton Topping to his country, state and community should not go unnoticed. It is fitting to honor Shelton Topping by naming the bridge on Rt. 10, Lincoln County, .1 mile south of South Route 68 for Shelton Topping; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways to name the Atenville Beam Span bridge on Rt. 10, Lincoln County, .1 mile south of South Route 68, bridge number 22-10-6.54, the “Shelton Topping Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to have made and be placed signs identifying the bridge as the “Shelton Topping Bridge”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, to Mr. Shelton Topping and to his surviving children and relatives.