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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Sampson County Veterans Park and R.G Herring Memorial, Clinton

  • Type

    Public Space

  • Subjects

    World War II

    Veterans of Multiple Wars

  • City

    Clinton

  • County

    Sampson

  • Description

    The memorial to Rufus Geddie Herring is the focal point of the Sampson County Veterans Park in Clinton. The Herring monument stands approximately 10 feet tall. A polished black granite flat arch top tablestone has inscriptions on both sides and stands on a gray granite base several feet high. The memorial is outlined with a very large circle of brick inside of which six brick walkways radiate out from the monument. These walks end near the circle edge except for the one leading from the parking area. At various places these walks are bisected by polished black granite slabs incised with the coat of arms and names of the military services. Memorial brick pavers for those who served in these branches radiate outwards from the center. Three flag poles dedicated in 2003 by the Jaycees fly the U.S., North Carolina and POW/MIA flags. A brick and granite marker with SAMPSON COUNTY VETERANS PARK stands to the right of the entry into a small V-shaped park. Two sets of two concrete benches face the Herring memorial from outside of the brick circle.

    Images: Sampson County Veterans Park | Rufus Geddie Herring Memorial | Far-off view | Walkway | Flag pole inscription

  • Inscription

    Front inscription: CITATION / FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY / AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE / CALL OF DUTY AS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF / LCI (G) 449 OPERATING AS A UNIT OF LCI (G) / GROUP 8 DURING THE PREINVASION ATTACK ON / IWO JIMA ON 17 FEBRUARY 1945. BOLDLY CLOSING / ON THE STRONGLY FORTIFIED SHORES UNDER THE / DEVASTATING FIRE OF JAPANESE COASTAL DEFENSE / GUNS, LT. (THEN LT. (L.G.)) HERRING DIRECTED / SHATTERING BARRAGES OF 40MM AND 20MM / GUNFIRE AGAINST HOSTILE BEACHES UNTIL STRUCK / DOWN BY THE ENEMY’S SAVAGE COUNTER FIRE WHICH / BLASTED THE 449’S HEAVY GUNS AND WHIPPED HER / DECKS INTO SHEETS OF FLAME. / REGAINING CONSCIOUSNESS DESPITE PROFUSE / BLEEDING, HE WAS AGAIN CRITICALLY WOUNDED / WHEN A JAPANESE MORTER CRASHED THE CONNING / STATION, INSTANTLY KILLING OR FATALLY / WOUNDING MOST OF THE OFFICERS AND / LEAVING THE SHIP WALLLOWING WITHOUT / NAVIGATIONAL CONTROL. UPON RECOVERING THE / SECOND TIME, LT. HERRING RESOLUTELY CLIMBED / DOWN TO THE PILOTHOUSE, AND FIGHTING AGAINST / HIS RAPIDLY WANING STRENGTH, TOOK OVER THE / HELM, ESTABLISHED COMMUNICATION WITH THE / ENGINE ROOM, AND CARRIED ON VALIANTLY UNTIL / RELIEF COULD BE OBTAINED. WHEN NO LONGER ABLE / TO STAND, HE PROPPED HIMSELF AGAINST EMPTY / SHELL CASES AND RALLIED HIS MEN TO THE AID OF / THE WOUNDED. HE MAINTAINED POSITION IN THE / FIRING LINES WITH HIS 20MM GUNS IN ACTION IN THE / FACE OF SUSTAINED ENEMY FIRE, AND CONNED HIS / CRIPPLED SHIP TO SAFETY. HIS UNWAVERING / FORTITUDE, AGGRESSIVE PERSEVERANCE, AND / INDOMITABLE SPIRIT AGAINST TERRIFIC ODDS / REFLECT THE HIGHEST CREDIT UPON LT. HERRING / AND UPHOLD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE / U.S. NAVAL SERVICE.

    Rear inscription: OTHER RIBBONS AWARD / TO / GEDDIE HERRING / PURPLE HEART / ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL WITH THREE BRONZE STARS / PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION WITH BRONZE STAR / WORLD WAR VICTORY RIBBON / AMERICAN CAMPAIGN RIBBON WITH FOREIGN SERVICE / MARRIED TO / VIRGINIA H. HERRING – U.S. NAVY NURSE WORLD WAR II

    Base, front, top: MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT

    Base front: THIS VETERANS PARK DEDICATED TO ALL / WHO SERVE IN THE DEFENSE OF FREEDOM / SAMPSON COUNTY VETERANS COUNCIL / NOVEMBER 11, 2002

    Flag pole inscription: THESE FLAG POLES DEDICATED / IN HONOR AND IN MEMORY / OF / ALL VETERANS / PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE / CLINTON JAYCEES / 2003

  • Custodian

    Sampson County

  • Dedication Date

    November 11, 2002

  • Decade

    2000s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.007110 , -78.313700 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Jordan, Chase. "Sampson community celebrates Veterans Day," The Sampson Independent, November 12, 2016, http://clintonnc.com/news, (accessed December 3, 2016) Link

      “LTJG Rufus G. Herring, USNR (February 17, 1945),” Their Finest Hour blog and radio show, http://theirfinesthour.net/, (accessed November 16, 2016) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Black and gray granite, brick pavers

  • Sponsors

    Sampson County Veterans Council

  • Location

    The Sampson County Veterans Park is located on two sides by the V-shaped intersection of NE Blvd. and Underwood Street. The third side is formed by the parking lot for Sampson County Emergency Management Services.

  • Landscape

    The R.G Herring Memorial is surrounded by a well-maintained lawn with a few trees.

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