(The following is an article by Ann Lemaster-Applegate that appeared in The Paintsville Herald. Copyright 2002)
William Bill Crislip was born in Johnson County, the son of Fred Crislip and Rosalee McKenzie, however the only mom Bill ever knew was his stepmother, Samantha Lemaster Crislip. He left Johnson County in 1952 when he went into the Army from local board # 49.
Bill Crislip came home from the Korean War empty handed. He was given no official recognition for his time served, or for the wounds he received during combat in 1952 that hospitalized him for nearly two months. After his release from the hospital, Bills wounds prevented him from going back to the front. His new assignment was to a postal unit. In 1954, he received an honorable discharge.
Bill married Virginia Reed who was born in Southern Illinois and then moved to Michigan when she was eleven years old. After many years, Bill and Virginia moved near the small community of Grant, Alabama where Bill became friends with Don Dixon.
Wanting his friend to have the award he greatly deserved, Don and his wife, Melinda, began the process of securing the Purple Heart Award for Bill. The entire process would take eight months. The results would last a lifetime.
Nearly five decades after serving in the Korean War, military officials awarded an unsuspecting Bill with his Purple Heart on March 10, 2002; during what Bill thought would be a regular church service. It was a day he will never forget.
Bills sister, Malta Crislip Ross, and I met several years ago at a Lemaster reunion we attended and I hope to meet Bill this summer while he is visiting in Johnson County. Malta and sister, Edna Faye Crislip Grim, still reside in Johnson County, while another sister, Maye lives in Ohio.
By Korean Veteran,
There is a time in some men's
TO HONOR THOSE WHO PLAYED THE PART
This page last updated on:
November 22, 2009