Capt. Duke Memento Donated to Leonardtown

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Capt. Duke Memento Donated to Leonardtown

Leonardtown, MD - 3/12/2013

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By Dick Myers

(l to r) Peter Wigginton, Chip Forbes and Mayor Dan Burris at  presentation
(l to r) Peter Wigginton, Chip Forbes and Mayor Dan Burris at presentation

The Town of Leonardtown has received an impressive memento of the efforts to honor a local hero. At Monday’s town meeting, Peter Wigginton, representing his family, presented the town with a framed limited edition print of the World War II Memorial with an inscribed short history of Captain Walter Duke, a town native who was shot down over Burma on June 6, 1944.

What is believed to be the remains of Captain Duke were recently found in a jungle and will be returned to Leonardtown as soon as they are authenticated. A hero’s welcome in planned for that event by a committee that includes members of the Duke family and other citizens.

The framed print also includes the front and back side of a memorial coin and medallion that were minted and donated by Chip Forbes of C. Forbes, Inc. of Richmond, VA. Wigginton told the town council that Forbes, who is a friend of his, was told about the story of Capt. Duke and intrigued enough to donate 100 copies of what he crafted that shows Capt. Duke and his aircraft. Forbes was in attendance at the ceremony.

Copies of the coins were distributed at the meeting to members of the Duke family and to town council members and will also be sent to Capt. Duke’s unit, now stationed in Texas.

There is a movement in the community to have the new elementary school in Leonardtown named after him. A public hearing on that proposal will be held by the school board at their regular March 13 meeting beginning at 9 a.m. The St. Mary’s County Airport is also named after him.

See an earlier story in the Bay Net for more Information: http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/31163



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