Portion of Natcher Parkway Dedicated to Medal of Honor Recipients
A portion of the William H. Natcher Parkway is being dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients in Butler and Ohio Counties.
The stretch of the Natcher Parkway going through both counties is designated the “Medal of Honor Recipient Trail” in honor of Staff Sergeant Don J. Jenkins of Butler County and PFC Wesley Phelps of Ohio County.
Representative C.B. Embry Jr. of Morgantown was a leading sponsor of the bill.
“We cannot honor these men too much for their heroic actions,” Embry said. “I just thought it was a patriotic thing for us to do. There is so much difficulty in the world today, this is a good thing. These men put their safety and lives on the line and they are great examples to our youth as well as others.”
Jenkins, a native of Butler County, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on January 6, 1969, when, during a firefight in Kien Phong Province, Republic of Vietnam, he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire to engage the enemy, resupply his ammunition, and obtain new weapons, and despite being wounded himself, he made several trips through intense fire to rescue other wounded soldiers.
Phelps of Rosine was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for sacrificing his life for his comrades when he threw himself on a live grenade during fighting on the Island of Peleliu in the Palau group on 4 October 1944.
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. There have been 3,468 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen since the decoration's creation in 1861, approximately 1,000 of which were awarded since World War I.