CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In March, Austin Peay State University President Mike Licari announced the creation of the APSU Military Hall of Fame, to be housed within the William E. and Sadako S. Newton Military Family Resource Center, and with Independence Day approaching, the University is ready to announce the hall’s inaugural class of honorees.
“We have many students, alumni and community members who have done incredible things to protect our nation, and some of them have indeed given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom, so it’s time that this University, particularly with our connection to the military and all our military-affiliated students, formally recognizes this service and commitment in a visible way on campus,” Licari said in March.
The Military Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 4, but as the nation prepares to celebrate the July 4th Holiday, the University is pleased to announce these first honorees who helped support America’s continued independence. The first members of Austin Peay’s Military Hall of Fame are:
- The Late Lt. Col Frank Adkins – Adkins, a highly decorated World War II veteran, graduated from the Austin Peay Normal School in 1936. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps in 1940, and he went on to receive the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and a Distinguished Flying Cross as a heroic P-40 fighter plane pilot during the war.
- Retired Brig. Gen. Paul Bontrager – Bontrager, vice president at the Sierra Nevada Corporation, graduated from Austin Peay in 1987 as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate (he was in the top 20 percent of cadets nationwide graduating that year). That began his illustrious military career as an officer, which included his commanding the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell and culminated with his promotion to brigadier general.
- Retired Lt. Col. Dewey Browder – Browder, APSU emeritus professor and former chair of the Department of History and Philosophy, took the world’s first picture of light coming from a laser when he was a young Army photographer in 1963. He would later serve in Vietnam, receiving two Bronze Stars for Meritorious Achievement in ground operations against hostile forces, and in Europe, where he earned two Legion of Merit medals.
- The Late Command Sgt. Maj. Sidney Brown – Brown, a 1985 APSU graduate, deployed to Arkansas with the 101st in 1957 to help desegregate Little Rock High School. He later led patrols as a platoon sergeant through the notorious Iron Triangle during the Vietnam War and spent his retirement serving the community and local veterans as a Montgomery County Commissioner.
- Retired Brig. Gen. Remo Butler – Butler, a 1975 graduate, was the first APSU cadet to become a general officer in the U.S. Army, and he was the first Black officer in the Special Forces to achieve the rank of brigadier general. He spent most of his impressive 29-year career in the Special Forces, commanding at every level, including as commander of Special Operations Command South.
- Capt. Joe Hendricks Fox – Fox, a 1951 Austin Peay State College graduate, served as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War, where he received the Bronze Star with combat V for valor for “expressing complete disregard for his personal safety and fearlessly leading combat patrols deep into hostile territory to engage and destroy the enemy.” He also was cited for “exceptional ability, initiative and professional skill in the performance of his duties” as a platoon commander, and he received the Korean Service Medal with two stars and the United Nations Service Medal.
- The Late Col. David Hackworth – Hackworth, a 1964 Austin Peay State College graduate, was a highly decorated veteran of the Korean War – earning a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts during his two tours – and the Vietnam War, where he helped create and command the guerrilla warfare-style Tiger Force. After retiring, he became a prominent military journalist, writing columns for Newsweek and for national syndication and several books, including the bestselling “About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.”
- The Late Lt. Col. Halbert Harvill – Harvill, one of the first Austin Peay Normal School faculty members and later the president of Austin Peay State College, fought in the trenches of Europe as an enlisted soldier and later an officer during World War I. During World War II, he was granted leave-of-absence from teaching at Austin Peay to serve as an officer in several military police battalions and local and state Selective Service Boards, before returning to the college as a lieutenant colonel.
- The Late Dr. Preston Hubbard – Hubbard, who spent 33 years as an APSU professor of history, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and was assigned to the 509th Signal Company in the Philippines during World War II. He was captured on the Bataan Peninsula in 1942 and survived the grueling Bataan Death March with its death rate of about 400 men a day, later receiving the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and the POW medal for his extraordinary service.
- Retired Col. Carrie Kendrick – Kendrick, a 1977 APSU graduate, was the first Black female battalion commander and brigade commander for the Military Police Corps, and her brigade command was responsible for the security, safety and law enforcement of five installations and more than 120,000 soldiers. During her more than 25-year career serving in various military occupational specialty positions, she earned the Bronze Star for combat service, the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal.
- Retired Capt. John McKay Jr. – McKay, a 1959 Austin Peay graduate and former Governors’ football team captain, entered the Navy Officers Candidate School in 1963 and spent 30 years serving on amphibious warfare ships, mine sweepers, cruisers, destroyers and helicopter carriers. During his career, he served as captain of the USS Spiegel Grove and the USS Shreveport, and in 1989, he took command of Task Force 61 in Anzio/Nettuno, Italy.
- Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Wayne Price – Price, a 1983 APSU graduate and Vanderbilt Life Flight pilot, served as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot during two tours in Korea, one tour in Honduras, two combat tours in Iraq and a combat tour in Afghanistan. He received numerous medals, including the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal, and he was selected to pilot the commanding officer at Fort Campbell during a combat tour of Iraq.
- The Late Sgt. Osman Samuel Uffelman – Uffelman, a 1951 Austin Peay State College graduate and former teacher and superintendent of Houston County Schools, enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he served as an engineer disabling mines. During the war, he fought in North Africa, landed at Omaha Beach on June 12, 1944, and earned a Bronze Star for destroying a German pillbox with explosives while taking fire from an enemy sniper.
“This Hall of Fame honors Governors, living or deceased, who have served in the military with records of distinction and sacrifice to our nation, and who have demonstrated dedicated support for and substantive contributions to the United States military and veterans,” Licari said.
Austin Peay, as the state’s largest provider of higher education to military-affiliated students, has a long history of supporting the military community. Last year, the University opened the 5,200-square-foot Newton Military Family Resource Center, making Austin Peay home to the largest military student center in Tennessee.
The APSU Governors Military Hall of Fame Celebration will always take place the weekend prior to Veterans Day, which coincides with Clarksville’s celebrations. This year’s celebration will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. Nov. 4, in the APSU Morgan University Center Ballroom, followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 a person, and can be purchased at alumni.apsu.edu/halloffame22.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, honorees will be part of the Veterans Day Parade, starting at 10 a.m. in Downtown Clarksville. The APSU Governors Military Hall of Fame unveiling will take place at noon that day in the Newton Military Family Resource Center on College Street. That event is free and open to the public. If you wish to attend, RSVP at www.alumni.apsu.edu/halloffameunveiling22.