Patriots & Pioneers

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Please Help Us Remember The 28 Heroes Who Never Came Home

Tustin has a long and distinguished history of answering the call to arms.

We thank the Tustinites who continue to serve honorably in our nation’s military services to protect and defend the freedoms and values that make our Community and our Nation like no other and we remember the 28 from Tustin who gave their lives for us.

We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of their lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Tustin. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our  collective consciousness; our future is their monument.  ~ Heather Robinson

Allen Jacques DuRoy was the second child and only son of Jacques and Ruth Jenkins DuRoy. He was born December 1, 1948 in Flint, Michigan. The family, along with his older sister Kay, moved to California in 1954 living in Garden Grove, Northern California, Santa Ana and eventually moved to Williams Street in Tustin in 1964. Allen had a lot of nicknames, starting as Skipper, then Skip, then Allen as a grown up 8 year old.   In 1958, Kay was 12 and Allen 8 when their mom sent them-alone-to Michigan to stay with their grandparents for the summer. The kids decided to have a little “adventure” and went “exploring” O’Hare airport before their flight continued to Detroit. Their Mom had packed them a little lunch in their suitcase and that’s all they needed. When asked if they made it back in time to catch their plane, Kay responded “of course there was no way we were going to be late because we would have been in all kinds of trouble”.  Kay also fondly recalled a favorite family outing. They were given passes to go to Disneyland the day before it opened, July 16, 1955. It was a fun and magical day for the family, especially Kay and Allen. Her parents took turns stating in different lines and passing the kids back and forth so they could ride as many rides as possible. In the 12 hours they were there, they rode every single ride and saw all the shows that Disneyland had to offer.  Al, as he was now called in high school, had been attending Santa Ana Valley High school when the family moved to Tustin. He decided to stay at Valley High. Al was quiet, liked school and was described as studious. A classmate from his graduating class of 1967 wrote that Al was a lot of fun and made going to school fun. Al could be seen driving around town in his 1957 turquoise and white Chevy. His sister shared that at age 16-17, Al was caught speeding his Chevy on Main Street by the Tustin Police. He was feisty and fought the ticket, explaining that all the other cars were driving the same speed and he was targeted because of his age. The judge overturned the ticket! After high school he worked for Southern California Edison and attended Santa Ana College. During his college time, Al stopped for a semester to marry his high school sweetheart, Mary Sparks on May 17, 1969. Mary and Al lived in an apartment down the street from his parents on Williams Street. His sister said they were completely devoted to each other.  While on his break from college, Al was drafted into the United States Army, completing his military training at Fort Bragg. Allen found that he really enjoyed the military and talked about making it a career. His father Jacques had been a Navy veteran during WWII and grandfather Herbert, an Army veteran during WWI in France.  Allen’s tour of duty in Vietnam began on October 23rd, 1970. Six months later, while on night patrol on April 18, 1971, PFC Allen J DuRoy stepped on an American land mine and was killed while serving his country. He was the last of the Tustin Soldiers to die in the line of duty. He was just 22 years old.  Allen loved the ocean and would go there for hours to enjoy the peace. He is buried at Pacific View Memoria Park in Newport Beach, overlooking his beloved ocean.

PFC Allen DuRoy

Nelson Miles Holderman is the only of the Tustin soldiers honored with a street name who did not die in the line of duty. Holderman served as a captain in World War I. On October 6, 1918, although wounded, he rushed through enemy machine gun and shell fire and carried two men to safety while fighting in the Argonne Forest of France. He returned home to a hero’s welcome and received the Medal of Honor for his bravery.

Captain Nelson Holderman

 Navy veteran and Tustin police officer shot and killed Jan. 7, 1973

Officer Waldron G. Karp

Seaman 2nd Class Theodore Taulbee

Growing up on a family farm near Red Hill Avenue and Irvine Boulevard, John Richard Bruns enjoyed riding his horse in Peters Canyon. The popular young man was elected class president at Tustin High and married his high school sweetheart, Roberta G. Cooney. Serving as a mortar operator for the Marine Corps during the Korean War, PFC Bruns died when he was struck by enemy mortar.

PFC John Bruns

Unlike most of the Tustin Area Soldiers that have Tustin Ranch streets named in their honor, Sgt. Brand was not a native son of Tustin. Joseph Brand Jr., the oldest child of Joseph and Odessa (Dye) Brand, was born 3 September 1923 in Florida and raised in Georgia and Florida.  Sgt. Brand joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942. At the time of his death, the helicopter Squadron that Tech. Sgt. Brand belonged had been established at the El Toro Marine base but stationed in Tustin when it left Tustin for Korea.  According to Alan Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association "HMR-161 had been able to maintain an amazing record of flight safety conducting helicopter operations in a combat zone for 17 months without losing a man.”  Unfortunately, this record ended on 12 February 1953. Captain Allen W. Ruggles of Massachusetts and his crew chief, Technical Sergeant Joseph L. Brand Jr., were about 25 miles south of Pusan on their way to rendezvous with an aircraft carrier that was to take them to Japan, when their helicopter crashed into the water. Mechanical trouble was believed to have been the cause. The bodies of Captain Ruggles and Sgt. Brand were never recovered. Sgt. Brand was survived by his wife, Betty, two sons and a daughter all under the age of 4 years old. He is the recipient of the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Presidential Citation, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Sgt Joseph L Brand Jr

Lawrence Neal Helber was born February 5, 1934 in Logan Ohio, the oldest son of Lawrence E. Helber and Ruby Huffines Helber. Larry was raised in Logan, along with younger brothers Charles and Tom.   He attended Logan High School, where he participated in Football, Chior, Key Club and the Student Council. He also had a steady girlfriend, Mary Fergusion, who would later become his bride.  Larry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on May 10, 1953, while he was still in high school. He knew this was the career path he wanted to take. As soon as he received his diploma, he was sent to bootcamp in Paris Island, South Carolina as a Private First Class. He rose through the ranks, becoming a Staff Sergeant by early 1961, when he was selected for Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, receiving his Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on March 3, 1961.  On 24 January 1966, Capt. Albert Pitt, pilot; and then 2nd Lt.. Lawrence N. Helper radar intercept officer; comprised the crew of an F4B that departed DaNang Airfield in a flight of Phantoms on a strike mission into enemy held territory northwest of DaNang. The crew of another aircraft in the flight consisted of Capt. Doyle R. Sprick and 2nd Lt. Delmar G. Booze. Neither plane returned from the mission. All four pilots were listed as Missing in Action.  Mary Helber and their four children were living in Tustin and attending Tustin schools: Lelani, Lawrence, Mary Margaret and Andrew. The City of Tustin officially adopted Capt Helber has their own POW/MIA on May 20, 1971. Mary was strong advocate for the POW/MIA’s (at that time over 1300 men).  Captain Helber was officially declared dead on December 7, 1977.He was posthumously promoted to Major. His remains were never recovered.

Major Lawrence N Helber

Keith Milton Moser II, was born 25 September 1967, the son of Keith Moser and Janet Davidson Moser. Keith was one of 5 children with brothers John, Mark, Phillip and baby sister Mary Beth. Keith was born and raised in Michigan. They family moved to Bent Twig Lane in Tustin shortly before Keith’s death.  Keith enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in Chicago, Illinois on March 17, 1966. He was assigned to Company F 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and sent to Vietnam.  During the beginning of June Company E and F were participating in Operation UNION II in Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces. On June 2 – 3, the Marines met stiff opposition from the north Vietnamese Army for invading their harbor sites in the Que Son and Thang Binh Districts. With Company D of the 1st Battalion engaged with the enemy, Company F advanced and was hit with a barrage of mortar, Rocket Propelled Grenades and automatic weapons fire from an enemy in fortified positions. The battle lasted throughout the day and into the night with heavy losses to the Marines. Thirty Marines were killed in action including the Company Commander who led a charge on a Command bunker during the battle, and fifty-nine men were wounded. PFC Keith Moser was one of the casualties he was killed in action by hostile rifle fire.  Although relatively new to Tustin, PFC Keith Milton Moser II, was Tustin’s first Vietnam Combat fatality.  He was 20 years old. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal National Defense Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He is buried at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange.

PFC Keith Moser Jr

Born in Detroit, Lawrence “Larry” Churchill was the son of a career Marine. After his parents divorced, he and his two brothers moved with their mother to Kenneth Drive in Tustin. The lanky, red-haired boy ran track at Tustin High. When he was deployed to Vietnam, his father, First Sgt. Vernon Churchill, received permission to take his son’s place and persuaded Larry to come home. But when he arrived, Larry was on patrol. Lance Corporal Churchill and 31 other Marines died when their platoon was ambushed.

PFC Lawrence Churchill

Carlos Ray Davis was born January 4, 1950 in Dayton, Ohio, the oldest child and only son of James Davis and Zora Belle Sutton Davis. The family, along with younger sisters Pam and Debbie, moved from Ohio when Carlos was 9, first to Whittier and then to Tustin.   When Carlos started at Tustin High in 1965, he decided he wanted to be called Carl. Carl was a quiet and shy young man and ran track at Tustin High but was not involved in many other high school activities. Although it was not obvious to many others, what Carl did have was courage and strength. He decided at the end of his junior year that it was time to prove himself and left school as a 17 year old, prior to graduation, to join the United States Marines. His sister recalls his favorite song as Sherrie by the Four Seasons. She can’t help but think of her brother when she hears that.  Carl completed his boot camp in San Diego and basic training at Camp Pendleton. After receiving his training, he volunteered to go to Vietnam and arrived there on January 24, 1968. Company F was engaged in Operation WORTH, just outside of Saigon, in what was known as Hill 1025. Enemy forces were waiting in ambush and PFC Carlos Ray Davis was killed in action. He had just turned 18 years old.  Carl is the recipient of the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, The Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Purple Heart. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

PFC Carlos Davis

John Robert “Robbie” Oglesby was born July 30, 1947 in Orange, California to Robert L Oglesby and Shirley Rees Oglesby. He was one of six children with younger brothers, Chris, Tom, Mark, Jason and sister Deane.  Raised in Tustin, Robbie attended Tustin elementary schools and Tustin High, graduating in 1965. While in school, he was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Tustin Little League, Tustin High Baseball and Basketball and was the high school sports columnist.  His mom Shirley was a Foothill High School English Teacher.  Robbie entered the United States Army in August 1967, completing his basic training in Fort Ord. Robbie arrived in Vietnam on February 12, 1968. PFC Oglesby was fighting a brush fire when he was ambushed and killed on May, 15, 1968 just 3 months after arriving in Vietnam. He was 20 years old.  He is the recipient of the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He is buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana.

PFC John Robert Oglesby

Jeffrey Lea Martin was born August 9, 1944 in Farragutt, Idaho the oldest of two children and only son of World War II and active duty soldier Gerard Arthur Martin and Bette Lea Gaskill Martin. The family, along with younger sister Janine moved to Eveningside Drive in Tustin when Gerard left the military.  Jeff attended Tustin schools, graduating from Tustin High in 1962. He was a Varsity swimmer all four years and attended Orange Coast College before transferring to San Diego State University. A Political Science major, Jeff had leadership roles as the President of his fraternity and a member of the Student Council.   After graduation he entered the United States Marine Corps, completing Officer Candidate School in Quantico Virginia in April 1967.  His father said in a news article that Jeff was proud to serve in the infantry in Vietnam and had turned down an administrative position to do the “grunt” work.  He was the Platoon leader when on July 23rd, the platoon was attacked by mortar fire. Lt Martin was wounded and taken to a military hospital where he died 3 days later. A Marine Corps buddy wrote a remembrance that “Your laugh, Humor, and Fun loving nature will always be remembered. It was however, all surpassed by your love of country, sense of duty, and sacrifice for your Corps and men”.  He is the recipient of the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He is buried at Fort Rosecans National Cemetery in San Diego.

LT Jeffrey Martin

Allen “Greg” Swaim was born December 28, 1946 to Charles Lewis Swaim and Marilyn Peterson Swaim. His family, along with brothers Mike and Don and sister Patty lived on Kirk Street in Tustin. His mother, Marilyn, worked in the Tustin High Cafeteria for more than 22 years.  Greg attended Tustin High, graduating with the Class of 1964. While at Tustin, Greg was a member of the Tustin Cross Country team and sang in the High School Choir. Classmates wrote that he had a deep abiding faith and was very active at Tustin’s Trinity Church. He was a mentor to the younger church members, serving as a Youth Camp Counselor. Others described Greg as honest, decent and fair minded. Many expected Greg to become a Pastor.  After graduation, Greg attended Fullerton Junior College and entered the United Sates Army in January 1966. He attended Officers Candidate School in Maryland before being sent to Germany, where he was training to be a forward air observer.  In May 1968, he went to Vietnam. On August 1st, 1968, Sgt Swaim was part of an ambush team 3 miles south of Que Son. Tragically, an American fired artillery round fired at enemy forces fell short and fell on Sgt Swaim’s position. Sgt Swaim and Sgt Matthew Woods were killed.  He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was Posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, which is equivalent to the American Distinguished Flying Cross Medal.   He is buried at Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana.

Sgt Allen Gregory Swaim

Spc. 4th Class James Lucero, Army, killed June 13, 1969, while serving in Vietnam

Sgt James Lucero

Charles Alstot and his two older sisters attended Tustin High, where he performed in the drama club — something he enjoyed so much that he listed his occupation as actor on his military registration card. He left before graduation and joined the National Guard, serving for 18 months before his induction into the Army. PFC Alstot participated in the invasions of Indonesia and New Guinea. He was wounded on the steep slopes of the Kongo Fortress and died later that day.

PFC Charles O. Alstot

Arthur was a true native son, born in Orange County 11 September 1921, the first of three sons of Lennie Dishman and Mabel Fuestman Dishman. His father, Lennie arrived in Santa Ana just after 1900 and was employed as a carpenter at Tustin High School. They were also bee keepers on 3rd and A Street in Tustin.  Arthur attend Tustin elementary schools graduated from Tustin High in 1939 and was a member of the track team. After high school he was a mechanic.  On June 15, 1943, he entered the Army Air Forces ground crew and received training in the technical school at Camp Grant, Illinois. He completed Infantry training and went overseas in January, 1945. Having seen action in Luxembourg and Germany with the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division, he was on an advance when he was shot by sniper fire. He died from the wounds he received. Arthur was 23 years old.   He was awarded the Purple Heart and is buried at the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg.

PFC Arthur Dishman

Marvin Eugene Gray was born in Kansas in 1922, the oldest child of Charles C. and Beulah Margaret Gray. The family moved to Tustin after 1935 and Marvin graduated from Tustin Union High School in 1940.  He married Doris Gehres in Yuma, Arizona on February 8, 1942 and enlisted in the service on May 17, 1943. He completed his training at Fresno, Colorado and South Carolina before departing for duty in the South Pacific in June 1944.  With the 13th Air Force, he completed 43 missions as an armored gunner and participated in air action over the Himalayas, Borneo, Celebes, Luzon and the Philippines. On March 9, 1945, Sgt. Gray was killed in action in a mid-air collision over the Philippine Islands. He had just turned 23 years old, 6 days prior to his death. He left behind his wife Doris and a two year old daughter, Diana.  He was awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. He is buried in Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana.

Sgt Marvin Gray

Sgt. Christy Albert Peebler, Army, shot and killed June 13, 1969, while serving in Vietnam

Sgt. Christy Albert Peebler

Ralph Peter Plumb was Tustin’s first soldier to die in war. His father Hugh was the Orange County Tax Assessor and his mother Frances Adams hailed from one of the city’s founding families. Peter, as he was known, was involved in sports, drama and choir at Tustin High. The UC Berkeley graduate joined the Navy in 1939. His ship was attacked by Japanese bombers in the Coral Sea. More than two-thirds of the crew died, including Ensign Plumb.

Ensign Ralph Peter Plumb

Guadalupe “Lupe” Castaneda was born 17 December 1921, in Orange County, California, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Pete Castaneda of Santa Ana.  The earliest records show him living with his grandparents, Pedro and Felipa Castaneda and cousins Augustine and Francisco Hernandez on a ranch on Redhill Avenue in Tustin.  Lupe attended Tustin elementary and Tustin High school graduating with the class of 1941. While at Tustin high, he lettered in Track for four years. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy on March 2, 1942 and received his training at San Diego and at Hawaii and was stationed in San Francisco.  Seaman Castaneda was stationed aboard the light cruiser, USS Atlanta and saw action in the Pacific, Midway and at Guadalcanal. On November 13, 1942 at the second Battle of Guadalcanal, the Atlanta saw battle with Japanese forces at close range. The Japanese ship, Akatsuki illuminated the Atlanta and the Americans sunk the Akatsuki but not before it was hit on the port side engine room. While it was dead in the water, it was hit by an additional 19 enemy shells. Sadly the USS San Francisco mistakenly identified the Atlanta as an enemy ship and opened fire on her. A Japanese sub fired upon the San Francisco but the torpedo passed by the San Francisco and hit her Atlanta’s sister ship, the USS Juneau, sinking the ship and killing the infamous 5 Sullivan brothers.  The Atlanta was too badly damaged to continue with any journey and Captain Samuel Jenkins, who was also badly wounded, received permission to scuttle the Atlanta. Seaman Guadalupe Castaneda, badly wounded in the battle, died two days after his wounds.   He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and the Purple Heart. He is buried at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange, California.

Seaman Guadalupe Castaneda

Seaman 2nd Class Donald Ynigues, Navy, killed Aug. 14, 1944, in the sinking of the USS John Penn off Guadalcanal

Seaman 2nd Class Donald Yniguez

Ralph Peter Plumb was Tustin’s first soldier to die in war. His father Hugh was the Orange County Tax Assessor and his mother Frances Adams hailed from one of the city’s founding families. Peter, as he was known, was involved in sports, drama and choir at Tustin High. The UC Berkeley graduate joined the Navy in 1939. His ship was attacked by Japanese bombers in the Coral Sea. More than two-thirds of the crew died, including Ensign Plumb.

Ensign Derril C. Wollert

Edward R. Bristow, the oldest of five boys, grew up in Tustin. A standout at Tustin High, Bristow was student body treasurer and a star pitcher for the baseball team. After graduation, he worked as a bookkeeper while attending college. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and shipped out in 1944 — participating in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. Six days into the assault, Second Lt. Bristow was fatally wounded, leaving his wife and two sons. His mother Marie became president of the Gold Star Mothers.

LT. Edward Bristow

Paul Carrol Kimball Jr. was born 03 October 1921 in Grayson, Texas the oldest and only son of Paul Carroll Kimball and Ida Alberta Box. He was a premie and very tiny at birth. The family moved to Orange County in 1924, when Paul Jr was three years old. His little sister, Dorothy was born when was Paul was seven. His little sister called him “Bub”, a nickname that stuck with the rest of the family calling him that from that point on. Mr. Kimball was a World War I Army veteran and employed by the Tustin Lumber Company as a Mill Worker. The family made their home on Mountain View Street, not far from Mr. Kimball’s work. Paul and his sister Dorothy attended Tustin elementary and Tustin High School.  Paul was a smart student, well liked and active in school. He was a member of the Broadcaster staff and vice president of the Candid Camera Cutup Club. After graduating from Tustin in 1939, Paul continued his studies at the University of California Berkley, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.  On January 5, 1943, Paul entered the Army Air Force and received training at the Santa Ana Army base, Dos Palos Eagle field, Le Moore field and Luke field in Arizona. The family was told that Paul was a “hot shot” and rumor has it he flew his plane under the Golden Gate Bridge.  His niece, Shelley Weir, said Paul was close to his family and wrote letters home all the time.  Second Lieutenant Kimball was sent to the Italian theater on July 10, 1944 as a P-38 pilot with the 1st Fighter group of the 71st Fighter Squadron. Within weeks of arriving, Lt. Kimball was shot down and died from his wounds eight days later. He was 23 years old.  He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and two Purple Hearts. He is buried at Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana next to his parents and sister.

LT Paul C Kimball Jr

Ernest “Rick” Costello graduated in 1940 from Tustin High,where he held the discus record with a throw of 102 feet. At Santa Ana College, he ran track in regional events. While a senior at the University of New Mexico, Costello entered the Navy as an aviation radioman. Costello took part in the bombing of Takao Harbor over Formosa — where his plane was shot down by Japanese forces. Remains of the three crew members were found in 1950. The men are buried together at Fort Scott, Kansas.

Petty Officer Ernest Richard Costello

Charles Mueller grew up an only child in Tustin, where his father was a citrus farmer. At Tustin High, he played multiple sports and was president of the Scholastic Society. He and girlfriend Marian Carson attended Santa Ana College, and married at Tustin Presbyterian in 1940 — making their home on Myrtle Street. Mueller deployed to the European Theater in 1944 as an Army Air Corps bombardier on a B-17. Lt. Mueller was declared killed in action after his plane was downed. His remains were never recovered.

LT Charles Mueller

Luther Dale “Luke” Yopp was the oldest child and only son of John Henry Yopp and Lena Lee Long Yopp. He was born in 1925 in Kansas, staying for only a short time. Luke’s father worked on ranches, primarily working with horses. Originally from Texas, the family lived in Kansas (where Luke was born), then to Oklahoma, on to Arkansas (where little sister Delores “Doty” was born 8 years later), then on to California.  The family lived off of Holt Avenue, Santa Ana city boundaries, but Luke’s father John listed Tustin as his home by 1942. Luke attended only one year of high school before going to work on the local ranches.  He enlisted into the United States Army on 22 March 1944, in San Pedro, and after training was sent to the European Theater with the 315th Infantry. Although his sister was much younger and was only 12 when Luke was killed, she always shared with her family that Luke was very protective of her. A story shared by Luke’s nephew was that his mom remembered going with her mom and dad and taking Luke to the bus station in Santa Ana so he could catch the bus to boot camp. Prior to catching the bus, they all ate at a diner nearby and while there, his mom noticed a handsome bus boy working there, named Tom Nieblas. The were married several years later. The last time Doty Yopp saw her brother was the day she met her future husband.  Luke Yopp was killed in France just a few months after arriving there. He was 19 years old. He is buried at the American Military Cemetery in Epinal France. It is common for the people of France and the Netherlands to “adopt” American soldiers buried in their country. They have not forgotten and honor those men that they call “their liberators” This past year, I contacted the Epinal Cemetery asking if anyone had adopted PFC Yopp’s grave. Although he has not been adopted, a caring volunteer placed flowers on his grave this past Memorial Day to honor Luke.

PFC Luther D Yopp

Edward Ray Burrier was born 7 July 1925 in Tustin, the oldest of two children and only son of Ray Burrier and Janet Dietrich Burrier. As young child, the family lived with his material grandparents, Edward and Maud Dietrich on a ranch on Redhill Avenue. When baby sister Alice arrived many years later, the family was still with the grandparents as Edward’s father Ray was now a water pump engineer on the ranch. His father would later become a Fire Captain with the City’s then all-volunteer Fire Department.  Edward and Alice attended Tustin elementary schools and Tustin High, with Edward graduating in 1943. He had the distinction of being only one of 5 alumni of the school with having an almost straight A average. He was a California Scholastic Federation Life member, a member of the Masque and Gravel Club, four year Class Parliamentarian, member of the Spanish Club and member of the Stagecraft Club having a lead in a school play.  Edward enlisted in the United States Army in August 1943, just after graduating from high school. He received his training at Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Cooke, California. He departed for the European Theater in the fall of 1944. While serving with the 55th Armored Infantry, he was serving with General Patton’s 3rd Army. He was killed during the German break-through at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, just 12 days after arriving on the continent.  He is buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California.

PFC Edward Burrier

Cpl Juan Joseph DeMara

Cpl Juan Joseph DeMara

John Harry John was born in New Britain, Connecticut on August 17, 1921 the oldest and only son of John Johnson and Ruby Bantly Johnson. Younger sister Lois would arrive 4 years later. Their father, John passed away when young John was 13. He graduated from New Britain High school in 1941. The family remembers visiting Grandma and seeing their dad’s 3rd floor attic room. His mom always hoped that John would go into the family Drug Store business. John Harry Johnson knew exactly what he wanted to be- a United States Marine. John enlisted into the United States Marine Corps on Feb 16, 1942. After completing his training at Camp Pendleton, he immediately was sent to war in the South Pacific at Guadacanal in the Solomon Islands. If you remember your military history, whoever controlled Guadacanal controlled the war. It was the first major offensive that allied forces took against Japan. PFC John Johnson, age 20 was there. At the end of the war, John met a pretty, southern girl, who happened to also be a United States Marine, named Helen Cragin. Helen had been featured in a Look magazine article about women Marines in June of 1944. They married in February 1947. The family moved to Santa Ana- actually to our Blimp turned helicopter base in 1948 when John was stationed here. John and Helen’s son John was born in 1948 and daughter Sandi arrived 1949. As John went off to the Korean War, the family moved to Flower Street in Santa Ana. After returning form the Korean War, daughters Wendi and Judi arrived. Son Johnny Johnson shared a story that the first time his dad saw his sister Judi was on a game show! The program was called “It Could be You”. They brought Helen Johnson into the television studio and had a small box under the Christmas tree with wrist watches for her and Sgt Major Johnson. They asked her if she thought they would reach Okinawa in time for Christmas and when she said she didn't think so, they brought Sgt Major Johnson out from behind the screen. The children came on stage and it was the first time he saw 8 month old Judi. The family lived a typical military life being bounced from one location to another as Master Gunnery Sgt Johnson was sent to Massachusetts, Okinawa, Pearl Harbor San Diego. Sgt Major Johnson also saw duty in China as the head of the Embassy Security Forces. In August 1965, he became Sgt Major of the 3rd Marine Air Craft Wing at El Toro. The family moved to Theodora Drive Tustin as Sgt Major Johnson was sent to Vietnam in October 1966. On July 12, 1967, Sgt Major Johnson was involved in a night jeep accident. He was killed days shy of his 46 birthday, becoming the oldest Orange County Soldier to die while serving in Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his exemplary work as the principal advisor to the Commanding General 1st Marine Division constantly in touch with morale and general welfare of division personnel. Sgt Major Johnson was truly what was called the “old breed” in that his first commitment was to his men, his family and his country. All of his letters home mentioned “taking care of his guys”. His life long dreams to become the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps. When he died, he knew he was in line and one of the top 13, according to seniority. The family found out after his death that in fact, he had been chosen. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

John Harry Johnson

Read the touching stories about the 18 Tustin streets named for fallen war heroes HERE in a 2017 OC Register article by Susan Goulding.

It is our hope that these fallen military heroes will also be remembered with a street name as new neighborhoods are built in Tustin:   
Cpl. Juan J. DeMara
Spc. 4th Class James Lucero
Lt. Jeffrey Martin
PFC Keith Moser, Jr.
PFC. John Oglesby
Seaman 2nd Class Donald Ynigues
PFC. Luther Yopp

The Tustin Community Foundation recognizes the sacrifices of  these local heroes who lost their lives in the service of our country by  holding tribute celebrations on the streets named after them to familiarize residents with the man behind the street name.