As part of its annual Veterans Day Assembly on November 10th, Sapulpa’s Holmes Park Elementary School inducted two new persons onto its “Wall of Heroes.”
Principal Roger Johnson took the stage midway through the assembly of students, teachers, and parents to make the announcement. The first of the two inductees was especially endearing to him.
“Our first honoree is very near and dear to my heart, on a personal level,” he said. “His name is Lincoln Carl Wallace, and he was my grandfather. He passed away in 2003, and therefore will receive this honor posthumously. He is represented here today by his loving family.”
Johnson continued on with the story of his grandfather, Lincoln Wallace:
“Lincoln was born March 7, 1919, in the Pocahontas Community of Oklahoma, near Hartshorne, to parents, Rolla and Mable Wallace. At the age of 21, he married the love of his life, Marie Brown, in McAlester. Two years later at age 23, Lincoln ventured to Tulsa where he followed the calling as a member of the “Greatest Generation” and enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Upon training, he served as a Medical and Surgical Technician. His job was to provide medical and surgical aid to wounded soldiers.
“Two of Lincoln’s military battles occurred in the Southern Philippines and in New Guinea. In fact, he spent 21 days in a “foxhole” while in the Philippines. “What is a foxhole?” you might ask. Well, it is not a hotel! It is a hole in the earth that was used by a soldier as a small fort. From the safety of a foxhole, troops are “somewhat” protected against enemy fire. Foxholes are what soldiers dig immediately and trenches are what they dig to connect foxholes, as time goes on. Can you imagine being in a foxhole for 21 days under enemy fire? What strength, fortitude, and courage that must have required!
“During his time of service, Lincoln Wallace received numerous decorations and citations including a Good Conduct Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, Three Bronze Stars, and an AP Service Ribbon.
“In December 1944, Lincoln Wallace received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army and entered civilian life back home in Dow, Oklahoma. He and wife, Marie, were subsequently blessed with one son, Ronnie, and three daughters, Iva Mae, Gale Carlene, and Patsy. Later, Lincoln and Marie would welcome four grandsons, of which I am one, six great-grandsons, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Lincoln Carl Wallace left quite a proud legacy!
“Following his Army service, Lincoln entered another profession which required bravery and courage, that of a firefighter for the McAlester Naval Ammunitions Depot, from which he eventually retired. In addition, Lincoln Wallace was a member of the American Legion Post Number 180 of Hartshorne. His faith was extremely important to him. He was a member of the Dow First Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon for 25 years and as Church Treasurer for 28 years. Lincoln Carl Wallace exemplified a “life of service!” He lived his entire life, along with wife, Marie, in the Dow community, where he loved spending time with family, gardening, and raising cattle.
“Lincoln will always be loved and remembered by his family, community, and country as one of the “Greatest Generation”—a man who was shaped by the Great Depression and a proud member of America’s enlisted forces of World War II.
“Today and every day that follows at Holmes Park Elementary, we will honor the life and service of Mr. Lincoln Carl Wallace, World War II, Medical Corps Surgical Technician, U.S. Army.”
Johnson then presented the commemorative plaque to his mother, part of the family of Wallace who had gathered that morning for his induction.
Upon returning to the podium, Johnson continued with the second of the two inductees—Master Sergeant TJ William Bateman.
“He is the father of HPE’s own Dr. Kim Castaldi, Counselor,” Johnson began. “TJ has quite a fascinating story of adventure, adversity, devotion, and patriotism. His long and illustrious military career exemplifies the Life Principle of ‘Service.’
“TJ William Bateman, the youngest of four children, was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, in a house that still stands today. His family moved to Broken Arrow from the Oklahoma Panhandle before the historic and horrific Dust Bowl. His father died when TJ was just 12 years old. This tragic event caused him to become restless and lose direction, which resulted in TJ getting into trouble. He would catch the train from Broken Arrow to Tulsa and play music at local area Honky Tonks, even playing with the legendary Bob Wills at the iconic Cain’s Ballroom.
“When TJ dropped out of High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army early, at the tender age of 17, in June of 1936. He provided a fake birthdate to show that he was 18. This was before you were required to have a birth certificate to enlist. This later proved to be a nightmare to correct when he wanted to retire.
“TJ was stationed in Ft. Sill where he joined the 18th Artillery. He also rode horseback, played football, and joined the Army Corps Band as a drummer. He started his career at Ft. Sill as a Clerk. During his service, he traveled to Japan and Vietnam, even getting to personally meet General Douglas MacArthur. During these adventures, he would send postcards, souvenirs, and trinkets back to his mother in Broken Arrow. TJ was stationed at Ft. Sill and Ft. Hood throughout most of his career, leaving the military twice, only to return due to his love for his country and the routine and structure that the Army brought to his life.
“TJ retired from the Army in 1962 as a Personnel Specialist after serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He received the Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal (5th Award), American Campaign Medal, U.N. Service Korea Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. TJ was always proud of his military service and said it was what shaped him into the man that he became.”
Dr. Kim Castaldi was on hand to receive the plaque of recognition for Bateman.
Wallace and Batemen are the latest inductees to Holme’s Park Elementary’s “Wall of Heroes,” which also contains 31 other members:
- Jim Deloach
- Larry Davis
- Dacia Walsh
- Billy Hill
- Samuel Bachar
- Howard Linderer
- Phillip Coon
- Archie Sechrest
- John Cockrum
- Keith Coon
- L.E. Ramey, Sr.
- Paul Phillips
- Dwight R. Johnson
- John F. Stephens
- Harold D. Pinney
- Sylvester Franklin, Sr.
- Ronald Morgan
- Thayles Cornwell
- Thomas D. Warren
- Jesse Linton Barker
- Clifford Edward Johnson
- Alfred L. Mathews
- Robert Joseph Mearns
- Carl Owens
- Eddie Beesley
- David Ellis, Jr.
- John Michael Penton
- James L. Rush, Jr.
- Jake Satterfield
- David Arnold
- Curtis Hillis