Flag Box for my WW II & Korea Hero - My Dad

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Project by Woodbutcher3 posted 07-11-2010 02:54 PM 2845 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For years I was after my Dad to give me his medals to put in a Flag box for him. Finally, a couple years ago he did. I make these boxes for a lot of theMarines retiring. I’m glad I got to build his cherry flag box before he passed 26 Dec 09. He was a real hero, but didn’t speak of it much.

Dad was a Marine night fighter pilot flying the F4F Hellcat. He flew at Pelillu in support of Chesty Puller then in the Philippines when MacArthur asked for the Marine night fighters to protect the ships. The day afte they arrived in the Philipines, he was the first to shoot down a Jap plane in the Philippines. He got to meet the Philippine President and have breakfast with MacArthur.

In Korea, he flew helicopters in the squadron that later became, HMX1, the Presidential Squadron. He flew rescue. He actually brought one of the last casualties back to one of te hospital ships making a near impossible landing. It saved the Marines life. He was also the pilot for the South Korean President.

He earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses (air equivalent of the ground side Silver Star), 4 air medals and 23 other ribbons that included the Distinguished Army medal (later converted to the Presidential Citation Medal) that was awarded to his squadron by MacArthur for the job they did in the Philippines. The only Marine Squadron to be so honored.

Dad took up woodworking about the time of the Korean War. I have pictures of his first bookshelf. He became an incredibly skilled woodworker and carver making some very fine furniture – cherry tables, beds, coffee tables and more for the house that was later assessed at high values. He made beautiful duck and fish carving and even won a few ribbons.

today, I have a lot of his tools – hand tools and machines. He actually passed them on to me about 5 years before he passed. I used them as a kid growing up; I used them to creat his flagbox. My hands are now where his once were.

He was a man’s man; he was a boys’ hero.

Box is cherry with dovetail corners. Plexiglass insert is UV protection. Backing under medals is a special foam backed material that makes it easy to use and shows no creases. The back of the box is removable and has a leather look finish to it for that final touch.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

14 comments so far

View Jeff's profile


116 posts in 3156 days

#1 posted 07-11-2010 03:14 PM

Great project and story. Sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing, but I think it was very fortunate that you were able to present this to him before then. Projects with sentimental value like that are priceless.

-- Jeff

View CampD's profile


1742 posts in 3728 days

#2 posted 07-11-2010 03:30 PM

Thats great that you were able to give it to him before he passed, so many of these hero’s never spoke of thier acomplishments and stories (my father included).
Great piece, he must have been proud!

-- Doug...

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3527 days

#3 posted 07-11-2010 03:57 PM

Beautiful flag box, for a real American Hero!. I can’t think of a better tribute you could have done for your father and you had the chance to give it to him personally. Great job and a great story.

-- John @

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3783 days

#4 posted 07-11-2010 05:47 PM

very cool

-- Childress Woodworks

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3706 days

#5 posted 07-11-2010 06:06 PM

I must echo the above comments. The story of his accomplishments and your father – son sharing is an awesome element to the story. Great work on the project. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3915 days

#6 posted 07-11-2010 10:20 PM

Nice flag box.

View rance's profile


4267 posts in 3402 days

#7 posted 07-11-2010 10:33 PM

Yes, he was a hero. Well done.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View brandon3484's profile


8 posts in 3257 days

#8 posted 07-12-2010 12:42 AM

That’s a wonderful story and a very nice display.

View Woodbutcher3's profile


454 posts in 3128 days

#9 posted 07-12-2010 03:33 AM

My buddy Rance up there is a co-wood addict. He drove 4hours to attend my dad’s service. He is a true& faithful friend always on call if or when you need him.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View Woodbutcher3's profile


454 posts in 3128 days

#10 posted 07-12-2010 03:36 AM

You may notice the carved bulldog in a Marine Corps Major’s Blues uniform to the left o the flag box. I had a friend (Col Mike Micucci) carve that for dad a few years back in trade for a chip carved wedding anniversary plate.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View Pdub's profile


924 posts in 3422 days

#11 posted 07-13-2010 07:22 PM

WOW!!! What an honor to be able to do that for your Dad/Hero. With all of his accomplishments, he deserved to be recognized for it, and you did that very well.

Great job on the flag box. Welcome to LJ’s

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3611 days

#12 posted 11-13-2010 05:04 AM

OHH RAHH …Good Night Chesty, where ever you are!

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 2930 days

#13 posted 02-10-2011 02:46 PM

That is really a touching story your father sounds like a real hero to me.and i can tell you are very proud of him.My father also was a highly decorated marine he served in Vietnam.He was a gunner on a Huey and was also a helicopter mechanic when not airborne.I want to build him a shadowbox for him as soon as i figure out what style to make for him.Thanks for sharing the story To me it shows honor to your father.


View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3930 days

#14 posted 09-09-2012 09:43 PM

Great project and a true heroes story to go along with it. Priceless memories there : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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