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

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Project by Woodbutcher3 posted 1510 days ago 2076 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


114 posts in 1548 days

#1 posted 1510 days ago

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


1201 posts in 2119 days

#2 posted 1510 days ago

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


2800 posts in 1918 days

#3 posted 1510 days ago

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 2175 days

#4 posted 1509 days ago

very cool

-- Childress Woodworks

View BTKS's profile


1967 posts in 2097 days

#5 posted 1509 days ago

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


13337 posts in 2306 days

#6 posted 1509 days ago

Nice flag box.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View rance's profile


4130 posts in 1793 days

#7 posted 1509 days ago

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 1649 days

#8 posted 1509 days ago

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

View Woodbutcher3's profile


364 posts in 1520 days

#9 posted 1509 days ago

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


364 posts in 1520 days

#10 posted 1509 days ago

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


893 posts in 1813 days

#11 posted 1507 days ago

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


235 posts in 2002 days

#12 posted 1385 days ago

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

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 1322 days

#13 posted 1296 days ago

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


11644 posts in 2321 days

#14 posted 718 days ago

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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