The Superior Express -

Brothers presented Quilts of Valor

 

November 10, 2022

Quilts of Valor were presented to Billy Smith and Van Smith Friday, by the Desire Tobey Sears Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Billy and Van, brothers from rural Mankato, are Korean War veterans. Sherry Koester and Corlene Lange, members of the Desire Tobey Sears Chapter, made the presentation.

Quilts of Valor were presented to brothers, Billy and Van Smith on Friday by the Desire Tobey Sears Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Billy and Van, from rural Mankato, are Korean War veterans. Sherry Koester and Corlene Lange, members of the Desire Tobey Sears Chapter, made the presentation. Phyllis Smith and Barbara Railsback were guests.

According to the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a Quilt of Valor is a hand made quilt that is either hand or machine quilted. It is awarded to a veteran who has been "touched by war."

Billy was inducted into the United States Navy on February 13, 1949, at the age of 19. He trained in radio school and received the rank of Radioman 2nd Class and served as a radioman aboard the USS Tingey USS 539. Billy served in the Korean theatre of war, landing in Japan when he first went overseas. Billy was discharged from the United States Navy on February 12, 1953. Bill said he signed up for three years but ended up serving four years.

Van was inducted into the United States Air Force on January 7, 1951. He attended basic training for about three weeks at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. He was shipped overseas landing at Yokahama, Japan, staying one year before going to Korea. Van served as a clerk at headquarters. After a year in Korea, Van returned to the United States and was discharged from the Air Force as a staff sergeant on January 7, 1955.

During their time in Japan and Korea, the brothers did not see each other. Bill recalls he ran into Jack Bradrick, Mankato, on leave and saw Bud Helvey of Mankato on another ship.

 

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