News: Neillsville – Am. Legion Honors Two Sailors (May 2018)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Surnames: Chadwick, Barth, Bauer, Quicker, Grap, Ehlen

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark, Co) 5/30/2018

American Legion’s Latest Honorees (Sailors - 2018)

Former Sailors Join Latest Legion Honorees

The Neillsville American Legion Post 73 will honor two more veterans.

James “Chip” Chadwick and Robert Barth will be honored at the group’s June 4 meeting at the Neillsville American Legion Hall. There will be a 4:30 p.m. social hour and a 5:30 p.m. potluck dinner, to which the public is invited.

James “Chip” Chadwick

Chadwick was born in Neillsville and attended rural Mound and Neillsville Public Schools. He graduated with honors in 1974 from Neillsville High School.

With the draft still active and draft card in-hand, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in February of 1974, during his senior year under the delayed entry program.

He went to Great Lakes, IL., for boot camp in August of 1974. Upon graduation from boot camp, he went to Memphis, TN, for aviation structural mechanic training.

Chadwick served more than 30 honorable years with the Navy, from August of 1974, through September of 2005. During those years, he traveled to 48 of the 50 states and many parts of the world – including a deployment in 2003 to Cairo, Egypt in support of the Foreign Military Sales program.

He qualified on many military aircraft and helicopters during his career; including the H-1 Iroquois, H-2 Seasprite, H-3 Sea King, H-60 “Blackhawk,” A-6 Intruder and F-14 Tomcat.

He deployed on many Navy frigates, cruisers and aircraft carriers in support of Navy missions around the world. Joint operations included deployments with the U. S. Coast Guard, and Royal and Canadian Navies.

His passion for helicopters continued, allowing him to be a vital part of the Navy squadrons “Neptune’s Horseman” and “Redwolves” in Norfolk, VA, “Emerald Knights” and “Titans” in Willow Grove, PA, “Firehawks” in Port Mugu, CA, and “Thunderbolts” in San Diego.

He was advanced to the rank of E-9, master chief petty officer in 2005. He attended the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island and, upon graduation, was designated as a command master chief.

Chadwick received his final set of orders to San Diego, where he assumed the command master chief position at Commander Helicopter Wing Reserve until his military retirement in September of 2005.

He continued to support the Navy, working with the Naval Reserve Center, NAS North Island, in San Diego, from 2005 until his move back to Wisconsin in 2007.

Chadwick said he never had time for hobbies, so volunteerism seemed to be the perfect retirement career to pursue.

He continues to be an active member of the American Legion, Rotary International, Memorial Medical Center and Village of Granton “Little Village with a Big Heart” civic organizations.

Chadwick is willing to help anywhere he can.

He resides in Granton, with his wife, Loretta “Lorrie” Dunn.

Robert J. Barth

Barth was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. He attended Sunbeam School in Lynn for seven years and finished the eighth grade at Granton. He graduated from Granton High School in 1964.

Bob enlisted in the Navy in September of 1964, and went to Great Lakes, IL, for basic training. He was transferred to Naval Air Station Memphis, where he worked at various jobs while awaiting the start of specialized training.

His training was as a jet engine mechanic at the Naval Air Technical Training Command. He also had a course for the P3-A aircraft,

Later, he attended the week-long Aircrew Escape and Evasion School at Whidbey Island, WA.

Barth went to Barbers point, Hawaii, as jet mechanic on a P-3A Orion, a four-engine turboprop aircraft used for anti-submarine warfare operations.

He made a deployment to Adak, Alaska, in the summer of 1966, looking for Russian subs in the Bering Sea.

In February 1967 to September of 1968 he was transferred to Naval Air Station, North Island, CA, for schooling for the E2-A aircraft – a carrier-based twin-engine turboprop.

The E2-A was a flying radar platform that served as the fleet’s eyes.

At the VAW 115, Barth was the power plant superior of 14 men in the maintenance of four aircraft and their engines. The VAW 115 was deployed from December 1967-May 1968 on the USS Ranger, during combat operations against enemies in Vietnam.

During their time in the Gulf of Tonkin, they were sent to the Sea of Japan because the North Koreans seized the USS Pueblo.

While in the Navy at his various duty stations, he played softball on some very good teams.

Barth was discharged in September of 1968.

After Barths discharge he lived in the Chili area, where he hauled can milk for Lynn Dairy. He also worked in the construction field for Claude Weber.

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for 1½ semesters on the GI Bill. “College was not for me,” he said.

In October of 1969, he started at the Fullerton Lumber Company in Neillsville.

With the passing of his father-in-law, Ralph Bauer, who was the company’s manager, Barth was named manager in 1971. He also ran a ready-mix plant until 1977.

In January of 1968, he, Don Quicker and Louie Grap started the Sav-Rite Building Center in Neillsville. Grap passed away in 1980.

“Don and I ran the lumber yard together until 2014, when we brought in two new partners,” he said.

The two new partners included Barth’s son Brian and Nate Ehlen, Nate, who has become the manager.

Barth said he’s cutting back his time to enjoy life after nearly 50 years in the business.

Barth married Kathy Bauer in 1970. They have children: David, Brian, Regan, Julie and Chelsea. They lost a son Douglas in 1994. They also have grandchildren: Ravyn, Skylar, Trevor, Jaden, Gavin, Britteny, Brady Gunner, McKendy and Madison.

Barth said eh enjoys hunting, fishing and gardening, but gave up softball after 50 years. He enjoys putzing around with many things and enjoys watching his grandchildren’s sporting activities. 



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