UDC ceremony honors veterans

Fincastle Chapter 797, United Daughters of the Confederacy President Harriet Francis (left) pins the National Defense Medal Korean War on Gene Lee during Saturday’s ceremony in the Botetourt County Courthouse.
Photo by Rowen Miller

The Fincastle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) honored two brothers for their service to the country during World War II and the Korean War during a ceremony Saturday in Fincastle.

The ceremony also paid tribute to the entire Lee family for five generations of military service from the Revolutionary War through the Korean War— including service by the two men’s four other brothers.

The UDC chapter presented the Cross of Military Service Award for service in World War II to Fred Carlton Lee, who was a PFC in the US Army, and the National Defense Medal Korean War to Cyrus Eugene (Gene) Lee, who was a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force.

United Daughters of the Confederacy bestowal of Cross of Military Service Award WWII on Fred Carlton (Fred) Lee (left) PFC USA, and bestowal of National Defense Medal Korean War on Cyrus Eugene (Gene) Lee Staff Sergeant US Air Force.
Photos by Rowen Miller

Four other brothers also were recognized for their service— Harlis N. Lee, who was a Marine in the South Pacific during World War II; Ray E. Lee, who was in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II; and Herman A. Lee and Jerry W. Lee, who served in non-combat roles, both in the U.S. Army..

Fred Lee served 18 months in the Army right after World War II, then re-enlisted and served in Korea for a year and then stateside for seven years before joining the Virginia National Guard, where he served for 12 years (22 years total service).

Gene Lee was stationed in the Philippines for 18 months during the Korean War, and was in the Air Force for 2 years, 8 months.

According to information provided by the UDC, their father, Herman Ottway Lee, served in World War I. A great-grandfather, Richard Madison Mabry, and two great-uncles, Lang R. Lantz and Charles L. Lantz, served during the Civil War.

Zachariah Lee Jr., the Lee brothers’ great-great-grandfather, served in the War of 1812 against the British, and their great-great-great-grandfather, Zachariah Lee Sr., was a pioneer who was born in Albemarle County in 1867 and served in the Revolutionary War.

The Lee family settled in the Haymakertown area of Botetourt County.

A display with photographs from when the Lee brothers were in the service.


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