The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Sheffield High School

History: First Hand photo page 3…

that did not get attached to the article when it published:

KIA in Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam


Sheffield native killed in Vietnam to be honored

By Christopher Pelton
5 July 2008

A former chief warrant officer from Sheffield who was killed during battle in the Vietnam War is being inducted into the Alabama Military Hall of Honor.

David Rolland Jackson, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, was killed during a mission in 1969, about two weeks before he was to end his tour of duty in Vietnam. Before he was killed by enemy gunfire while piloting a helicopter, U.S. Army officials say Jackson’s actions resulted in the lives of numerous American soldiers being spared.

“Through his timely and courageous actions, he was responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades and instrumental in the defeat of the enemy force,” U.S. Army officials wrote in one of the numerous citations recognizing his military achievements.

Jackson, who would have been 65 had he lived, will be inducted in the hall of honor Oct. 31 during a ceremony at Marion Military Institute. Only 38 other Alabamians have been inducted into the hall.

His widow, Mary Jackson, of Sheffield, said she sent an application of the hall of honor committee in 2007, but her late husband was not among those who were chosen.

“I’m thrilled,” Mary Jackson said. “I felt he deserved it because he lost his life doing a brave thing. It’s a great honor, but unfortunately, it doesn’t bring him back.”

Jackson received numerous medals posthumously, namely the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

He was born in Sheffield on Nov. 13, 1942, and attended Sheffield High School. He left school early to join the U.S. Navy and returned home three years later to work at the Sheffield Fire Department. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on Oct. 24, 1967.

Nearly two years later, on Sept, 22, 1969, Jackson volunteered when American troops involved in a fierce battle in South Vietnam sent out an emergency call for a resupply of ammunition.

The helicopter Jackson was flying began taking on gunfire from automatic weapons as it approached the drop site.

Unable to land, Jackson continued hovering over the drop area until the ammunition was unloaded. He returned later in the day to complete the mission and bring out several severely wounded soldiers despite taking on heavy gunfire from enemy soldiers.

Jackson, a member of the 71st Assault Helicopter Co., was not as fortunate three days later.

With his bags already packed and ready for a transfer to Germany, Jackson again volunteered for a dangerous air assault mission near the village of Chi Tu. A bullet fragment that penetrated the helicopter struck Jackson, and he died before receiving medical attention.

“Based on the citations, David was a real good pilot,” Mary Jackson said. “He was doing his duty and trying to help those who were in danger.”

The Jacksons had two children during their marriage, both of whom no longer live in the Shoals.

Sheffield historian Richard Sheridan helped Jackson file the application to have her late husband considered for the honor.

“I didn’t know him personally, but his record is worth the recognition,” Sheridan said.

Jackson’s co-pilot for those two September 1969 missions is now a chaplain at the Pentagon.

He wrote a story detailing the missions after Jackson’s daughter wrote emails seeking to hear from people who knew her father.

“It gave me a lot of closure although it was very graphic,” Jackson said.

Did anyone ever meet her…

that did not love her? That question is asked about Mary Frances King, nee Davenport.

She was the daughter of Lee Gregory and Dee Davenport. Lee Gregory was one of the daughters of Elmer Gregory and Alice Sparks Gregory. She was a Sheffield girl. Frances and Lacey King’s children are Robert King and Evelyn King Lackey. This is a very musical family. Evelyn plays the dulcimer very well. And Robert’s son Tanner King was a star in the Show Choir at Florence High School. Robert’s son, Tanner is a Florence High School Alumni, as he graduated in 2012 Tanner is currently a student at UNA in Florence Alabama. Tanner has formed a group call Cypress & Ivy a duo group.

Post memories of Frances King. She would like that.

Mary Frances Davenport King

Sheffield High School’s…

spirit was high that year. And it was a very good year. We are Remembering the Class of 1957. That was a year of many changes. And on December 1st of 1956 Joe Vengrouskie had a surprise waiting on him when he returned home from school. Joe must have done a double take when he saw a steer in his front yard. Pauline Vengrouskie, his mother, won a “jingle” contest, and a steer was delivered from El Paso, Texas to their home on Annapolis Ave. It was a good thing that there was a fence around Joe’s house to contain the steer and to keep it safe from neighborhood dogs, According to the newspaper article the steer was afraid of dogs. No doubt, Joe Vengrouskie, sold it or maybe they ate it.

Remembering the Class of 1957

A white sports coat and a pink carnation…

no wait, that was the prom, or a dance. These students are all dressed up in their sports coats likely for a basketball game in a 1950s  in  Sheffield High School gym. The year is probably 1956.

1950s Sports Event at Sheffield High School

Sheffield High School…

holds fond memories for scores of people from the Shoals.

The venerable class of 1977 held their 30th Year Class Reunion in 2007. There seem to be some names missing from the roster for those  featured in the photo. Please submit your name to be included in the roster if you are featured in the photo.

1977 Sheffield High School Class

Sheffield High School baseball team…

was a powerhouse in May of 1975.

Sheffield High School Baseball Team 1975

Don’t cry because his life is over…

no matter how soon. Smile because it happened. And know that we will  never meet him bearded or bald but eternally he will be a strapping young man.
Earl Dean Johnson

Earl Dean Johnson - A Sheffield boy


H. Jack Huddleston…

Harry Jack Huddleston, former state legislator and longtime Sheffield attorney, died at his home Wednesday, October 3, 2007, after an extended illness. Burial services were at Morrison and burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Sheffield.

Mr. Huddleston was born in Woodville, Alabama, on November 21, 1921. He graduated from Sheffield High School, where he played football and was a member of the track team.

He was a World War II veteran, serving with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific Islands. He received an accounting degree from Florence State Teachers College in Florence, Alabama. He received is Juris Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1951. Mr. Huddleston served in the state of Alabama Legislature from 1955-1958 during the Jim Folsom administration.

He practiced law in his hometown of Sheffield, Alabama, for 35 years. Among many other board appointments, he served on the Muscle Shoals City School Board, Sheffield Utilities Board, Sheffield City School Board and Colbert County/Helen Keller Hospital Board for many years.

His parents were, William M. Huddleston and Maude Roberts Huddleston. He had two sisters and two brothers.

He was married to Joan Calhoun; they had four children. Daughter Jean Huddleston married a McGee. Daughter Jane Huddleston married Dinky Nesbitt, The two sons are Jimmy Huddleston and Jere Huddleston of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He had nine grandchildren. Jean, Jane and Jimmy reside in Sheffield, Alabama.

Daughter Jean McGee posted this about her father: 

I would like to remember my father Jack Huddleston. He was a long time Sheffield Attorney, former legislator and a friend to everyone he met. My Daddy was raised in Sheffield and loved and supported this town with all of his heart. So many people will remember seeing him walking on Montgomery Ave[nue] everyday. What a wonderful life full of unconditional love he gave his children ! I am so proud to have had him for a father…. He will always be a part of Sheffield’s history. Thanks Daddy…if love could have saved you, you would still be here.

A slideshow of H. Jack Huddleston’s ancestors follows:

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