Bridge dedicated in honor of Creech

Published 12:01 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

The Board to Preserve Military Heritage in Harlan County held a bridge dedication in Cumberland on Jan. 17, honoring PFC William Clyde Creech. The bridge is located on U.S. 119 near the College Road exit.

Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was held in the Cumberland Methodist Church.

Family and friends gathered while John Dodd, chairman of the Board to Preserve Military Heritage in Harlan County, spoke of PFC Creech’s military history. Creech enlisted in the United States Air Corps at age 27. After all required training, he was assigned to the 18th Airbase Squadron, 72nd Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 along with all military installations on the Island of Oahu to include Hickman Field, Wheeler Field and Schofield Barracks, where PFC Creech was billeted. This was to paralyze any counter attacks from the United States units stationed on the island.

PFC Creech was killed in action that day. Like many others, his remains were interned in Hawaii. His remains were then returned to his family after the war where he was laid to rest in Huff Cemetery in Cumberland.

Several people shared family memories of PFC Creech with those in attendance. Dan Mosley, Harlan County Judge-Executive, announced there were 32 bridges that have been dedicated within Harlan County honoring veterans.

The Cumberland Honor Guard performed the military service.