This is a post from my blog section “Profiles of True Heroes – Military and Law Enforcement”. I love to go cycling. As I started getting serious about it, I decided to name my routes after people – and who better to dedicate my routes to than the heroes in military and law enforcement?
After completing a route, I would select a hero I had heard about and then write about them. There are three types of people in this post: some gave their service for America and served in the armed forces. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. And some protected the local community and died in the line of duty.
After their story, I included information about the route I dedicated to these heroes. I hope you can learn more about them and gain an understanding of what they have done for us.
US Navy Lieutenant Charles R. Ware, WWII – SBD Dauntless dive bomber pilot, USS Texas (BB-35), USS Dahlgren (DD-187), USS Enterprise (CV-6), Scouting Squadron 6
Charles Rollins Ware was born on March 11, 1911 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1929 and was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1930. Upon graduation in 1934, Ware served on the battleship the USS Texas (BB-35) and the destroyer USS Dahlgren (DD-187) until February 1940, when he entered flight training in Pensacola, FL.
Lieutenant Ware served as a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber pilot with Scouting Squadron 6 based on the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6). Ware and his division of six SBDs attacked and successfully sank the Japanese carrier Kaga on June 4, 1942 during the Battle of Midway.
During their return to the Enterprise they successfully fought off attacks by Japanese fighters but ran out of fuel and were forced to ditch their aircraft into the Pacific. Ware’s radioman, Petty Officer William Stambaugh, was the only crewman rescued and another crew was picked up by a Japanese destroyer and later executed when the enemy sailors learned of their fleet’s losses. Ware and the other SBD crewmen were reported missing in action.
Ware was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism in pressing home his attack on the Japanese fleet in the face of fierce fighter opposition and fearsome anti-aircraft fire.
In 1945 the Gearing class destroyer USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was named in his honor. She served from 1945 to 1974 and participated in the Cuban blockade during the missile crisis and in the Vietnam War. In 1981, she was intentionally sunk during a target practice exercise and now lies at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.
George DuVall, my former father in-law, was assigned as to the Ware for 1 year and 3 months during the Vietnam War. He was the operator for the backup diesel engine.
Distance: 38.21 miles
Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Average Pace: 10.9 mph
This is the longest route yet! I took the High Line Canal trail north from Colorado and Dartmouth. Everything was new to me, having never been on this route before. It was very flat and everything was paved. I got lost somewhat and had to backtrack a bit but I was soon back on the trail. I even passed a dude with one leg riding his bike! And it was an honor to dedicate this to a true hero, Charles R. Ware!