Dale Stickrath, Sr., was drafted to the United States Army on April 5, 1943, six months after his eighteenth birthday. He received basic gunnery training and machine gun training, and graduated from gunnery school in Panama with two stripes as a Sargent.
He became an instructor and taught future soldiers about Sperry Ball Turret, the spherical shaped structure attached to an aircraft which holds the gunner, heavy machine guns, and ammunition.
He volunteered to report oversees during World War II and spent 120 days on special assignment, serving with the 13th Air Force as part of the 307th Bombardment Group. Their group received their first taste of combat when staging an attack against enemies in Wake Island when they were met with anti-aircraft. All of their group's aircraft returned safely from what was considered the longest mass raid at that time and became known as the "Long Rangers".
Upon retiring, Sgt. Stickrath has spent his time working odd jobs, speaking to high school students about his service to his Country, and has traveled to all 50 states.
Sgt. Stickrath, Senior, expressed his gratitude for a long and healthy life and indicated he was one millionth of a second away from losing his life during the battle at Wake Island, stating, "the good Lord was looking out for me".
The Board of County Commissioners extends their gratitude to Sgt. Dale Stickrath, Senior, for his service and dedication to our Country and the people of the United States and wishes him a very Happy 95th Birthday!
To view the presentation to Sgt. Stickrath, Senior, please click here.
County Manager's Office