The flag site exits because of the vision and dedication of prior Committees with the generosity of the citizens of Somerset County, PA.
The current Committee is committed to the long-term maintenance of the flag site,
which is dedicated to all Somerset County veterans and to the flag pole which is dedicated to the Flight 93 heroes
If successful, our work will never be finished.

Beyond The Call of Duty

The Flag Site is dedicated to all veterans of Somerset County, PA

Extraordinary courage is very rare; but, found everywhere.
In 2010 we started a project to remember the Somerset County veterans that received our country's highest honors.
The following veterans were born in or lived in Somerset County, PA.

The Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States
noted a tribute on the USS Somerset to
Somerset County's Medal of Honor recipients
in their June 2014 newsletter.

Click here to view the page in pdf format

Click on a name below to view the citation.

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Service of the United States.


Military records state he was
born 31 DEC 1837, Somerset, PA.
Research confirms 21 DEC 1837,
Upper Turkeyfoot Twp., Somerset Co., PA. Other sources, including his tombstone, list 12 DEC 1837.

Cunningham Only
born 14 JAN 1843, Stoystown, PA

Mostoller Only


born 27 MAR 1927, Meyersdale, PA,
Home of Record, Lewisburg, PA

Ramer Only
born 25 MAR 1931, Gray, PA

Speicher Only

Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army for gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force.

WALTER B. JONES  born Somerset, PA

ALVEY C. MARTZ  Home of record: Glencoe, PA

FRANKLIN D. McVICKER  born Somerset, PA

Distinguished Flying Cross

The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918."

Louis Benne born 28 June 1921 Quecreek, Somerset Co., PA

First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Louis Benne (ASN: 0-802235), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as a P-40 and P-51 Fighter Pilot of the 49th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force, in action against the enemy in aerial combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II. The skillful and zealous manner in which he has sought out the enemy and destroyed him, his devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to his fellow flyers. His actions on all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.
Action Date: World War II
Service: Army Air Forces
Battalion: 49th Fighter Squadron
Regiment: 14th Fighter Group
Division: 15th Air Force

Leroy Freeman Berkebile born October 31, 1920
Hooversville, Somerset Co., PA

Lieutenant Commander Leroy F. Berkebile is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Jet Fighter Plane attached to Fighter Squadron Ninety-Two, based on board U.S.S.VALLEY FORGE, during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 14 March 1953. While flying as strike leader and coordinator of a flight of twenty-two jet fighter and attack planes on a strike against an important and heavily defended enemy supply area near Ham-hung, Lieutenant Commander Berekebile led the flight directly to the target area and, deploying his aircraft with expert timing, permitted the fighter planes to take under fire all known hostile anti-aircraft positions at the precise moment that the main attack was made on the primary target. Following this initial and successful attack, he led and coordinated repeated strikes on other targets in the area, personally scoring direct bomb hits on enemy supply buildings. Through his skillful direction of flak suppression, no aircraft losses were sustained in an area well kown for intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire. When the attacks were completed, he led an unarmed photographic plane in a final low sweep to obtian the complete photographic coverage requried for accurate damage assessment, which revealed forty-two buildings destroyed and heavy damage to numerous other enemy installations. By his brilliant airmanship, courage and steadfast devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Berkebile contributed materially to the success of vital operations against the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

James Howard Byers born May 14, 1921
a resident of Somerset

James Howard Byers, 81. Of Somerset, died Aug. 2, 2002 at Beverly Health Care, Richland, Johnstown. Born May 14, 1921 in Wyano, Westmoreland County, he is he son of James Garfield and Elizabeth Myrtle (Burns) Byers. Preceded in death by parents; two sisters: Edna Wissinger and Betty McKelvey. Survived by wife Ruth Jane Byers to whom he was married 54 years; daughters: Ms. Ruth J. Byers of Pittsburgh, and Mrs. William L. (Nancy) Lehman of Somerset; one grandson, William J. Lehman. Member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church where he has been a Sunday School Teacher and past deacon and elder; adult leader for Somerset Light Horse & Pony 4-H Club. Member of Mountain Field & Stream Club, Sons of the American Revolution. Co-founder of the Glades Rangers Revolutionary War Re-enactment group. Member of Brigade of the American Revolution and Somerset Historical & Genealogy Society. A 1939 graduate of South Huntington High School, World War II veteran U.S. Army Air Corps, as Staff Sgt. Of the Eight Air Force Engineer and turret gunner on B-17 flying fortress “Smokey.” He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and also held the Air Metal and 3 Oak Leaf Clusters. Employed as a fabricator for the former Uptegraff Transformer Co. from 1960-1976. Co-owner with his wife of James Byers Feed & Supply and was a self-employed farmer. Friends received from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Hauger-Zeigler Funeral Home, Somerset. Services will be conducted 10 a.m. Monday at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Somerset with the Rev. Keith M. Fink officiating. No viewing at the church. Contributions may be made to the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines, Ill. 60018. Military graveside rites will be accorded by the Somerset County Honor Guard.

Somerset Daily American, August 3, 2002
Byers DFC

Scott P. Gerhardt, born about 1919, a native of Somerset

(We are looking for a copy of his citation, if you are a family member, or have information please send us an email )

OBIT: Scott P. GERHARDT, 2003, native of Somerset County, PA

Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Meyersdale Library
Transcribed and proofread by Richard Boyer

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.
Scott P. Gerhardt, 84, of Tampa, Fla. passed away on Jan. 29, 2003 at  Memorial Hospital.  He is preceded in death by a son, Michael.  He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betty; daughters: Cindy and husband Paul Leary, Linda and husband Johnny Perkins; sons, Pat and wife Gale, Tim and wife Nan; grandchildren: Scott and Kelly Perkins, Grant, Lee and Allison Woody, Scott and Matt Gerhardt, Cristy and Michael Gerhardt and Jacob and Greeman Gerhardt, great-grandchildren: Michael Perkins, Zack and Kayle Woody and Jacob Woody and two brothers, Clark and Eugene.  A
native of Somerset, he and his wife Betty moved to Tampa in 1945.  He entered the military service in 1941 as a private and graduated from aviation cadet school in the class of 1943, eventually attaining the rank of Major.  He flew P-47 fighters and then transferred to the B-17 Flying Fortress.  He completed 30 combat missions over Germany including the Ball Bearing factory assault over Sweinfort.  He received numerous military awards, including the Air Medal with three clusters and the
Distinguished Flying Cross.  In 1948 he opened Scotty's Service Center, first on MacDill AFB, then at Gandy and MacDill.  He continued to provide quality service to his south Tampa customers until his retirement in 1983.  He made numerous friends and acquaintances while running the center.  He was a member of the First Christian Church of Tampa and the Moose Lodge 912 Tampa.  A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Mark III Funeral South Chapel and interment will take place in Somerset Memorial Park next to his son Michael.

Daily American, February 1, 2003

Silver Star

Per the Home of Heroes web site, the Silver Star is the third highest military award exclusively for combat valor, and ranks fifth in precedence of military awards behind the Medal of Honor, the Crosses (DSC/NC/AFC), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (awarded by DOD) and the Distinguished Service Medals of the various branches of service. It is the highest award for combat valor that is not unique to any specific branch; it has been bestowed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. 

Jason H. Barron, born 1920 in Somerset, PA, KIA 17 Aug 1944

Awarded the Silver Star "For gallantry in action .... on 31 July 1944. When Lieutenant Barron's platoon received the brunt of a vicious enemy counter-attack he succeeded in locating a mortar squad to lend support to his platoon. He also borrowed a .50 cal. machine gun from friendly troops and directed the fire of mortar and the machine gun on the advancing enemy. His action immediately stopped the counter-attack and forced the enemy to withdrawal to the positions they had previously held. The superior leadership and personal bravery displayed by Lieutenant Barron was an inspiration to his men and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces.

More can be read about Jason's story at:

Jason's Helmet


(We are looking for a copy of his citation, if you are a family member, or have information please us send an email )

OBIT: Donald Arthur CRITCHFIELD, 2004, Somerset, Somerset County, PA
  Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Meyersdale Library
  Transcribed by Crystal.
  Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.

Donald Arthur Critchfield, 88, died Oct. 19, 2004, at his home in Somerset. Born April 12, 1916, in Connellsville, Don is preceded in death by his parents, James A. and Sue Eva (Pyle) Critchfield.  He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois Marie (Yost) Critchfield; two brothers, Robert W. and James A. Jr., both of Somerset; three children, Jon Allen, married to Mary Mulcahy, Somerset; Roy Eric, married to Kathy Hunter, Somerset; and Sarah "Sally" Katherine, married to Randell "Pete" Urban, Somerset; five grandchildren: Allison (Urban) Walter, married to Ben Walter, Angela  Urban, Jon S. Critchfield, Brian E. Critchfield and Laura S. Critchfield; and one great-grandson, Ethan David Critchfield.  He is a 1934 graduate of Somerset High School and a 1940 graduate of Susquehanna University.  A decorated combat veteran of World War II.  Don served four years in the North African, Sicilian and European Theaters as an armored platoon commander with the 66th   armored regiment of the Second Armored Division "Hell on Wheels," rising to the rank of captain.  Twice wounded in combat he received the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.  He was awarded  the Bronze Star and Silver Star for gallantry in action.  Following World War II, he and his partner, Roy Critchfield operated Critchfield Construction Co. until he retired in 1976. During his  career, he built more than 100 private residences, seven churches and numerous commercial buildings in and around Somerset.  An avid sportsman, he liked hunting but loved fishing. He was a  lifetime member of the NRA, a life member of Somerset Lodge 358 Free and Accepted Masons, a life member of the Humane Society of Somerset County and a 50-year member of the American Legion Post 181.  He was also a member of the Jaffa Shrine and Consistory Valley of Altoona, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 554, the forty and eight and the Second Armored Division Association.  Also Trinity Lutheran Church, Somerset.  No viewing or visitation.  A private funeral services with interment in Somerset County Memorial Park will be held at the convenience of the family.  Please omit flowers.  The family requests donations be made to the Humane Society of Somerset County, Box 182, Somerset, Pa. 15501.  Arrangements by the Hauger-Zeigler Funeral Home, Somerset.
10/20/2004  Daily American


Gus E. Kern, 3 Oct 1915 - 31 Mar 1943

Kern-Death Fairhope Man Awarded Silver Star
After Death

The unusual courage, perserverance, and outstanding
devotion to duty with complete disregard for his own
welfare displayed by Warrent Officer Kern reflect the
the finest traditions of the Armed Forces and are
deserving of the highest praises.
Death Notice   Silver Star Citation

A summary of the above information is available here in pdf format.


Please contact the Web Master to recommend additions

We are being supported by the following organizations for the engraving of paving stones to honor the Somerset County Metal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross winners. To date we recognize the following:

  • VFW Post 7565, Hooversville, PA
  • VFW Post 7295, Berlin, PA
  • VFW Post 8861, Hollsopple, PA
  • American Legion Post 459, Salisbury, PA
  • American Legion Post 445, Berlin, PA
  • American Legion Post 181, Somerset, PA
  • American Legion Post 257, Stoystown, PA

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients
Somerset County, Pennsylvania
The complete book is available here in PDF format -
Requires Adobe Acrobat.
CLICK on the picture below

THANKS to the veterans organizations above the following permanent memorials were added to the flag site August 2011.