The East Lansing Rotary Club is spearheading a project to raise money to build a monument dedicated to one of the two Medal of Honor recipients from the tri-county (Eaton, Clinton, and Ingham Counties) area.  Second Lieutenant Sherrod E. Skinner, Jr. entered military service from East Lansing, Michigan and was killed in the Korean War.  The other midMichigan Medal of Honor winner — Francis Flaherty, a member of the US Navy killed in WW II — has a monument dedicated to him in his home town at the courthouse in Charlotte, Michigan.  The intention is to build a similar monument honoring 2nd Lieutenant Skinner‘s service to our country somewhere within the city limits of East Lansing.  Current plans call for constructing the memorial using black polished granite, similar to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.

Second Lieutenant Skinner’s citation reads as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as an artillery forward observer of Battery F, in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night of 26 October 1952. When his observation post in an extremely critical and vital sector of the main line of resistance was subjected to a sudden and fanatical attack by hostile forces, supported by a devastating barrage of artillery and mortar fire which completely severed communication lines connecting the outpost with friendly firing batteries, 2d Lt. Skinner, in a determined effort to hold his position, immediately organized and directed the surviving personnel in the defense of the outpost, continuing to call down fire on the enemy by means of radio alone until his equipment became damaged beyond repair. Undaunted by
the intense hostile barrage and the rapidly-closing attackers, he twice left the protection of his bunker in order to direct accurate machinegun fire and to replenish the depleted supply of ammunition and grenades. Although painfully wounded on each occasion, he steadfastly refused medical aid until the rest of the men received treatment.

As the ground attack reached its climax, he gallantly directed the final defense until the meager supply of ammunition was exhausted and the position overrun. During the 3 hours that the outpost was occupied by the enemy, several grenades were thrown into the bunker which served as protection for 2d Lt. Skinner and his remaining comrades. Realizing that there was no chance for other than passive resistance, he directed his men to feign death even though the hostile troops entered the bunker and searched their persons. Later, when an enemy grenade was thrown between him and two other survivors, he immediately threw himself on the deadly missile in an effort to protect the others, absorbing the full force of the explosion and sacrificing his life for his comrades. By his indomitable fighting spirit, superb leadership, and great personal valor in the face of tremendous odds, 2d Lt. Skinner served to inspire his fellow marines in their heroic stand against the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Please consider making a contribution to this effort, today.  Donations are currently being accepted and checks should be made payable to the East Lansing Rotary Foundation, which is assisting with the fund-raising effort.  The East Lansing Rotary Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, which means that contributions to support this effort are tax deductible.  Donations can be mailed directly to the foundation in care of: East Lansing Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 4205, East Lansing, MI 48823.It’s expected that the memorial will cost no more than $25,000.00.

Questions about the planned memorial honoring 2nd Lt. Skinner can be addressed to Patrick Boog
(517-333-2982).  Thank you for your consideration!