are doc martens true to size Plaque honors Navy pilot killed during Vietnam War
DENTON A Navy fighter pilot killed during the Vietnam War has been memorialized in Caroline County, where he was raised, with a plaque on the courthouse lawn in Denton.
Lt. Thomas Benjamin Fallin went missing when his F 8E crusader jet fighter crashed after taking off from an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea Nov. 1, 1964. Only pieces of the wreckage and his pilot’s helmet were reportedly found.
At their Aug. 25 meeting, nearly 45 years later, the Caroline County commissioners approved a request to place a plaque memorializing Fallin, a member of the 1954 graduating class of Caroline High School, on the Caroline County Courthouse green.
The memorial was installed Aug. 31, and features 32 bricks from Fallin’s alma mater which has long since been demolished and a plaque stating: “His life was given in the service of our Country.”
Commission President John Cole said a plaque honoring Fallin had previously been placed in the Caroline High School, but disappeared when the school was torn down. Efforts to put up a new memorial,
Cole said, were spearheaded by Fallin’s classmate, Sonny Callahan, of Denton.
“It’s been a mission for him,” said Cole of Callahan’s efforts.
Callahan said he worked on getting the memorial together for more than four years. He has done extensive research into Fallin’s history, collecting documents about his military service and his death.
Callahan raised the money necessary for the plaque’s installation, which he said was completed by David Scully, of Hurlock, Aug. 31. He said the bricks from the former Caroline High School were provided by Denton resident Bob Wheatman.
“I was really pleased,” he said of the completed memorial.
Callahan said a dedication ceremony is planned for Nov. 1 at the site of the new memorial. He said members of the local American Legion post will assist with the event.