Ship, with 3 earned medals, fi­nally comes in for vet, 90

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom McGhee The Den­ver Post

Seventy-two years af­ter Charles Ken­neth Far­ley bade farewell to LST 74, the land­ing ship on which he served dur­ing World War II, Gov. John Hick­en­looper on Tues­day pre­sented him with three medals he had earned but never re­ceived.

The 90-year-old Ar­vada res­i­dent worked in the en­gine room of the ship, which hauled tanks and other weaponry dur­ing the war. Much of his time was spent in a cramped, noisy, hot en­gine room. But when the ship en­gaged in bat­tle, he manned a deck gun.

Far­ley’s me­mory isn’t as sharp as it once was, but he re­mem­bers the friends he made in the Navy, some of whom didn’t re­turn. And he re­mem­bers the ship he called home. “An LST is not a real nice place to work, (but) it was quite a place,” he said.

In his of­fice at the state Capi­tol, Hick­en­looper pre­sented the veteran with a shadow box that in­cluded an Amer­i­can flag, other mem­o­ra­bilia and

the medals — the Euro­pean African Mid­dle East­ern Cam­paign Medal, Amer­i­can Cam­paign Medal and World War II Vic­tory Medal.

“On be­half of the state of Colorado, … I am of­fi­cially em­pow­ered to say this to you: Thank you,” Hick­en­looper said.

Four gen­er­a­tions of Far­ley’s fam­ily were on hand to wit­ness the pre­sen­ta­tion, in­clud­ing his four sons, three of whom, Terry, Dave and Jeff, served in the Ma­rine Corps.

His fourth and old­est son, Steve, 63, said the fam­ily re­al­ized he de­served the com­men­da­tions when they con­tacted the De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs to get in­for­ma­tion about ben­e­fits to which he is en­ti­tled.

Far­ley had be­lieved he re­ceived all he was el­i­gi­ble for when he got a VA loan years ago. But the fam­ily found he qual­i­fied for a dis­abil­ity pen­sion for hear­ing loss con­nected to his ser­vice and other things.

He also qual­i­fied for the three com­men­da­tions. “That got my wheels go­ing,” Steve said. “I said, ‘You know, what we ought to do is get the gov­er­nor to say some­thing.’ ”

He con­tacted the gov­er­nor’s of­fice, and Hick­en­looper agreed.

Steve’s wife, Tammy, 60, in­cluded in the shadow box a flag that had cov­ered her own fa­ther’s cas­ket; a pic­ture of Far­ley as a young sailor, and a small ser­vice flag dec­o­rated with a star that hung in the win­dow of his par­ents’ home when he was in the Navy.

“It’s quite beau­ti­ful, even this face here,” Far­ley said, touch­ing the pic­ture of him­self in uni­form.

Tammy’s fa­ther, Don­ald C. Hof­fer­ber, who died in 2008, was also a Navy veteran. A pic­ture of him as a young man also was dis­played dur­ing Tues­day’s recog­ni­tion.

Michael S. Far­ley, 16, Far­ley’s great-grand­son, was among those who at­tended the pre­sen­ta­tion. “He is an amaz­ing guy,” he said of Far­ley.

Joe Amon, The Den­ver Post

World War II Navy veteran Charles Ken­neth Far­ley, 90, sits near the shadow box that con­tains the three medals he re­ceived from Gov. John Hick­en­looper at the state Capi­tol on Tues­day.

U.S. Army Sig­nal Corps via U.S. Na­tional Archives

Charles Ken­neth Far­ley worked in the en­gine room of the the ship LST 74, cen­ter, docked at Bag­noli har­bor in Italy in July 1944.

Joe Amon, The Den­ver Post

Three of Charles Ken­neth Far­ley’s four sons served in the Ma­rine Corps. The three sons are, from left, Jeff, Dave and Terry.

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