The Evening Leader

Memorial Month: Charles Kettler and Herbert Linville


Editor’s note: Throughout the month, with the help Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez and Kim Reiher, The Evening Leader will be placing a spotlight on the men and women who have lost their lives defending the country. The articles will run every Tuesday leading up to Memorial Day.

For this week, we focus on two Memorial High School students that joined the Ohio National Guard unit in St. Marys together.

Charles V. Kettler and Herbert C. Linville graduated a year apart from each other and joined Headquarte­rs Company, 3rd Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment in the late 1930s, with Kettler joining in 1938 and Linville in 1940.

Linville was a sergeant and Kettler was a staff sergeant when they were deployed with the 37th Division to be a part of the Asiatic Pacific Campaign at the onset of World War II. It was at the Munda Airfield on the Island of New Georgia, Soloman Island where the two lost their lives in a battle on July 11, 1943 .

Kettler himself was helping assault Japanese stronghold­s on the outer part of the airfield, where a machine gun was holding his platoon from advancing. The soldier attacked the position alone and was able to dispatch the soldiers there to clear the way, but was mortally wounded in the fight, resulting in him being killed in action on that day.

Linville suffered a similar fate on

that day after a Japanese salient was spotted having moved into the Battalion perimeter, prompting swift action. While having organized a patrol made of volunteers, a company commander who witnessed the fight said that Linville did not want to jeopardize their lives and attacked the salient alone. This ended up costing his life and he was killed by a machine gunner instantly.

Their sacrifice was one of many during what would later be called the Battle of Munda, which went on from mid-July to Aug. 5, 1943. The capture of the airfield would eventually play a role in the campaign on Bougainvil­le, a series of land and naval battles would go from November 1943 to 1944.

Charles Kettler received the third highest award for valor, the Silver Star, from the President of the United States, as well as the Purple Heart and the World War II Victory Medal. Kettler would also receive the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksmansh­ip Badge, Army Presidenti­al Unit Citation and Army Good Conduct Medal. He was buried at Manila American Cemetery in Fort William McKinley, Philippine­s.

Herbert Linville also received the Silver Star for his valor, along with the World War II Victory Medal and the Purple Heart. The American Campaign Medal, the Army Presidenti­al Unit Citation and Army Good Conduct Medal were also part of the commendati­ons he received. His remains reside in Elm Grove Cemetery in St. Marys.

This article couldn’t have been done without the help Dianna Pendleton-Dominguez and Kim Reiher, who are dutifully researchin­g on the subject of veterans in the local area.

Pendleton-Dominguez is part of the Honoring Hometown Heroes project and can be reached at the group’s Facebook page or her email at dpend440@ to talk about the project and what it offers to veterans in the area.

For anyone with informatio­n on the Ohio National Guard veterans of St. Marys or have questions about the Ohio National Guard Memorial project, feel free to contact Reiher through the city auditors office at any time.

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