Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0088
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HJR0088  97th General Assembly




HJ0088 EngrossedLRB097 21593 KXB 69809 r


2    WHEREAS, It is necessary to honor and remember the military
3heroes of our State and country who have served with great
4dedication to preserving our liberties and freedoms; and
5    WHEREAS, Russell E. Dunham was born in 1920 in East
6Carondelet and raised on a small farm near Fosterburg; when he
7was 20 years old he enlisted in the United States Army; and
8    WHEREAS, Russell Dunham achieved the rank of Technical
9Sergeant and platoon leader with the 30th Infantry, 3rd
10Infantry Division, and saw combat in North Africa, Sicily,
11Italy, and France; and
12    WHEREAS, On January 8th, 1945, Technical Sergeant Dunham's
13unit was pinned down between artillery fire and enemy machine
14gun nests at the base of snow-covered Hill 616 in
15Alsace-Lorraine near Kaysersberg, France; Technical Sergeant
16Dunham made the decision to advance single-handedly, using a
17white mattress as camouflage and cover; Technical Sergeant
18Dunham then preceded to neutralize all three machine gun
19emplacements using only his carbine and hand grenades, while
20being wounded by enemy fire in the process; and
21    WHEREAS, Technical Sergeant Dunham was awarded the Medal of



HJ0088 Engrossed- 2 -LRB097 21593 KXB 69809 r

1Honor in 1945 for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at
2risk of life above and beyond the call of duty"; General
3Alexander Patch said, while he placed the award around Dunham's
4neck, that his actions had single-handedly saved the lives of
5120 pinned-down US soldiers; and
6    WHEREAS, In addition to the Medal of Honor, Technical
7Sergeant Dunham was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star,
8Purple Heart, and the Croix de Guerre for Heroism from the
9President of France for his valiant service during the Second
10World War; and
11    WHEREAS, After his service, Technical Sergeant Dunham
12returned to west central Illinois, where he continued to serve
13his fellow soldiers by working as a benefits counselor with the
14Veterans Administration in St. Louis for 32 years; he also
15honored his fellow infantrymen by getting a monument erected at
16Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to honor those who served
17with the 3rd Infantry Division; and
18    WHEREAS, He was an avid hunter and proud member of the
19Alton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1308; and
20    WHEREAS, After his marriage to Mary Dunham ended, Technical
21Sergeant Dunham lived out the remainder of his life in Jersey
22County with his second wife, Wilda Long-Bazzell Dunham; and



HJ0088 Engrossed- 3 -LRB097 21593 KXB 69809 r

1    WHEREAS, He had a daughter, Mary Neal, with his first wife;
2and two stepchildren, Annette Wilson and David Bazzell; in
3addition, Technical Sergeant Dunham had 8 brothers, 5 sisters,
4and multiple grandchildren; and
5    WHEREAS, Technical Sergeant Dunham passed away in 2009 in
6Godfrey, at the age of 89; and
7    WHEREAS, The members of this Body are humbled and honored
8by Technical Sergeant Russell Dunham's distinguished life and
9valiant military service; and
10    WHEREAS, There is a section of United States Highway 67
11running through the entirety of Jersey County and extending
12into Madison County; and
13    WHEREAS, When completed, there shall also be a section of
14Illinois State Highway 255 running between Seminary Road at
15Milepost 16 to United States Highway 67 at Milepost 21;
16therefore, be it
19CONCURRING HEREIN, that we designate the stretch of United
20States Highway 67 beginning at the Jersey County line and



HJ0088 Engrossed- 4 -LRB097 21593 KXB 69809 r

1traveling south to Illinois State Highway 255, and continuing
2onto Illinois State Highway 255, when completed, between
3Mileposts 16 and 21 as the "Russell E. Dunham Memorial
4Highway"; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That upon completion of any unfinished sections
6of highway, the Illinois Department of Transportation is
7requested to erect at suitable locations, consistent with State
8and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs giving
9notice of the name; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
11presented to the Dunham family, the Village of Godfrey, the
12county boards of both Jersey and Madison Counties, and the
13Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation.