Louis R. Perry – WWII & Korea

The country’s pandemic lockdown kept me out of Florida for almost two years. When I returned to Missouri, I carried a van loaded with old film, prints, clips and other journalistic detritus.

Along with my stuff, Wife Lila packed a box of Perry family photos for Sister Marty. A special selection of photos will go to Brother John for his “military trunk.”

This short newspaper brief tells about all I know right now about Lila’s Uncle Louis R. Perry, who served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during the Korean campaign.

Watching Louis grow up

You can see Louis grow up from a somewhat skinny young man to a mature sailor. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use the arrow keys to move around.

The USS Rochester (CA-124)

Louis spent a good portion of his service aboard the USS Rochester, an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser that was launched in 1945.

On Sept. 13, 1950, The Rochester provided support for the troops landing on Inchon. On Sept. 17, two Korean aircraft that were mistakenly thought to be friendly, dropped four bombs on the ship. Three of them missed, and the fourth smashed the ship’s crane, but failed to detonate. 

There were no American casualties, but the crew painted a Purple Heart on the crane.

The vessel was refitted several times during her life, but she was eventually scrapped in 1974.

Perry family has history of service

Going-away party for Wyatt Perry 07-14-2012

I made this photo at a going-away party when Wyatt Perry, John and Dee’s son, was shipping out for the marines. 

Left to right: Laurie Perry Everett, Drew Perry, Wyatt Perry, John F. Perry, Rocky Everett.

John Perry was Navy and served in Vietnam. Drew just finished up his enlistment in the Marines.

Laurie Perry Everett, joined the Army, where the diminutive blonde became a Military Police officer. She was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany, but she either visited or was deployed in France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland, among others.

One of her jobs was processing new troops, explaining the local customs and making them aware of what they needed to know. One soldier, Rocky Everett, commented to his buddy, “I’m going to date that girl one day.”

Rose Bed Inn Fades Away

Rose Bed Inn demolition 09-13-2020

When I drove past 611 South Sprigg a few months ago, I thought the Rose Bed Inn Bed and Breakfast was looking a little ragged, nothing like when Wife Lila and I watched Laurie and Rocky Everett get married there on a cold October day in 2003.

Several folks tipped me off that the place was doomed, but I didn’t get there until September 13, when it was all over but the shouting.

Sarah Yenesel did a nice recap of the history  of the 110-year-old building in the Sept. 16, 2020, Southeast Missourian. I love it when someone else does that heavy lifting so I don’t have to.

The Rose Bed in 2003

Rose Bed Inn 10-18-2003

The B&B was attractive in 2003. The grounds were well-kept, and the interior was nicely furnished, a perfect venue for a wedding.

The Inn during happier times

Here’s a gallery of photos from the night Laurie and Rocky got married. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use the arrows on the right and left side to move through the images.

For the record, I’m sure Wife Lila took most of these photos. I shot presidents, a Pope and the Queen of England, but I never had enough nerve to tackle weddings.

Wyatt Perry 1993 – 2020

Wyatt Perry at going-away party before heading off to the Marines 07-14-2012

The van was packed, and we were ready to head back south to Florida after spending the Christmas holidays with our families in Cape Girardeau. Wife Lila got the word that Sis-in-Law Dee Perry was getting ready to add to the John Perry family.

She said “Florida can wait.”

Only after William “Wyatt” Perry arrived on December 29, 1993, could the wheels start turning.

The visit every parent fears

John said that when he looked out the door and saw the coroner standing there that it was going to be bad news. Wyatt had been killed in the pre-dawn hours in a car crash. He was 26.

Wyatt’s obituary

Perry family members who have served in the armed forces

William Wyatt Perry of Cape Girardeau died Monday, March 16. He was 26. Wyatt was born in Cape Girardeau on December 29, 1993. He was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps where he received an honorable discharge.

Wyatt chilling in Florida June 11, 2009

Wyatt was the baby of the family and with that came the privilege of having many nicknames. He was lovingly known as Wyatt Earp, Gah-wy, Prince Harry and Bjorn Ironsides. Though a man of many names, be was also a man of few words. He was kind, compassionate and had an amazing smile and laugh.

Wyatt with his Dad, John, 6/24/2009

He was serious and silly, and kids adored him. He was always the “cool” uncle. His joy in life was spending time with his family and riding his Harley. His leading lady was his Australian Shepherd Hot Mess Bess.

Perry family 9/5/2001

Wyatt is lovingly survived by his parents John and Dee Perry, Grandmother Fern (Maw) Douglas, brothers Drew and John David Perry and his sister Laurie (Rocky) Everett, all of Cape Girardeau. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Madison and Gavin Perry, Fletcher Everett, Ashlynn Perry as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He wi1l be greatly missed by all.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents D.L.(Paw) Douglas Jr., William G. Perry and Lucille Perry.

Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 21 at 11 :00 AM until service time at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.

Memorial service will follow at the funeral home at 1:00 pm.

In memory of Wyatt and in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 3838. 1049 N. Kingshighway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

Remembering Wyatt

We were usually 1,100 miles away from Cape, but we still managed to snap a lot of photos of young Wyatt. Click on any photo in the gallery to make it larger, then use the arrows on the left and right side to move to other photos.

John Perry in Uniform

John F Perry headed to Scout campI literally kicked over a box of photos in the closet this afternoon. Spilling out of it were these two photos of Wife Lila’s brother, John F. Perry. In the first photo, he’s heading off to Boy Scout camp.

Headed for Vietnam

John Perry 09-04-70Only a few years later, in 1970, still looking young, he was in his Navy uniform getting ready to ship out for Vietnam.

A family tradition of service

Going-away party for Wyatt Perry 07-14-2012This photo was taken almost exactly 42 years later at a going-away party for his son, Wyatt, who was headed to Marine boot camp.

  • Laurie Perry Everett – Army
  • Drew Perry – Marines
  • Wyatt Perry – Marines
  • John F. Perry – Navy
  • Rocky Everett (Laurie’s husband) – Army

 

 

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