Remembering United States Navy Seaman Donald Homer Wheeler


SUMMERS COUNTY, WV (WVNS) – At just 17 years old, U.S. Navy Seaman Donald Homer Wheeler donned a uniform to serve his country.

“Many times in the history of our country, entire generations have left to serve this country and sometimes not all of them return,” said Senator Jack Woodrum.

United States Navy sailor Donald Homer Wheeler lost his life on Saturday July 15, 1961 in a tragic accident at just 19 years old. He was stationed on the USS Boston, serving our country.

“We have waited all these years to finally honor him for this service. never took off the uniform,” said delegate Roy Cooper.

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, the Willow Wood Bridge in Summers County was renamed the US Navy Seaman Donald Homer Wheeler Memorial Bridge to honor and remember the sacrifice he made for our country. This is the first bridge to be named after a Summers County veteran.

“This bridge was dedicated to his honorable service to our nation and we want to thank Senator Woodrum and Delegate Cooper for their unwavering perseverance through legislation to have this name put on this bridge,” said Bobby Cales, nephew of Wheelers.

The location of the bridge is also important to their family, as they were raised on the road.

“They were raised just before here on Camp Lightfoot Road, so it’s kind of a special geographic location for the family,” Cales said.

A name that will live forever and be remembered every time you cross that bridge.


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