Bridge to be named in local soldier’s honor

A bridge-naming ceremony to honor a local soldier is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 17 at Audra Park. The public is invited to attend.

At the age of 18, Sgt. John Andrew Charnoplosky, 187th AHC, 11th AVN BN, 12th AVN Group, 1st Aviation BDE, USARV of Belington, a door gunner, lost his life in a mid-air UHI helicopter collision over the Cambodian Border on Nov. 15, 1971.

Sgt. Charnoplosky was the son of the late George Charnoplosky and Dorothy Lee Charnoplosky, and step-son of Lee Weekley. He was a 1970 graduate of Philip Barbour High School where he lettered in football, track and wrestling.

In his brief Army career, Charnoplosky received many awards and medals, including the Purple Heart for being wounded in action and three Air Medals for heroism while participating in aerial flight. He was honored with one of the Air Medals for having flown more than 25 flights over hostile territory in support of counterinsurgency operations, during a two week period. Many subsequent flights ensued.

A unified effort has resulted in the upcoming naming of the bridge at Audra Park, to read:

Sgt. John A. Charnoplosky

187th Assault Helicopter C

Vietnam-1971.

This inscription is at the request of his brother, George Charnoplosky, Belington, as directed in a letter to Mary Poling, for her assistance in having the bridge dedicated.

The sergeant’s name appears on the wall in Washington, D.C., and on the wall at the Veterans Park at the Philippi Bridge.

Full military honors will be accorded by the American Legion Post, 44, Philippi and the Freedom Riders.