World War II, Korean War vets to lead Salem parade

SALEM – William “Bill” Galchick, a World War II veteran and Rodney “Hank” Allenbaugh, a Korean War veteran, will lead this year’s Salem Memorial Day parade as co-honorary parade marshals beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.

Both men were selected for the honor by the Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association in recognition of their service to their country.

Galchick was born in Henderson, Pa., in 1924 and moved to Salem in 1942. He was drafted in April 1943 and served with the U.S. Army Air Forces 467th Bomb Group, a B-24 Liberator Group stationed in England, and then with the U.S. Army 104th Medical Battalion, 29th Infantry Division in Germany. He received the Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Ribbon, the European Ribbon with five Stars, the WWII Victory Ribbon, and The Army of Occupation (Germany) Ribbon.

He was processed out of the Army in 1946, and has since made his home with his wife of 67 years, Audrey, in Salem, where they raised their family of 15 sons and daughters. He is a life member of the VFW Salem Post 892 and AMVETS Post 45. In addition to raising his family, Bill coached many of Salem’s youths at all levels of Little League through high school.

Allenbaugh was born in Beloit and graduated from Louisville High School in 1949. In 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Korea in November 1952. While in Korea, he was promoted to sergeant. He left Korea in 1954 and was honorably discharged. Since then, he has continued his service to veterans by being a life member of the VFW Salem Post 892 and AMVETS Post 45 where he has volunteered many hours selling poppies, working fish fries and breakfasts as well as putting flags on graves for Memorial Day, and delivering “ditty bags” on Veterans Day to nursing homes and shut-ins.

For the past eight years, he has been a member of the Salem Honor Guard. While on a trip to Washington, D.C., he found his likeness on the Korean War Memorial. He and his wife, Susan, have two children and two grandchildren.

Salem’s 149th Memorial Day activities begin at 8 a.m. Monday at the Memorial Building, 785 E. State St., with a free breakfast for all veterans participating in the parade, hosted by the Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association.

A citywide memorial service follows at 9 a.m. on the Village Green on the southeast corner of Lincoln and State Street.

The line-up for the Memorial Day Parade forms at 9:30 a.m. on South Broadway Avenue. The parade steps out at 10 a.m. and proceeds from Broadway to State Street, to Ohio Avenue, then to Franklin Avenue and on to Grandview Cemetery for a formal ceremony to be conducted at approximately 11 a.m., with Bob Sebo as the speaker. (Submitted material)