Hall of Honor to induct three

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2002

The Alabama Military Hall of Honor will hold its 2002 induction ceremony Saturday at Marion Military Institute.

The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a full dress parade by the MMI Corps of Cadets.

The inductees for this year are Harold E. Wilson, chief warrant officer four, USMC retired (deceased); William W. Seay, sergeant, USA (killed in action); and William P. Screws, brigadier general, USA, retired (deceased).

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Wilson, a native of Birmingham, distinguished himself during the Korean War in 1951. He was wounded four times during an overnight battle and refused medical treatment, instead rallying his forces to overwhelm the enemy. He was wounded in both arms, but still assisted in passing ammunition and moving from foxhole to foxhole. After the battle, he walked to the aid station unassisted. For this, he was awared the Medal of Honor. Wilson also served in World War II and the Vietnam War. He retired in 1972.

Seay, a native of Brewton, distinguished himself during the Vietnam War.

He was a driver running a supply mission with ammunition from Long Binh to Tay Ninh when his unit was ambushed by enemy forces. Seay repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy while firing his rifle and tossing grenades at them.

He killed at least 10 enemy soldiers before he was killed by sniper fire. Seay was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Screws, a native of Montgomery, graduated from Marion Military Institute. He served as a lieutenant in the 3rd Alabama Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, then served on the Mexican border until 1917.

He was promoted to colonel and sent to France to fight as a member of the Rainbow Division in World War I.

After returning to Alabama in 1919, he served as a senior regular Army inspector until his retirement in 1931.

In 1940, an act of Congress made Screws a retired brigadier general.

The Military Hall of Honor was established by Gov. George Wallace in 1975 as a means to honor Alabama’s military heroes. Inductees are honored with a bronze plaque and other personal items.

After the induction of the hall in 1977, it became inactive due to lack of participation and funding. The Alabama Military Hall of Honor Museum was completed during the inactivity and opened in 1989.

Induction efforts remained inactive for a few more years due to lack of funds. Induction started once more in 1999. Efforts are currently under way to secure funding from the Legislature.