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            Top: Purple Hearts--Wounded at Tarawa and twice( minor) at Saipan

            Middle: Left--Unit Presidential Citation for both Guadalcanal and Tarawa

            Right--Asian-Pacific Theater campaigns of
, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian.


            L to R: Purple Heart, American Defense (before WW II) and WW II Service.


            2nd Lt on Guadalcanal (field commission from corporal), 1st Lt during rest of  combat. Retired as Lt Col after 30 years service (5 years active duty and rest  in Reserve activity).



            Received when corporal--Expert in small bore and Thompson sub machine gun.


            9th Corps Area (All Pacific coast states plus) Intercollegiate Team Match, small         bore.


            High, Student, Small Bore


           Vera was born in Spokane where she graduated from Sheridan elementary, Libby Junior High and Rogers high school. She attended Eastern Washington University for three and a half years with a major in music education and a minor in geology.

            She taught one year in Philipsburg, Montana. It was a one-room elementary country school that included all grades. She lived in a teacherage next to the school but at times she stayed with her aunt and uncle and rode to school by horse back.

            During the rest of WW II she worked for a construction contractor and then for the government. She worked for the Army Air Corps at Galena and then for the Navy at the Farragut Training Base and at the Supply Depot in the Spokane valley. She directed the USO chorus and church choirs in both Spokane and Ohio. She was an advisor to Theta Rho, the Odd Fellows girls club. After the war she sold cosmetics in Tacoma and Seattle and in Spokane at The Crescent store.

            She married a high school classmate, Dean Ladd, in April,1949 and had three daughters while they lived in Newark, Ohio. Dean was transferred as an engineer with Kaiser Aluminum and worked there two years. Their three daughters, Kathleen, Michele (twins) and Janet, have in turn produced seventeen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

            While the children were young, Vera sold Westmorland Sterling Silverware and was regional manager for Coppercraft Guild, marketing under the party plan. When the daughters were in high school she owned and operated a secretarial and answering service for fifteen years in California with office locations in Los Gatos, San Jose, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. The business also included executive suites and services for Western Union, Telex and medical insurance claims. Her daughters gained office and management skills working for her.

            She has been a leader in numerous business, social and political organizations. She was president of the PTA, a Girl Scout leader, president of The Professional And Business Women's Club, president of The Republican Women and on the Santa Cruz County Republican Central Committee.


Arrived home to be eternally with the Lord.

January 7, 1921January 29, 2007



1954   Mexico City to ASME (Engineers) convention. Included Acapulco and other cities. Visited Dan and Bev Obrien.

1958   Hawaii to tour sites with Marine Reserves.

1975      First overseas trip shortly after Dad’s death. Approx. Dec. 15-Jan. 15 Europe and Israel.

1976   Europe and Scandinavia. Approx. July 15-Aug. 15 With mom and Janet for first portion.

1976      Japan and Taiwan. Approx. Nov. 15-Nov. 30. Interline rate. With Janet.

1977      Egypt with Janet for about one week in spring. Interline rate.

1978      South Africa with Janet for three weeks.

1979      Visited Ron and Michele in Virginia Beach.

1980      Possible again to Virginia Beach.

1981      Israel with Janet in May for about ten days. With Religious Tours led by Dave Jones.

1982      New Zealand. Early in year for about three weeks. Drove length of both islands.

1982      Dean’s first revisit to WWII combat sites. Six weeks—Aug.1-Sept.15.

1983   Dean’s second revisit to WWII sites as a group guide of fellow Marine veterans. Six weeks—Approx. Nov.15-Jan.1

1984   Hawaii to visit Michele. Feb. three weeks.

1985      Dean to Japan by Space-A to interview Japanese veterans. Jan.14-23. See log and tape.

1986   Visit Michele in Wash. DC.  Also in ’87 ,’88 and ’89. To Virgin Islands during ’89 trip.

1990      St. John, Virgin Islands one week at Sylvia’s timeshare.

1991      New Zealand and Australia three weeks in Feb.during Desert Storm. Train from Sidney to Perth.

1992      Island of Crete to visit Ron and Michele. Feb. 20-March 13. Athens on return.

1993      Canadian Maritime Provinces. Visited Michele in Wash. DC at end.

1995      Hawaii  for three weeks in Feb. to visit Michele.

1996   Hawaii for three weeks in Feb.-March. New Hampshire for about five days after Marine reunion near Boston in Sept.

1997         Hawaii three weeks in March to visit Michele.

Hawaii three weeks in March and April. Included Dean’s attendence at Big Island Camp Tarawa


    Dean was born in Spokane December 8, 1920 and graduated from Bemiss Elementary and Rogers High School. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in April, 1939 and completed one year at Washington State College before being called to active duty in November, 1940.

    He received a field commission and saw extensive WW II combat in the Pacific with the Second Marine Division at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian as recalled in his book, "Faithful Warriors". He was wounded three times, the most seriously during the landing at Tarawa. After five years he returned to get his mechanical engineering degree and was an engineer three years at Kaiser Aluminum, six years at North American Aviation and twenty three years at Lockheed on aerospace programs. He remained active in the Marine Reserve for a total of thirty years, retiring as a LT COL.

    One year after college graduation he married Vera Michel from high school days and they raised three daughters, Kathleen, Michele and Janet. They in turn have produced seventeen grandchildren.

    Dean has been a leader in many organizations. He was president of the Lockheed Management Association, a Boy Scout Commissioner, church deacon, school board member and served in various Republican Party positions, including vice chairman of the Spokane County Republican Central Committee. He was the president of The Retired Officers Association, Exchange Club, Sons of the American Revolution and The  Engineers Forum.



 Dean enlisted in the Spokane 14th Battalion, Organized Marine Reserve April 24, 1939 a few months out of high school. He attended a two-week training encampment at San Diego that year. He enrolled for one year at Washington State College, which included Army Engineer ROTC. The Marines called him to active duty as a private November 8, 1940 and assigned him to the 1st Bn., 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Brigade, which became the 2nd Division a few months later. He was promoted to corporal as a light machine gun squad leader about nine months later.

He was shipped overseas to American Samoa with his unit on January 6, 1942 to prevent Japanese seizure and loss of the vital US supply line to Australia. He received a 2nd Lt. field commission on Samoa October 10, 1942. This was a few weeks prior to going into combat on Guadalcanal as a rifle platoon leader, assigned to the same company as during his enlisted service. He was in combat there for three months after which the island was declared secure.

His unit rested, received replacements and was trained and re-equipped in New Zealand from February to November 1943. After this, it made an assault landing at Tarawa, the first against a heavily fortified atoll. Dean was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a machine gun bullet as he led his rifle platoon toward the beach on November 21, 1943. He miraculously survived on a troop transport after receiving timely surgery by a former abdominal specialist from The Mayo Clinic. Dean’s wound was considered worse than 90% of the cases but he recuperated in the Naval hospital at Aiea Heights (now Camp Smith) for several months and returned to his unit at Camp Tarawa on Hawaii to prepare for the next campaign. Since he was still in a weakened condition, he received such light duty assignments as Ship Combat Loading Officer, Court Recorder and Officer’s Mess Officer. 

He next participated in the Marianas campaign as a 1st Lt. in C company, 8th Marines, serving progressively as a 60mm mortar section leader, company exec. and company commander. He was wounded slightly the second day by his own mortar shrapnel and more seriously July 2, 1944 on Mt. Tapotchau by shrapnel from our own 155mm artillery. He was treated for two days at a field hospital before being sent back to the front with all other available walking wounded to mop-up after the largest Japanese banzai attack (up to 4,000 enemy killed and 700 of ours) of the war. He became C company commander on Tinian. After 32 months overseas of campaigning Dean returned to the States in mid-August 1944 shortly after the island was considered secured.

He was promoted to captain September 30, 1944. After a few months of being assigned to the Troop Training School at Camp Pendleton, he reported to Marine Corps Schools at Quantico. There, he graduated with the 1st Platoon Commanders Class( PCS) and was then on the Drill and Command staff as a company commander for two classes. Then he served on the staff of The Basic School as a company commander in charge of a platoon of Naval Academy graduate 2nd lieutenants and a platoon of senior NCO officer candidates. The school was discontinued shortly after the atomic bombs were dropped and none of the NCOs wished to continue becoming commissioned. Dean decided against a regular commission without having a college education and returned to inactive duty December, 1945 after five years of active duty with considerable combat.

After WW II, Dean remained active in the Marine Reserve for a total service of thirty years, participating in numerous active duty for training tours and completing such correspondence courses as Amphibious Warfare, Jr. and Sr., and Management In the Dept. of Defense. He was promoted to Major September 14, 1951 and to Lt. Col. September 15, 1960. 

He earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State College (now University) in 1947. His civilian occupation has been in engineering and management with Kaiser Aluminum, North American Rockwell and Lockheed Missiles and Space. He was President of the Lockheed National Management Association at Sunnyvale, CA one and a half years before retirement in 1980.

He has remained active in the 2nd Marine Division Association, Marine Corps League and other veteran’s activities. He has written his memoirs of WW II in the Marines (Faithful Warriors, which was published in 2009 by the US Naval Institute Press.

    One year after college graduation, he married Vera Michel from high school days and they raised three daughters, Kathleen, Michele and Janet. They in turn have produced seventeen grandchildren resulting in nine great grandchildren and counting.

    Dean has been a leader in many organizations. In addition to being president of the Lockheed Management Association, he was a Boy Scout Commissioner, church deacon, school board member and served in various Republican Party positions, including vice chairman of the Spokane County Republican Central Committee. He was the president of The Retired Officers Association, Exchange Club, Sons of the American Revolution and The Engineers Forum.

     In addition to his WWII memoirs he has written various biographies and about his ancestors in such as Hello Ancestors and Medieval Quest, which extend into royalty. His other interests have been, travel, Marine reunions, bible study, history, genealogy, geology and exchanging hosting with persons from other countries with the Friendship Force.

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