Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County), and the California State Assembly, honored Fullerton resident and WWII Navy veteran Duane Sherman, who earned a Purple Heart for a mission he survived in 1944.
Born on December 30, 1922, Duane Sherman enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly after the infamous December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Sherman was assigned as Chief Sonarman to the naval destroyer vessel, USS Lamson (DD-367). In late 1944, Sherman participated in one of the Pacific Theater’s most significant WWII engagements, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. During this time, the USS Lamson fended off numerous suicide plane attacks before one flew into, and destroyed, the ship’s superstructure. It was from this superstructure that Duane Sherman jumped into the fiery waters of the Pacific, where he was hit by hot shrapnel. Sherman is a recipient of the Purple Heart for the wounds he sustained.
“It is a distinct privilege of mine to be able to recognize Orange County’s own, Duane Sherman, one of our country’s great heroes of the Second World War. His remarkable service is a testament to the glories and great actions of America’s brave men and women,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “I am proud to add our California State Assembly Resolution to the tens of thousands of birthday cards he received for his 96th birthday, and I am proud to call him a Fullerton neighbor.”
In the weeks leading up to his birthday on December 30, 2018, Sherman hoped to receive a few birthday cards in the mail. Because many of his friends have passed away, however, the veteran was dismayed by the lack of letters in his mailbox. His daughter, Sue Morse, then took to social media with a request to the online community to brighten her father’s day with a simple birthday card. The internet was quick to respond. The social media post was shared so many times, Sherman ended up receiving over 50,000 cards and letters from friendly strangers across 50 states and 10 countries.
This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.