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Will’s Hill flag raising honoring Robert Kirk Porterfield is today

BRIDGEPORT — A flag raising is set for noon today, Dec. 1, at Will’s Hill in Bridgeport for Robert Kirk Porterfield of Belmont County, said organizer Tom Teufel.

Porterfield, born Dec. 7, 1919, enlisted in the Navy wans served during World War II. He was a petty officer third class. His specialty was aviation machinists mate third class. He served with Patrol Squadron 12, Kanehohe Naval Air Station.

He was killed in action at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He is buried/memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu, Hawaii. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location.

Awards, medals and commendations that he received or may have qualified for include: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal.

About Will’s Hill

Will’s Hill flag raisings are held periodically on a piece of property located high above the village of Bridgeport. The late Will Freund is the veteran for whom the hill is named and who inspired the project.

During the ceremony, a new American flag is raised in honor of a deceased veteran. Every May is reserved for Freund, whose family once owned the land that was used as a dairy farm. Today, the site is owned by Tom Teufel, who was a friend of Freund. The two joined the U.S. Army together. Freund, who was in the 101st Airborne Division, was killed in Vietnam on May 18, 1967. Teufel renamed the hill in honor of his friend when he bought the property.

Freund was the first Bridgeport serviceman to be killed in action during Vietnam. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Freund of Old Cadiz Road, were notified on a Saturday night that their son had been killed in action on the Thursday before; Army officials told the family that his body would be returned to Bridgeport within six to 10 days.

Freund graduated in 1965 from St. John Central, where he was in the band. He joined the Army in 1966 with Teufel.

Those who would like to have a flag raised to honor a late veteran can call the Belmont County Veterans’ Center in Bellaire at 740-325-1042. Officials there will then contact Teufel for arrangements.