Public memorial service planned for WWII hero

Public memorial service planned for WWII hero
95-year-old Paul Calkin of Jonesboro passed away. (Source: Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Wings of Honor Museum in Walnut Ridge will host a public memorial this Sunday, July 21, to honor a highly-decorated World War II veteran.

Staff Sgt. Paul Calkin died Wednesday, June 12, at the age of 95.

The decorated hero was a member of the United States Army Air Corps and received many medals during World War II:

  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze battle stars
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • American Defense Medal
  • Royal Air Force Gold Fish Medal.

Then in 2000, Calkin received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat during World War II.

He received the French Legion of Honor, the highest honor conferred by France, in recognition of his part in the liberation of France during World War II in 2013.

Finally in 2017, Calkin was inducted into the Arkansas Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

We first introduced you to him in November 2014 when we told his story of how he was using his experience in WWII to provide insight to younger generations.

Staff Sgt. Paul Calkin was a purple heart recipient.
Staff Sgt. Paul Calkin was a purple heart recipient. (Source: KAIT-TV)

Calkin hoped by sharing what he had gone through with others would not only provide an inside look to our country’s history, but inspire pride for our country and respect for those who choose to serve.

He was a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Weiner.

He was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Northeast Arkansas Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the American Legion. Calkin was also member of the Masonic Lodge #67 in Nettleton.

He became a Master Mason in 2016, completing a journey he began in 1957.

Calkin also volunteered as a driver for the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. Their service provided transportation for veterans to doctor’s appointments.

He also never missed an opportunity to honor his fellow veterans for their patriotism.

His funeral was held Monday, June 17, at Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home located at 1900 West Washington Ave. in Jonesboro.

Sadly, we have lost another member of The Greatest Generation. Decorated WWII Veteran Paul Calkin of Jonesboro passed...

Posted by Wings of Honor Museum on Thursday, June 13, 2019

On Sunday, July 21, the public is invited to attend a memorial tribute service to honor Calkin at the Wings of Honor Museum in Walnut Ridge at 2 p.m.

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