Bill Text: WV HCR41 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Halstead Brothers WWII Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 9-0)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2021-04-06 - To Transportation and Infrastructure [HCR41 Detail]

Download: West_Virginia-2021-HCR41-Introduced.html


(By Delegates Pinson, Wamsley, Burkhammer, Linville, Maynard, Higginbotham, D. Jeffries, Keaton, and Graves)

[Introduced March 11, 2021]

Requesting the Division of Highways name a set of twin bridges, number 11349, carrying US Route 35 over County Route 78 and 16-Mile Creek in Mason County, West Virginia as the “Halstead Brothers WWII Veterans Memorial Bridge”.

Whereas, James Norton Halstead, U.S. Army Corporal, was born at Page, Fayette County, West Virginia, on June 18, 1919, to John and Bertha Wolford Halstead; and

Whereas, Eugene Paul Halstead, T/5 U.S. Army, was born in Montcoal, Raleigh County, West Virginia on September 24, 1921, to John and Bertha Wolford Halstead; and

Whereas, Herman Lee Halstead, U.S. Army Cpl., was born in Montcoal, Raleigh County, West Virginia, on September 4, 1923, to John and Bertha Wolford Halstead; and

Whereas, Samuel Edward Halstead, U.S. Army Sgt., was born in Montcoal, Raleigh County, West Virginia on September 16, 1925, to John and Bertha Wolford Halstead; and

Whereas, James was the eldest child, but John and Bertha’s large family would come to consist of four brothers in addition to James--Eugene Paul, Herman Lee, Samuel Edward, and Millard William; and

Whereas, In the household were also three sisters--Mary Madeline Halstead (married name: Bocook), Florence Louise Halstead (married name: Taylor), and Elizabeth Lucille Halstead (married name: Bauer); and

Whereas, U.S. Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, indicate that James’s education consisted of grammar school, and his entry in Young American Patriots notes that the school he attended was Sebrell; and

Whereas, The family attended the United Brethren Church in Point Pleasant; and

Whereas, With the advent of World War II, Bertha would see four of her sons enlist in the U.S. Army, and ultimately she would become a Gold Star Mother; and

Whereas, T/5 Eugene Paul Halstead entered service on July 30, 1942, and served in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy; Cpl. Herman Lee Halstead entered service on March 15, 1943, and served in India; Sgt. Samuel Edward Halstead entered service on January 12, 1944, and served in England, France, and Italy; and after the war, Herman Halstead continued his service with the West Virginia National Guard; and

Whereas, It was the oldest, Corporal James Norton Halstead, who was the first to enlist, signing up at Huntington on March 30, 1942, and became a medical corpsman in the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division; and

Whereas, The 325th’s first battle was reached not by air, but by sea. By September, the regiment was sent to Salerno from Sicily to reinforce units already there. They were attached to the 2nd Battalion and intended to relieve Ranger units on Mount St. Angelo di Cava. German artillery barrages attempted to throw the glidermen off the mountain, but the Americans held their ground. It was here the Regiment met their first casualties. Service in Salerno is consistent with Cpl. Halstead's war record; Young American Patriots indicates he was there; and

Whereas, The Regiment landed in Normandy on D-Day plus one (June 7, 1944). According to the unit history, “As soldiers of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment swooped down to Normandy, other elements of the 82nd Airborne were in the process of capturing the town of St. Mere Eglise on an airborne operation behind enemy lines. It was for the success of their effort that the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division were awarded the red and green braided French Fourregerre.” (“The 325th Glider Infantry Regiment,” The 82nd Airborne: World War II, accessed 23 October 2020,; and

Whereas, Twenty-one of the 850 gliders carrying infantrymen were wrecked in landing. Of the roughly 4,000 men who participated in the initial airborne assault phase of Operation Overlord, 10 percent became casualties, either killed or maimed. (“Glider Phase of D-Day Begins,” World War II Day by Day: The Daily Chronicles of World War II, 2012-2020, accessed 23 October 2020,; and

Whereas, sadly, Cpl. James Halstead was one of those 10 percent; he was wounded on June 15 during his landing, he died of wounds in France on June 16, 1944, just two days shy of his 25th birthday; and

Whereas, The 325th persisted, minus their fallen brothers, and the glidermen-turned-infantrymen soldiered on Cpl. Halstead's 325th would become embroiled in the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944-January 1945), where, ironically, his brother Samuel became a participant; and

Whereas, Sergeant Samuel Edward Halstead, the youngest family member to enter World War II, was drafted in January of 1944; trained at Camp Blanding, Florida; and saw service in England, France, and Italy, and

Whereas, It was not unusual for groups of brothers to enlist for World War II; and

Whereas, On March 15, 1945, Sgt. Samuel Halstead was shot while serving near Strasbourg, France. He always believed that he was very lucky as German snipers were renowned as highly accurate shots. He believed that he got excellent medical attention. He was transported to a field hospital, to a traditional hospital in France, and finally to a hospital in England. His ultimate destination was the U.S.; and

Whereas, He emphasized the importance of letter-writing during the war. According to Samuel’s biographer, although he never saw his three brothers while at war, he could write them. One day, he wrote to his oldest brother, James Norton Halstead, and sadly the letter was returned with the word “Deceased.” This was how [Samuel] Halstead discovered that James had been killed while a member of the 82nd Airborne in France; and

Whereas, James Norton Halstead (1919-1944), Eugene Paul Halstead (1921-1981), Herman Lee Halstead (1923-1986), and Samuel Edward Halstead (1925-2016) served their country well in World War II, with James paying the ultimate sacrifice; and

Whereas, James was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge; and

Whereas, In fact, all four brothers received the latter medal, T/5 Paul Eugene Halstead, with two battle stars. Additionally, Samuel Edward Halstead was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Marksman Badge and Rifle Bar, and the European-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; and

Whereas, The Halstead family must certainly be one of the most decorated in the history of World War II; and

Whereas, Samuel’s family (he and his wife Helen Louise Zuspan Halstead, to whom he was married for 69 years, had four sons: Samuel Edward Jr. [Ed]; Steve; Michael Bruce, who lived for only two days; and Tim) continued the Halstead military legacy with his son Sam Jr. serving in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and his granddaughter Shonna Rae Halstead Miller (Tim’s daughter) serving in Kuwait as a member of the West Virginia National Guard; and

Whereas, James Norton Halstead was originally buried in the Normandy American Cemetery in France, but Cpl. James Norton Halstead’s remains were returned to the States in 1949, and he was buried in the Suncrest Cemetery at Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Whereas, For these reasons it is fitting and proper that the bridge be named in honor of the Halstead Brothers; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the  Division of Highways name a bridge built in 2018 bearing the number NHPP-035(202)(11349)(35-19.01) carrying U.S. Route 35 in Mason County, crossing over Black Oak Road, County Route 78, as the “Halstead Brothers WWII Veterans Memorial Bridge; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the commissioner of the Division of Highways is requested to erect signs at both ends of the bridge containing bold and prominent letters proclaiming the bridge as the “Halstead Brothers WWII Veterans Memorial Bridge”; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a copy of this resolution to the commissioner of the Division of Highways.