AUSTIN, Texas (KTRE) - State Rep. James White plans to honor an East Texas WWII veteran who died on March 19 with a resolution that will be read in the Texas House of Representatives. House Resolution 473 will be in honor of Hermon Rudolph Netherland, 94, of Colmesneil.
HR 473 describes Netherland as “a devoted family man, a dear friend, and exemplary member of the Greatest Generation. It also says he will be greatly missed and that “his memory will long endure in the hearts of all those who were privileged to know him.”
According to Netherland’s obituary on the Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home website, he was born in Enterprise, Louisiana, on April 21, 1926, and he died on Friday, March 19, at his home in Colmesneil. Services were held for Netherland at the Woodville Church of Christ on Sunday.
The resolution said that Netherland and his family moved to Port Arthur when he was a child. At the age of 16, Netherland talked his father into allowing him to enlist in the U.S. Navy to fight in World War II.
“[H]e trained as both a signalman and a specialist in underwater demolition, and he would eventually take part in nearly every major campaign in the Pacific theater of operations,” the resolution states.
Throughout the war, Netherland served on the USS Birgit, a troop carrier and cargo vessel. He took part in the invasions of Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Philippines, and the Marshall Islands.
According to HR 473, while Netherland was in the Philippines, he and his fellow Navy “frogmen” neutralized underwater mines left by Japanese forces. He was wounded twice in combat – once when he was struck by mortar shrapnel and once when he was shot by a Japanese soldier on the shore of Okinawa.
After the war, Netherland returned to Port Arthur, where he met Velma, his wife. They were married 64 years before she died, the resolution states.
HR 473 says that Netherland worked for Texaco in Port Arthur until he retired in 1985. After he retired, he moved to his cabin on Lake Amanda in Colmesneil, where he resided for 36 years. The resolution states Netherland enjoyed deer hunting and fishing, especially for catfish along the Sabine River.
Netherland’s daughter, Sharon, also preceded him in death, according to his obituary.
“It can honestly be said that Hermon Rudolph Netherland was one of the ‘last of the greatest,’’ the obituary stated. “He was a friend to many and will be greatly missed.”