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Pine Island resident Walter Dutton celebrates milestone

November 8, 2017
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

About 35 people arrived at the small park on Genesee Parkway Saturday to celebrate long-time the 100th birthday of Pine Island resident, and World War II veteran, Walter Dutton. Among the celebrants were Dutton's daughter Vicky, the American Legion Post 136 Riders, friends, relatives and neighbors.

"Actually my father's birthday is this coming Wednesday on Nov. 8," Allender said. "He was born in Glen Burnie, Maryland, Nov. 8, 1917."

As a boy, Dutton worked as a crabber in the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay with his father. Then for a while he worked at a hat factory before being inducted in the U.S. Army in February 1941.

Article Photos

Walter Dutton (center) with his family, friends and neighbors.

PHOTO PROVIDED

According to his daughter, Dutton served on a mail boat in Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons, and the Southern Philippines rising to the rank of sergeant. During his service, Dutton was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Asian Pacific Service Ribbon, American Defense Service Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon and 4 Bronze Stars.

The Bronze Star is a decoration awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Interestingly, Dutton didn't receive his medals until many years after the war when American Legion Post #136 Commander Barry August looked into the matter.

"I checked into his DD214 to see what medals and ribbons Mr. Dutton earned," August said. "Then I went to Medals of America and ordered them. I was very proud to have presented these long overdue medals to Sergeant Dutton."

On Nov. 17, 2010, at the American Legion Post #136, August presented Dutton with his medals. The awards were the U.S. Army Combat Infantry Badge, World War II American Defense Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, Philipine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star and the Army Good Conduct Medal. Commander August also awarded Walter a 30th American Legion, Post #136 Anniversary Pin.

Following the presentation, the entire membership stood at attention and saluted Dutton. His family was in attendance and were very proud of Walter as was everyone in attendance.

After the war, Dutton married his first wife and worked as a painter in Baltimore. After his first wife passed away, Dutton moved to Fort Myers, where he met his second wife, former Statin Islander Marie Theresa Dutton, while he was a caller at the Pondella Bingo in North Fort Myers. The two were happily married until Marie passed away in 2013.

"Walter has made many friends on his daily walks around Charlotte Shores," Vicky Allender said. "Neighbors know him as Mr. Smiley. It's just wonderful that so many people came to his birthday party for some birthday cake and to celebrate my fathers birthday."

 
 

 

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