Eugene Austin Lunn
Eugene was one of twins a year younger than James and they both joined the Army a year after James. They were all only 17 at enlistment, but being brought up with a WWII veteran and POW as was their father, the sons believed they owed the country.
During WWII, Gene's father served in the Army Air Corps as a crew memer. On October 13, 1944, he volunteered to fly in one of the B-24 Liberator 'Loveys Dovies', nicknamed 'Yellow L'. All the Sergeants that day were fill-ins as it was supposed to have been a day off for the squadron. On Friday the 13th, the plane was shot down. Pilot Alexander Lovey and co-pilot Raymond F. "Boots" Morse would sacrifice their lives so the other 7 crew members could bail out. Technical Sergeant Lowell M. Lunn spent the next 18 months in a POW Camp but was liberated to return to his wife and family.
After Gene was killed in Vietnam, his twin brother Ernest also did a tour in Vietnam and returned home. Shortly thereafter, Ernest died.
James Lunn commented in his online tribute to Eugene: "My family paid the highest price of two young men, in a war, it seems we were never meant to win, to fight for the freedom of all men. Would we do it again? I think we would, for freedom was and is that important to us all."
Gene was assigned as an assistant and primary machine gunner.
From one of Gene's friends in Company A, "... Quick with a joke, easy with a smile, and first to have his hand out to help, Gene became my closest friend. We talked of home occasionally, plans we had, and friends we lost in combat. We shared our triumphs, our setbacks, and our frustrations..." The photo below is believed by Gene's friend that it may be the last photo of Gene taken in Vietnam.
Area papers in Missouri and Kansas City, during the week of 26 August 1968, announced the death of SP4 Eugene Austin Lunn. One sample read as:
Two Missourians killed in Vietnam
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The names of 56 men killed in action in the war in Vietnam were on the latest Defense Department list. They included: Missouri - - Spec. 4 Eugene L. Miller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orin T. Miller of Excelsior Springs. In addition, Spec. 4 Eugene A. Lunn, son of Mrs. Geneyieve M. Lunn of Kansas City was listed as Dead - Not as a result of hostile action.
At the time of his death, Gene was survived by his mother, Genevieve M Lunn (1924-2004); three brothers, James E., Ernest William (1950-1973), and Stephen Lunn; and four sisters, Christine Ann, Ellen Marie, Mary, and Rose Marie Lunn, all of the home; and his paternal grandfather Herman Lunn (1891-1972), Kimball, South Dakota; maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary M. Shafer (Frank E.), Kansas City; and an Uncle and two Aunts (See Genevieve Lunn's Memorial page for all of her family information).
Eugene was predeceased by his father, Lowell Milton Lunn (1922-1965), paternal Grandmother, Cora M Lunn (1889-1963) and maternal Grandfather, Frank E Shafter (1880-1959).
The 3 Lunn veterans, twins Eugene and Ernest Lunn, and their parents Genevieve and Lowell Lunn (WW II) are interred in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Raytown, Jackson County, Missouri. Their paternal grandparents, Cora M and Herman A Lunn are buried in Kimball Cemetery, Kimball, Brule County, South Dakota.
Marker Photos used with permission from Tom Denardo (#767)
- - The Virtual Wall, October 29, 2014
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