View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 29, 1994
                      PRESIDENT NAMES MEMBERS OF 

     President Clinton today announced the appointment of the twelve

members of the newly-created World War II Memorial Advisory Board. The members, who represent all ages and regions of the country include Rear Admiral Ming E. Chang, US Navy (Ret.), of Massachusetts; Melissa Durbin of Ohio; Miquel Encinias of New Mexico; and Helen Fagin of Florida.

Also, William Ferguson Sr. of Ohio; Jess Hay of Texas; Jon Mangis of Oregon; Bill Mauldin of New Mexico; Sarah McClendon of Washington, D.C.; Major General Robert Moorhead of Indiana; Bill Murphy of Arkansas; and Peter Wheeler of Georgia.

Admiral Ming E. Chang of Massachusetts had a distinguished 34 year Naval career. He has received Four Legion of Merits, One Bronze Star and Three Medals. He served as Department of the Navy Inspector General 1987-90. Admiral Chang is currently a senior official at Raytheon Company.

Melissa A. Durbin, 26, of Ohio is the granddaughter of Roger Durbin, who provided the impetus for this Advisory Board when eight years ago his question to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur led her to introduce the legislation which authorizes the memorial. Ms. Durbin gained her Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, earlier this year. She teaches art history, holds other visual arts-related positions and is committed to seeing her Grandfather's dream of a World War memorial in the nation's capital realized. She is listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.

Miguel Encinias of New Mexico saw combat in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. A World War II Air Force pilot, he flew 70 missions, was shot down and held prisoner for 15 months. In Korea, he flew 113 missions, was shot down, rescued and returned to duty. An educator with emphasis on Hispanic studies, Mr. Encinias has received 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Air Medals and 2 Purple Hearts.

Helen Fagin of Florida is an Eastern European Jewish Holocaust survivor who arrived in the United States in 1946. Recently retired as a Professor of English Literature, she has chaired the Education Committee of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. She has taught courses in Literature of the Holocaust, Roots of Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and Its Aftermath.

William C. Ferguson Sr. of Ohio was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. He is the recipient of the American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. Mr. Ferguson is on the national board of the Tuskegee Airmen, a member of the American Legion and Vice President for World War II of the Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial, Inc. Mr. Ferguson is the publisher and author of "Black Flyers in WW II," and makes appearances to help keep the memory of the Tuskegee Airmen alive. He is a retired maintenance mechanic.

Texan Jess Hay has been CEO of Lomas Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries since 1965. Prior to that, he was an attorney in private practice. He has served on the Board of Directors of Southern Methodist University, from which he holds two degrees; the US Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Dallas Museum of Art. Mr. Hay is on several corporate and political boards. He chairs the Texas Foundation for Higher Education and is an historian of World War II.

Jon A. Mangis of Oregon has been Oregon's Director and CEO of the Department of Veterans' Affairs since 1985 under three governors. Mr. Mangis served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965, including in Southeast Asia. His father was a World War II B-17 pilot who was chased from Germany, shot down and crashed in Holland, and who is buried at the American Battle Monument Cemetery, Margraaten, the Netherlands. Mr. Mangis has been President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans' Affairs. He has served with the Army National Guard since 1974.

Bill Mauldin of New Mexico is an award-winning political cartoonist. As an 18-year-old National Guard volunteer in l940, Mauldin was establishing a reputation as a correspondent with the 45th Division News. By the mid-1940's, he was a correspondent for STARS AND STRIPES, and an infantryman who received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a battle in Italy. He also covered the Korean, Vietnamese, Israeli-Arab and Persian Gulf conflicts as a civilian correspondent. He won Pulitzer prizes for his cartoons in 1945 and 1959. Best known for "Willie and Joe," two weary, trudging foot soldiers, Mauldin is said to have defined World War II for the folks back home while boosting the morale of GI's.

National newspaper reporter, columnist and Texas native Sarah McClendon volunteered for the WACs during World War II, where she served at WAC headquarters in the Pentagon and then, as the first WAC in the Office of the Army Surgeon General. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the Sarah McClendon Washington Journalism Scholarship was established there in 1990. Ms. McClendon, who is 84 years old, has covered eleven Presidents. She has served in many defense and veteran-related organizations, including two terms on the Veterans Administration Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; and the Army's Advisory Task Force on Women in the Army Policy Review. Ms. McClendon has received awards from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and numerous women's and journalists organizations.

Major General Robert Moorhead, Indiana Army National Guard, Ret., began his military career in 1939, and served in numerous assignments in World War II in the U.S. and Europe. He then entered the Indiana Army National Guard, where his positions have included Commanding General of the 38th Infantry Division. His decorations and awards include the Combat Infantry Badge; the Bronze Star Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Stars; World War II Victory Medal; American Campaign Medal and more. He has been recognized by the National Guard Association of the U.S.

John Wm. "Bill" Murphy of Arkansas, a World War II Marine Corps veteran, has been a veterans advocate for nearly fifty years. A practicing attorney and former state representative, he was a member and Chairman of the Arkansas Commission on Veterans Affairs. He was elected National Vice Commander of the American Legion in August 1992 and has been active at all levels. He is also an active member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Purple Heart Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Marine Raider Association, the Masons and the Shrine.

Georgian Peter Wheeler has been his state's Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for more than 40 years under nine governors. An attorney, he is past president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Wheeler served in the Army Infantry from 1942-1946 and continued in the Georgia Army National Guard until 1978, when he retired as a Brigadier General. Under his leadership, Georgia veterans benefitted from numerous veterans facilities, including one of the nation's first veterans' nursing homes. Mr. Wheeler has received the Silver Medal of Merit by the Veterans of Foreign Wars; Silver Helmet Award from AMVETS; the Citation for Meritorious Service and the Gold Honor Medal from the American Legion; Citation for Distinguished Service from the Disabled American Veterans and numerous other awards.

The World War II Memorial Advisory Board was established in 1993 by legislation initiated several years earlier by Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who had been approached by a World War II veteran Roger Durbin asking why there is no memorial in Washington to honor the brave men and women who served in the war. Board members will serve for the life of the project. The Board will assist the American Battle Monuments Commission in site selection and design and in promoting donations for the capital-based Memorial.