OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Two astronauts, a political cartoonist and the first black to receive the Medal of Honor are among seven
people being inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.
The seven will be recognized Saturday in a banquet at the Kirkpatrick Center. It will be the second annual induction ceremony for the hall, which is run by the Oklahoma Reserve Officers Association and the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Among the inductees is Bill Mauldin, who served with the 45th Infantry Division during World War II and became one of America's
most distinguished artists with his drawings depicting the front-line life of the American soldier. He won a Pulitzer Prize at 23, the youngest person ever to win journalism's highest honor. He won a second Pulitzer in 1959 as a political cartoonist. A collection of his cartoons was purchased by the 45th Infantry
Division Museum in Oklahoma City.
Capt. Riley L. Pitts, of Failis, became the first black officer in history to receive the Medal of Honor posthumously. In 1967, he was killed while leading his company during a successful assault of enemy positions in Vietnam. He was credited with personally putting suppressive fire on enemy positions while urging his men forward until he was mortally wounded.
Rear Adm. Thomas F. Hall, a native of Barnsdall, was at one time in charge of a quarter of the country's naval forces as commander of the Naval Reserve. His Navy career spanned 33 years and saw him
graduate from the Naval Academy with top honors. He also graduated first in his class from flight school and flew numerous combat
missions in Vietnam. He retired in 1996 and is now the Chief Operating Officer of the Naval Reserve Association in Alexandria, Va.
Oklahoma City native Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Daugherty took command of the 45th Infantry Division in September 1960. He enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard in May 1934 and entered federal wartime service in September 1940. By the end of World War II, he had attained the rank of colonel. He was recalled to federal service during the Korean conflict, serving two more years of federal duty before again returning to the Oklahoma Guard.
Maj. Gen. Ray L. Smith, a Shidler native, served as a Marine company commander for nine months of his tour in Vietnam, taking
command during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Smith later returned to Vietnam during the war as an adviser to the Vietnamese Marine
Corps. In 1997, he was assigned the commanding general of the Marine Corps base at Camp LeJeune, N.C.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford, a native of Weatherford, was among the second group of astronauts selected to participate in projects Gemini and Apollo in 1962. In 1966, he was commander of Gemini IX. His last post before retiring from the Air Force in 1979 was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Research Development and Acquisition at U.S. Air Force Headquarters.
Enid native Owen K. Garrett was a member of the second longest U.S. manned space mission in 1973 when he was aboard Skylab for about 60 days conducting extensive studies of the sun, earth and the human reaction to weightlessness. He was an electronics officer
in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956 and later taught electrical engineering at Stanford University. He has held several administrative posts at the Johnson Space Center and as a program scientist in the Space Station Program Office.