Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month

veteran of the month

The Veteran of the Month of November, 2018 is Robert “Bob” Duff. Born March 4, 1931 in Petoskey, Michigan.

The son of Martin J., and Alice Bunn Duff, Bob attended Boyne Falls Schools until the 8th grade, then having to help his parents on the family farm.

He also worked at the Boyne City Tannery, and as a General Farm Hand at the Buel Farm in Elmira, Michigan.


Duff enlisted into the United States Army on October 31, 1949, in Traverse City, Michigan.

After basic and advanced training, he was assigned to C Company, 5th Cavalry, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, and was sent to the Korean Conflict. Having been in country for a short time, on August 17, 1950, during operations on Hill 303, Duff received severe gunshot wounds to his left arm.

Being overrun by the enemy, Duff and his Platoon Lieutenant escaped.

During this move, Duff came upon a huge rock wall, of which he could not climb because of his wounds.

He credited his life to Lieutenant Bell, who helped him over the wall, and to safety.

Later, after retaking the hill, troops found 47 comrades who had been gunned down by the North Koreans.

This would be forever known as The Massacre on Hill 303.

After initial treatment for the wounds, Duff was sent back to the U.S., and was reassigned to the 8th Infantry Division Ft. Benning, Georgia, receiving special training in basic supply from May to July, 1951, to finish out his Military commitment.

On November 3rd, 1952, at Ft. Benning Georgia, Duff was given an Honorable Discharge, and received the following decorations: The Combat Infantryman Badge; The Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star; The United Nations Service Medal; The Purple Heart Medal.

Returning back home, on November 14, 1953, Bob met and married Wiliminta “Billie Jo” Howie.

They were married for 61 years.

Bob worked for Consumers Power Company in Flint, Michigan for a short time.

Then, transferred to the Boyne City location with his family.

He retired after 32 years of service to the company.

Bob was proud of his service to his country during the Korean Conflict.

He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and always put his family first.

On June 17, 2018, Robert “BOB” Duff, answered the final call, and is being honored by his three brothers, his children, and their families.

To honor a veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30-8:30 p.m.

The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Mich. at 6:15 p.m.