FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 24, 2016
Rep. Ellington honors local military hero with resolution
STATEHOUSE (March 24, 2016) – State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) recently recognized local World War II hero, the late Dured E. Townsend, with a resolution to rename the bridge on State Road 57 in Newberry after him.
Townsend, a native of Newberry, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a commanding officer of the 10th Mountain Division. The 10th Mountain Division included 18,000 soldiers who trained in harsh mountain conditions in preparation for alpine battle during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic mission in the North Apennine Mountains of Italy in April 1945.
“He knew there were mines in the roadway but he had to move forward with his men to defend other battalions,” Ellington said. “Townsend went on to receive the Silver Star. The lieutenant colonel’s leadership during WWII is an inspiration for all Hoosiers.”
When the 10th Mountain Division launched its final offensive in the North Apennine Mountains, Townsend led his battalion in the mission of spearheading in the 86th Mountain Infantry’s zone of action and protected the exposed right flank of the division. He moved through mines under enemy fire with giving his soldiers instructions and encouragement.
In 2015, Townsend was honored for his service when the Lt. Col. Dured E. Townsend Mission Training Complex was dedicated at Fort Drum New York. The facility combines electronic simulations from its multiple sister facilities with field training exercises to provide extensive training to unite commanders and their staffs.
State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) represents parts of Green, Monroe, Martin and Daviess counties.