Born April 15, 1923
Died March 18, 1961
Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class
Main duties gunner and radioman on carrier-based torpedo bomber planes
Mission To destroy strategic Japanese military targets located in the Nansei Shoto Island chain.
Military ribbons and awards Victory Medal; American Campaign Medal; Air Medal 3 Gold Stars; Philippine Liberation; Asiatic Pacific 2 Stars; and Good Conduct
Married - Clairabel Lorraine Fay Holt on Dec. 28, 1946
Brother to Jean, Roger, Dan, Zane and Brian
Father to Joy L. Colvin, married Kevin Kelly June 1971; Ned A. Colvin, Patricia Fancher life partner; Brad L. Colvin, deceased; Marc J. Colvin, married Jan Roe 1987.
Grandfather to Joy's children: Brendon, Kerry, Rory and Norah; and to Marc's children: Joshua, Erica, Bryanna, Dean, Tyler and Kristen.
Roy Colvin from Cherry Creek was assigned as a gunner and radioman on Torpedo Squadron 47 attached to the U.S.S. Bataan which was stationed during these operations against Japanese forces in the vicinity of Nansei Shoto Island from April 6 to May 12, 1945 and completed five bombing air strikes.
In his record in this one mission, Roy rendered invaluable assistance to his pilot and contributed to the infliction of extensive damage on enemy shipping, including land fields and installations. His skill and courage were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy.
The above was just one citation of Roy Colvin's heroism. The following citations were also included in the military records.
Meritorious service achievement in aerial flights as a gunner and radioman on a carrier based torpedo bomber against strategic Japanese targets in the Nansei Shoto Island area. He skillfully and accurately prepared and employed, making most valuable contributions to the success of his mission, May 15 to June 3, 1945.
Meritorious service achievement in aerial flights as a gunner and radioman on a torpedo bomber in a Torpedo Squadron 47 attached to the U.S.S. Bataan in action against bombing raids against Japanese major airfields and Japanese primary targets from May 18 to April 4, 1945.
Three more meritorious citations were to follow, all signed by either the Admiral of his fleet, rear admiral G.F. Bogan or at the time, the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. These three citations all led to Roy receiving three air gold medals.
Roy Bradly Colvin was born April 15, 1932, to Clair and Eva (Dann) Colvin at their home farm in Cherry Creek. Roy had three bothers: Faye, Roger and Dan. All three of his brothers did their duty and proudly served our country during World War II along with his brother-in-law Malcolm. Roy also had a younger brother, Zane, who was too young for action during the war, but did do his duty and served in our U.S. Navy when he became of age.
Roy grew up on a dairy farm in Cherry Creek. He attended Cherry Creek High School. He was a standout baseball and basketball player, according to his high school records. He loved playing sports when time could be found after the numerous hours it took to maintain a dairy farm. Roy also enjoyed hunting with the family and friends.
Roy joined the Navy on Dec. 14, 1942. Right from the beginning of his duties of a radioman and gunner, he had logged in numerous flight missions. One mission that always stuck with Roy was on his 13th bomber mission. The mission occurred on a Friday the 13th.
The war ended and there weren't too many job openings for radiomen or gunners in the Cherry Creek area so Roy got married to Claribel Fay Holt on Dec. 29, 1946, and did the only other thing he could do best - run a dairy farm. He engaged in a partnership with his father in dairy farming. Still an avid hunter and fisherman, Roy loved playing the guitar.
Roy was involved in the community with a charter membership in the Cherry Creek VFW and Ellington Rod and Gun Club.
We lost our hero Roy from heart-related problems and he died peacefully at his home, with his family by his side on March 18, 1961, at the age of 37, leaving his wife, Claribel and children Joy, Ned, Brad and Marc behind.
It is such an honor to have the privilege of writing these stories. To me, every story is one that needs to be written; people need and want to know. For a person to give part of their life in order to keep us free, it truly needs to be told. When one signs his name on the bottom of their enlistment, they have no idea or say on where they will end up serving.
There you have no clue; you could end up staying in the states or end up in some fox hole in some country called Vietnam. Each one being as important as the other. That is why we honor all that have served. All that said, "Yes I'll do my part."
It was just after the 11 p.m. news one Saturday night, when I opened this folder from Gowanda. Still awake, I figured I would read it quickly and work on it Monday because I had plans for the Fly-In breakfast in the morning, golf with six friends at noon and I wasn't going to miss the car show at the Point hoping I'd see my '68 Roadrunner. As I pulled out all the 10 pages of military information, I saw a ripped off page with a hand-written note asking if I would look at these attached papers and consider doing a story on his dad. Ready to put the papers back in the envelope and do the story Monday, I started to read the first page. The first page I read was a letter from Harry S Truman.
With that being page one, I knew I wasn't putting down the others; I just kept reading and reading and was amazed on what this dairy farmer from Cherry Creek had accomplished. I, after reading and reading, would have to wipe a tear or two from my eyes. Here this man put his life on the line. It was close to 5 a.m. and the tears were still there.
In closing, I can only say to all the grandchildren, Brendon, Kerry, Rory, Norah, Joshua, Erica, Bryanna, Dean, Tyler and Kristen, that I am one sad veteran. One veteran for all you children that never got to see your grandfather; never got to hug your grandfather and never got to love him with hugs and kisses.
Never stop knowing him! Never stop asking. There are thousands of ways to get information these days. It's your history. He's your hero, never stop. There is a form of freedom we spend today that your grandfather purchased with his service over 40 years ago.
To the Roy Bradly family; wife, Claribel; sister Jean; brothers Roger, Dan, Zane and Brian; children Joy, Ned, Brad and Marc; grandchildren, Brendon, Kerry, Rory, Norah, Joshua, Erica, Bryanna, Dean and Kristen: March 18, 1961, had to have been one of the saddest days in the Cherry Creek area. It became a little less of a community when it lost one of its greatest heroes, greatest citizens and greatest diary farmer.
It has to be such a loss to have had a grandfather war hero and never had the chance to see him, to talk to him and to give him the love he earned every day while protecting this country for you and his family and my family and I.
I salute you Roy Bradly. I salute you for just being the hero dairyman you are. Someday I hope I can meet your family in person and thank them for your service. Roy Bradly Colvin, our local hero.