QUEENS — A Korean War soldier killed in combat has been honored with a bridge named after him.
The U.S. Army Sgt. Eugene E. Arbogast Memorial Bridge, known locally as the Queens Spread Bridge, carrying county Route 9 over the right fork of the Middle Fork River, was dedicated Saturday in a special ceremony.
Arbogast was born June 11, 1931 in Hemlock, one of five children including sisters Virginia Lee, Bonnie May, Frances Kay and Mary Ann.
Arbogast answered the call to serve his country and completed basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. with the U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Division.
In May 1950, Arbogast left for Japan and then was sent to Korea later in the year where he assisted in training South Korean troops. But on July 2, 1951, Arbogast was killed in combat.
A resolution was sponsored by Del. Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur, and Del. Dana Lynch, D-Webster, in the West Virginia House of Delegates to name the bridge in honor of Arbogast.
Hamilton was on hand Saturday to read the resolution and present the family with official copies of the resolution and smaller versions of the signs erected by the Division of Highways with Arbogast’s name.
Larry Brown, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 3663, said, “It’s an honor to be here to represent the Arbogast family to dedicate this bridge.”
Rev. Holly Hoover grew up with Arbogast and said they were not only neighbors, but friends and second cousins.
“What a privilege it is to be here and my heart is filled with joy,” he said. “We always called him Sonny at home. It’s a privilege to be a part of this great event.”
Arbogast’s sister, Mary Tenney, said she is one of only two surviving siblings of the Arbogast family. Tenney was just 1 year old when her brother was killed but said there were plenty of stories and a trunk of memories shared as she grew up that allowed her to hear about Sonny.
“It was a wonderful service,” she said of the dedication event. “We really appreciate everyone who came out.”
The Upshur County Honor Guard performed a 21-gun salute and the Patriot Guard Riders stood attention along the bridge for the service.
The family said they would like to thank Hamilton and the VFW for their help as well as Queens UMC which hosted a luncheon adjacent to the bridge.