Local servicemen to be inducted into Hall of Valor (Sawhill)

Two men with local connections will be among the next inductees at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust’s Joseph A. Dugan Hall of Valor induction ceremony Sunday.

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert R. Sawhill of Carnegie and U.S. Army Tech Sgt. Angelo Speggen of Masontown will be honored at the ceremony at 2 p.m. at the Soldiers & Sailors auditorium in Oakland.

Pennsylvania veterans who have received medals for bravery and heroism are recognized at the annual ceremony.

“It’s a nomination process and they’re usually nominated by family members or friends,” explained Tim Neff, Soldiers & Sailors director of education and museum. “They go through a committee here at Soldiers and Sailors that checks all the paperwork to make sure they have everything to qualify for induction.”

Neff said multiple counties are listed for some of the inductees to indicate any significant connection they may have had with that county, such as birthplace, a place where they lived or a county from where they may have been deployed. Washington and Allegheny counties are listed for Sawhill, and Fayette and Allegheny for Speggen.

The ceremony for nine inductees will be free and open to the public. Also, the museum will be open with free admission from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Sawhill served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam in the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He was awarded a Silver Star for action in October 1967 while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Sawhill was taken prisoner on Aug. 23 of that year after being shot down near Hanoi. He remained in captivity for 2,031 days before being released as part of Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973.

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