Scarnati, Causer Announce Passage of Bill to Honor Potter County Veterans

July 9, 2014

HARRISBURG – The General Assembly has unanimously passed legislation to re-name three Potter County Bridges in honor of local WWII and Vietnam Veterans, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Representative Martin Causer (R-67).

Senate Bill 1401 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Scarnati and amended in the House by Representative Causer.  The legislators explained that the three Potter County Bridge designations will serve as remembrance for WWII Veteran Private First Class Roger P. Downey and Vietnam Veterans Private Edwin Tubbs and Specialist Donald Stiles.

“These courageous men paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and our freedoms,” Senator Scarnati said.  “I am pleased to work with Representative Causer, Potter County Commissioners and local Borough Officials to ensure that the three bridge designations will serve as a permanent memorial to honor the lives of these brave American soldiers.”

“Decades have passed since these men gave their lives for our country, but their sacrifice is no less significant today than it was on the day each of them died,” Representative Causer said. “Naming these bridges in their honor ensures that their service is remembered by both current and future generations.”
The following bridges will be dedicated in honor of our fallen soldiers:

  • The Bridge on SR 49 over Cowanesque River between Dennis Hill Rd & Church St in Harrison Township will be re-named the Private First Class Roger P. Downey Memorial Bridge.  Private First Class Roger Downey grew up in Ulysses, Pennsylvania.  While a teenager, PFC Downey would use the Bridge on that portion of S.R. 49 over the Cowanesque River to attend Harrison Valley High School in Mills, Pennsylvania.  He joined the United States Army on April 19, 1944.  In January, 1945, he and his Unit were sent to reinforce and relieve Units engaged in the Famous Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.  PFC Downey was killed in action in Germany on March 9, 1945 while assigned to Company B, 417 Infantry Regiment, 76 Infantry Division, XII Corp, Third Army, Twelfth Army Group, European Theater of Operations Headquartered in the Town of Speicher in the Rhineland Region of Germany.
  • The West Chestnut Street Bridge in Coudersport Borough will be re-named the Private Edwin Tubbs Memorial Bridge.  Private Edwin Franklin Tubbs left Coudersport High School in August of 1967 and entered into the United States Army.  He deployed to Vietnam with D Company, Sixth Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, Ninth Infantry Division on December 4, 1968, and was stationed at Dinh Tuong, South Vietnam.  On January 12, 1969, Private Tubbs was fatally wounded as he set down his rifle to assist a fellow soldier who was injured on the battlefield.  During his service in the United States Army Private Tubbs received the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
  • The SR 872 Bridge near Coudersport Borough/Eulalia Border will be re-named the Specialist Donald Stiles Memorial Bridge.  Specialist Donald Stiles enlisted in the United States Army at 17 years of age.  He was deployed to Vietnam as an atomic demolition munitions specialist, with A Battery, First Battalion, Seventh Artillery, First Infantry Division.  On April 2, 1968, Specialist Stiles was killed in action in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam, after taking a fellow soldier’s place on a mission and being hit by bomb fragments from a land mine.

Senate Bill 1401 has been sent to the Governor for his signature.  Once signed, the bill will take effect within 60 days and PennDOT will place the appropriate signs at each bridge.

CONTACTS: 

Kate Eckhart – Senator Scarnati – (717) 787-7084 or keckhart@pasen.gov

Patricia Hippler – Representative Causer – (717) 772-9846 or phippler@pahousegop.com

 

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