The Military History Roundtable is a series of meetings hosted by the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society on the second Thursday of each month. These meetings always discuss some aspect of military history with topics ranging from primitive warfare to the conflicts we are currently involved with in the Middle East. In most instances, we have a veteran present a story that shares their personal experiences of time in combat. When conflicts that have no remaining veterans living are discussed, we bring in re-enactors to help convey the stories to the audience.

If you would like more information on the Military History Roundtable, please contact Matt Potter using the contact form on this site or by calling (606) 547-2607.


We are currently working to update our list of 2016 meetings. Please check back soon.



MARCH 2016

APRIL 2016

MAY 2016

JUNE 2016

JULY 2016







December 2015

December 8, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum



July 2015

July 21, 2015
Highlands Museum



Presented By: Mr. Bob Long

This presentation will feature photos and the history of the infamously known Arizona Boneyard, the final resting place for thousands of retired Air Force planes. Mr. Long will draw off of his experiences from a recent visit to share a very interesting and unique story with all in attendance.

August 2015

August 18, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum



Presented By: Ms. Linda Knighton

Ms. Knighton, a VA benefits specialist, will share with our members and the public the most up-to-date information on VA benefits available to both veterans and their families. She will also share how her personal appreciation for military service has shaped her career.

September 2015

September 15, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


atomic bomb

Presented By: Mr. Sean Moore

Having served in the region with US Marines, and then going back in years following to research the culture, Mr. Moore, currently the principal of Russell Middle School will share his knowledge and experiences relating to how the Japanese Perception of the Atomic Bomb has transformed throughout the 70 years since they were dropped. This is sure to be a very unique presentation.

October 2015

October 20, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum



Presented By: Mr. Louis Nichols

Based upon research for a soon-to-be-released book, Mr. Nichols will make a presentation on the life and history of John Uhlen, for which the well-known Uhlen Branch in Greenup County is known.

November 2015

November 17, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


vietnam 1

Presented By: Mr. Jim Reynolds

Join us for this special presentation by Vietnam Veteran Jim Reynolds as he shares his story of service during the Vietnam War. This will be presented as an informal interview and will be followed up with a question and answer session with the public.

June 2015

June 9, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


wwii end

Presented By: Mr. Dan Bailey

Drawing off of his knowledge coupled with his recent trip retracing his father’s footsteps during World War II, Mr. Bailey will give a presentation reflecting upon the decisive battles and events that led to the end of WWII in both the European Theater as well as the Pacific Theater.

May 2015

May 19, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


waist gunner

Presented By: Mr. Wilson Shimer

As part of our continued effort to commemorate the 70th anniversary of WWII and celebrate the men and women that helped us win that war, WWII Veteran Wilson Shimer will join us as he shares his story of service over Europe as a Waist-Gunner in Allied bombers.

April 2015

April 9, 2015
6:00 PM
***Steens Military Museum***


vietnam 2

Presented By: Mr. Fred Adkins

Join us for this special presentation hosted by Mr. Marshall Steen at the newly-opened Steens Military Museum and The Old Post Office. Prior to the meeting, guests will have the opportunity to view the museum. The presentation will the feature the story of Fred Adkins, who will share insights about his service during the Vietnam War for the first time.

For More Information, Please Call Matt Potter at (606) 547-2607.

March 2015

March 12, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum



Presented By: Mr. Jimmy Robinson

Join us as we hear the accounts of serving in the South Pacific aboard an LST as Mr. Jimmy Robinson shares his story with the audience. An informal interview with presentation will be followed with a question and answer session.

February 2015

February 10, 2015
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


Presented By: Mr. Ron Spriggs

Join us for this special presentation brought to us by the highlands Museum and Ashland Community and Technical College as we commemorate Black History Month by taking a look at one of the most distinguished and well-known all African-American fighting units in US military history.

January 2015


December 2014

December 9, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


Presented By: Mr. Todd Reed

November 2014

November 13, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


Presented By: Judge Lew Nicholls

October 2014

October 9, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum


Presented By: Mr. Dan Bailey

Ret. Lt. Col. Dan Bailey will give us an in-depth presentation of how and why WWII ended as it did and will focus on the Signing of the surrender documents by Japanese forces on the USS Missouri

September 2014


August 2014

August 14, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

JULY 2014

July 10, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

Vietnam and it’s Effect on Me
Mr. Tom Keelin

Vietnam veteran Tom Keelin will be the guest speaker at Thursday’s monthly Military History Roundtable at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center.

Keelin, 66, of Catlettsburg, is a retired railroad worker and 1965 graduate of Catlettsburg’s Thomas R. Brown High School, as well as serving as the pastor at Faith Independent Baptist Church at Summit.

“I lost my leg in Vietnam and I’ve been on crutches since,” Keelin said during an April 2013 interview with The Independent.

Keelin said he was serving with a mechanized unit attached to the 173rd Airborne traveling in an armored personnel carrier when his unit was ambushed and a rocket penetrated the vehicle. “We had a couple of guys killed and my leg was blown off. We had quite a few that was wounded,” he said.

“The guy standing next to me was killed and we were standing almost back to back. He was killed and my leg was blown completely off. I felt only a lot of heat and I knew my helmet had been blown off. I looked down and my leg was gone. They dragged me out and I was laying there on the side of the road. When the shock wore off, the pain was excruciating and I was real sick at my stomach and didn’t know the extent of my injuries. The medics arrived and gave me morphine,” he said.

JUNE 2014

June 12, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

Pearl Harbor: Then and Now
Mr. Matt Potter

Mr. Potter will present a presentation about the history of Pearl Harbor and how it slowly developed into the most famous, and infamous, Naval Station in US history. Starting well before the Japanese Attack on December 7, 1941, and culminating with what the harbor is and does today, this engaging talk will provide a comprehensive “Then and Now” look at what was and what is Pearl Harbor.

MAY 2014

May 8, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

Claiming Whats Earned
Ms. Linda Knighton

Ms. Knighton, a claims representative from the Veterans Administration, will share information that will prove to be valuable to our military men and women. Information on benefits, pensions and much more will be shared. She will also have information on hand to start applications.

APRIL 2014

April 10, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

A Chaplain’s War
Capt. Steve Barfield

Capt. Barfield, with the USAF Reserves, will share with us the challenges facing men and women in the military today. Most do not realize the varying roles that chaplains play in the military and he will atempt to paint a much clearer picture on this issue for us.

MARCH 2014

March 13, 2014
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum

My Time in The Korean Conflict
Mr. Lew Dunn

Mr. Dunn will share tales of his experiences as he worked to make sure the weapons of war fit well with the machines of war. As a part fitter/changer working on many then-classied projects, including atomic bomb projects, Lew will take us back into some of the darkest days of the Cold War-era.


February 13, 2014
5:00 PM
Lamp Post Cafe

Hold at All Costs
Korean War Veteran Jim Fields

NOTE – Film Screening Will Start at 5pm. Please Arrive Early if you plan to eat at the cafe, which will be at
your own expense.

Please join us for an evening of history surrounding the Korean War. Korean War Army Veteran Jim Fields of Ashland will join us to share his experiences about his time in the war, and specifically at Outpost Harry – topic of the documentary “Hold at All Costs” that will be screened. This will be Mr. Fields’ first time discussing his experiences with anyone, so it will be a humbling experience for all in attendance. He will also answer questions and expand on things discussed in the film throughout the screening.

For More Information on this Film,


December 7, 2013
5:00 PM

Annual Christmas Party and Banquet
Lamp Post Cafe
Cost $8.00 a Person


“Venerable Aircraft of World War II”

Dr. Stephen Young

Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:00 PM

On Thursday, December 12, at 6:00 PM at the Highlands Museum, Dr. Stephen Young and Mr. Ray Roberts will present a program entitled “Venerable Aircraft of World War II.” Dr. Young will show photos and give a brief background of 31 of the most remembered American, Japanese, German and British aircraft of that conflict. Dr. Young will also display a collection of aircraft cockpit instruments from planes of that era.  Mr. Roberts will relate his wartime experiences as a waist gunner on an Eighth Air Force, B-24 Liberator.


Veterans Appreciation Weekend Speaker

Friday, November 1st
6:30 PM

WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Woody Williams


The Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society is excited to announce that Mr. Hershal “Woody” Williams, the oldest living Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipient, will be sharing his story with us as part of the 3rd Annual Veterans Appreciation Weekend.

Born in Fairmont, West Virginia, on October 2, 1923, Williams grew up on a dairy farm in nearby Quiet Dell. He worked a series of odd jobs in the area, including as a truck driver for W.S. Harr Construction Company of Fairmont and as a taxi driver. After being turned away once from the U.S. military for being too short, he successfully enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in Charleston, West Virginia, on May 26, 1943.

World War II service

Williams received his recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Upon completion, he was sent to the Camp Elliott training center in San Diego, where he joined the tank training battalion on August 21, 1943. The following month he was transferred to the training center’s infantry battalion for instruction as a demolition man and in the use of flamethrowers.

Williams joined the 32nd Replacement Battalion on October 30, 1943, and left for New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific on December 3 aboard the M.S. Weltey Reden. In January 1944, he joined the 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal. He was attached to the 1st Battalion, 21st Marines, first to Company C and then to Headquarters Company.

During July and August 1944, he participated in action against the Japanese at Guam, and in October he rejoined Company C.

Medal of Honor action

His next campaign was at Iwo Jima where he distinguished himself with actions “above and beyond the call of duty” — for which he would be awarded the Medal of Honor. Landing on February 21, 1945, Williams, by then a corporal, distinguished himself two days later when American tanks, trying to open a lane for infantry, encountered a network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands. Williams went forward alone with his 70-pound (32 kg) flamethrower to attempt the reduction of devastating machine gun fire from the unyielding positions.

Covered by only four riflemen, he fought for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flame throwers. He returned to the front, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. At one point, a wisp of smoke alerted him to the air vent of a Japanese bunker, and he approached close enough to put the nozzle of his flamethrower through the hole, killing the occupants. On another occasion, he charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.

These actions occurred on the same day as the raising of the U.S. flag on the island’s Mount Suribachi, although Williams was not able to witness the event. He fought through the remainder of the five-week-long battle and was wounded on March 6, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

In September 1945, he returned to the United States, and on October 1 he joined Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on October 5, 1945, at the White House.

Later Service

On October 22, 1945, he was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland, for discharge. He was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve on November 6, 1945. In March 1948, he reenlisted in the inactive Marine Corps Reserve, but was again discharged on August 4, 1949.

On October 20, 1954, he joined the Organized Marine Reserve when the 98th Special Infantry Company was authorized by Marine Corps Headquarters, Clarksburg, West Virginia. He transferred to the 25th Infantry Company in Huntington, West Virginia on June 9, 1957. He later became the (Interim) Commanding Officer of that unit as a warrant officer on June 6, 1960. He was designated the Mobilization Officer for the 25th Infantry Company and surrounding Huntington area on June 11, 1963.

He was advanced through the warrant officer ranks during his time in the Reserves until reaching his final rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO-4). Although CWO-4 Williams technically did not meet retirement requirements, he was honorarily retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1969 after approximately 17 years of service.

Williams struggled with the after-effects of combat stress until 1962, when he experienced a religious renewal. He later served as chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for 35 years.

On February 2, 2011, Williams appeared on an episode of Sons of Guns where his unservicable flamethrower was refurbished back to working condition. The episode ended with Williams successfully firing the weapon at the age of 87.

To here a short accounting of his story, watch the video below.


“The Mexican-American War”

October 10, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented by Military Historians Tom Wilson and Bob Long

The topic of this meeting is the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Bob Long will speak about The Missouri Mounted Volunteers and Alexander Doniphan and their March to Central Mexico. Tom Wilson will speak about the other campaigns of that War. Additionally, period weapons of that war will be presented.


“In My Father’s Footsteps: A Reflection on My Trip to the South Pacific”

September 12, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented By Mr. Dan Bailey

Us Army Col. (ret.) Dan Bailey will share with us his experieces of his recent trip to the South Pacific to retrace the path his father traveled as a US Marine nearly 70 years ago. This will be a multimedia presentation.


“The Second Fight For Liberty”

August 8, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented By Professor Dan Mahan

Danny Mahan, Associate Professor of History at Ashland Community and Technical College, will speak on the War of 1812.  The War of 1812 was a 32-month military conflict between the United States and the British Empire and their Indian allies which resulted in no territorial change between the Empire and the USA, but a resolution of many issues which remained from the American War on Independence.

JULY 2013

“America’s Forgotten Ace”

July 11, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented By Mr. Bill Martin

Fighter pilot William C. Lambert, born in Ironton, Ohio, in 1894, ended World War I as America’s second-leading Ace with 22 confirmed victories. Only Eddie Rickenbacker, another “buckeye,” scored more with 26.Yet, Lambert chose to live in obscurity, his record not discovered for nearly five decades. Bill Martin was a personal friend of Col. Lambert and will offer some insight regarding this pilot’s remarkable life.


JUNE 2013

“My D-Day Beach Landing”

June 13, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented By World War II Veteran Lowell Perdue

Mr. Lowell Perdue, a veteran of the United States Navy who served during World War II, will share with us some of his experiences. His presentation will center around discussion of the Operation Overlord, where Lowell was driving a landing barge hit and destroyed by German artillary while shuttling troops to Omaha Beach in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944.


MAY 2013
May 9, 2013

“The Story of a Korean War POW”

May 9, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented By Korean War Veteran Fred O’Broff

Korean War Army Veteran Fred Obroff will join us as he shares his experiences as a Prisoner of War from 1951-1953 during the Korean War. Obroff was captured after his outfit had been ordered to another area and found themselves “totally surrounded” by Chinese troops. This presentation will be in a forum style with Matt Potter serving as moderator of the evening.


APRIL 2013
APRIL 11, 2013

“My Time in the Skies of the US and Vietnam”

April 11, 2013
6:30 PM

Presented by LT. COL. (RET.) Vance Huston USMC

Col. Huston will tell us about the early days of Heliborne operations and his part in them as a helicopter pilot. He also will be sharing his experiences of serving as a pilot of Marine One for President Kennedy in the early 1960’s. In addition he was a C-130E pilot during the Vietnam War.


MARCH 2013
March 14, 2013

Civil War re-enactor and military history enthusiast Ron McClintock, his daughter and friends will be presenting/playing Civil War music at the Highlands Museum.

6:30 PM
Highlands Museum
1620 Winchester Avenue
Ashland, KY 41101


February 21, 2013

Join us for the monthly Military History Roundtable on Thursday February 21st at 6:00 PM for the unveiling of our newest Civil War exhibit followed by a presentation by Civil War historian Tom Wilson on the 45th VA Infantry during the Civil War at 6:30 PM.
Thursday February 21 at 6:00 PM, Highlands Museum, Ashland, KY.


January 10, 2013

Mr. Bob Long

The Battle of Gettysburg

Thursday January 10th
6:30 PM

North East Kentucky Fish and Game Club – Main Clubhouse


The Battle of the Bulge and Five Stories of Chirstmas at Wartime

By: Matt Potter

Thursday December 13, 2012
6:30 PM
Highlands Museum


Special Guest Mr. Tom Wilson

Mr. Tom Wilson made a very interesting presentation at the Military History Roundtable. It was a presentation about Beecher Bible Rifles and John Brown’s Rebellion. A big thank you to Tom!

Thursday November 15th at 6:30 PM
Highlands Museum
1620 Winchester Avenue
Ashland, KY 41101


Special Meeting of Roundtable to Discuss Long-Term Plan

October 25th at 6:30 PM
Highlands Museum
1620 Winchester Avenue
Ashland, KY 41101

For Information on meetings prior to this date, please contact Matt Potter at (606) 547-2607.

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