Also, I ask that we acknowledge Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Nevling. He fought in WW II and Korea. He led the 9th Bomb Squadron out of Hawaii in WW II and then in Korea to 10,000 sorties. He married June Wells of 750 SE 7th Avenue in 1949. It was the wedding of the year and was covered by the Argus in a 2-page spread. After WW II, he was stationed in post-war Japan and led the efforts for reformation.
Because he helped free several key Japanese officers to aid in the rebuilding of Japan, he was given a 700-year Samurai sword and a full Shogun suit of armor. A few people saw it over the years at the Wells home. After Korea, he returned home to Hillsboro for a while and had their Son, Tom. After a time, the family moved to Langley, Virginia, where he was a top brass officer and test pilot. In 1957 he was testing a new jet, the PF-80, out of Langley AFB. He flew out to Niagra Falls at supersonic speeds…only to have the jet engine flame out. His maneuvers to miss the population before impact was recognized with a final Medal. Major Nevlinge earned dozens of Medals for every known accomplishment.
Colonel Nevling is buried in Arlington National Cemetary. June returned home with Tom, who was a small child. They moved into the Wells home on 7th where her Father, Doctor Charles Wells, and Mother, Geneva Pinkie Wells, lived. They are all gone now.
I ended up with Colonel Nevling’s dress blues and all of his medals. After a year of research, I found his family in Texas and shipped everything to them. He had Sisters in their 90s who cried excessively when the items came…he was but a legend to them, as they were too young to know him.
As for the sword and Samurai armor? June kept it displayed for years but eventually realized its value and called the Japanese consulate in Portland, who arranged a small ceremony where it was returned to the Toga family. This man and his efforts included Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Nevling was not from Hillsboro, but he lived here on and off and married one of our finest women ever to rise from here.