Memorial Day Biography: Lloyd Lockhart – Thank You for Your Service

Lloyd Lockhart in Uniform

MEMO’RIAL, n. That which preserves the memory of something; any thing that serves to keep in memory.

Memorial day is much, much more than a long weekend. It is far more significant that grilling, camping, hanging out with friends, or sleeping in. It is called Memorial Day for a reason. This Memorial Day, remember something that deserves to be remembered; the sacrifice of many for your freedom.

F.M. Light and Sons is proud to remember a veteran; our own grandfather, Lloyd Lockhart, who owned and operated the store starting in the sixties.

“Fire Mission, Grid 63874, direction 5200, church steeple. Adjust fire.”

On December 9, 1941, Lloyd and his wife, Annabeth (F.M. Light’s granddaughter), were skiing on Rabbit Ears Pass. They were enjoying a beautiful Colorado day, when they heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their lives would never be the same. With the United State’s entry into the Second World War, Lloyd joined the U.S. Army and completed basic training, then entered the Army’s specialist program, working on radios. He entered the European Theatre of Operations in time for the Battle of the Bulge, serving with the 725th Field Artillery Battalion, 70th (Trailblazer) Infantry  Division. The Division saw action in the Ardennes and Germany.

Lloyd Lockhart in Muddy Street

Sgt. Lloyd Lockhart, ankle deep in mud, Marseilles, France, 1944, WWII.

Lloyd recalled a method used to neutralize enemy snipers in towns or cities prior to entering them. As snipers usually tended to take position in high places for good observation, the obvious target was the tall towers of the churches. Rather than risk losing men to a potential sniper, it became common practice to destroy the church tower regardless. The FO (Forward Observer), would call in coordinates just ahead of the steeple and define the target.

Lloyd Lockhart beside Tent

“Fire Mission, Grid 63874, direction 5200, church steeple. Adjust fire.” The observer would spot the placement of the round, then correct for just behind the steeple.

Lloyd Lockhart beside his Jeep, Annabeth

Sgt. Lloyd Lockhart with his radio truck, “Annabeth” (named after his wife).

“Short, ten right. Left twenty, add three hundred.” The observer changes the range to be able to bracket the target with the next spotting round. The round falls ahead of the target.

“Over, line. Drop one hundred fifty.” The bracket is split, and the steeple is fixed.

Lloyd Lockhart

Sgt. Lloyd Lockhart, Germany, 1945.

“End of Mission. Target neutralized.”

Lloyd and Annabeth Lockhart

Here are Lloyd and Annabeth today – standing outside a recent Memorial Day window display. Each year we remember the reason we have a holiday: Because so many people sacrificed for our freedom. We also remember a member of the family, Bruce (Lloyd and Annabeth’s nephew), who was killed in action during Vietnam. Here is a closeup of the same window. Be sure to stop by and say hello this weekend, and check out our window display for this year’s Memorial Day.

Memorial Day weekend store window

2 thoughts on “Memorial Day Biography: Lloyd Lockhart – Thank You for Your Service

  1. Tim Morrison

    I thank Mr. Lockhart for his Service to our Country and how many knew the courage it took to be in a forward unprotected position.

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