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Georgia veterans to be inducted into Hall of Fame

POSTED: October 22, 2017 9:57 p.m.
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Lt. Col. Rembert Gary Rollison

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Two Gainesville U. S. Army veterans, Lt. Col. Rembert Gary Rollison and Lt. Alexander Ramsey Nininger Jr., have been inducted posthumously into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made by 2013 founder of the nonprofit organization, retired Col. Paul Longgrear of Pine Mountain.

“Their framed photos, together with those of the 66 previously selected members, will be prominently displayed on the Heroes’ Wall of the Floyd Building in the State Capitol complex,” he said.

Nininger and Rollison will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the fifth annual Induction Ceremony on Nov. 4 at St. Luke Ministry Center, 301 11th St. in Columbus.

“This annual event is open to the public, and I encourage all interested Georgians to attend,” said retired Col. Rick White, chairman of the board for the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

“Nominees must have ties to Georgia and qualify in one of three categories: valor for heroic action in combat; outstanding achievement while in service, or significant local, state or national contributions after leaving active duty,” White explained.

Lt. Col. Rembert G. Rollison was born in 1943 in Jesup and received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1966, completing Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne and Ranger schools the same year. His first combat duty was with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was cited for his heroic actions during Operation Junction City in Tay Ninh, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star.

He then left the service in 1968, only to return the next year to join the 101st Airborne Division. During a siege in Vietnam with the 101st, he proved himself a most effective combat leader during the Battle at Firebase Ripcord. For his leadership actions during three weeks of intense combat, he was awarded two Silver Stars and the Soldier’s Medal.

Rollison’s assignments would take him to many Army tours for the remainder of his career, both in and outside the country. Upon his retirement in 1987 after 20 years of untiring service to his country, he relocated to Alaska, serving as chief security officer for the Alyeska Pipeline during the Exxon-Valdez oil spill cleanup.

In October 2000, Rollison lost a valiant battle with pancreatic and liver cancer and was laid to rest with full military honors by his fellow rangers in Gainesville.

Born in Gainesville in 1918, Lt. Alexander Ramsey Nininger Jr. was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1942 he was dispatched to the Phillipine Islands near Abucay, Bataan. Although assigned to another company not then engaged in combat, he voluntarily attached himself to a unit that was being attacked by an enemy force superior in firepower.

In hand-to-hand fighting which followed, Nininger repeatedly forced his way into the hostile position. Though exposed to heavy enemy fire, he continued to attack with rifle and hand grenades, thereby destroying several enemies in sniper and foxhole positions.

Although wounded three times, he continued his attacks through enemy lines until he was killed. For his gallantry, Nininger was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first to receive this highest award for valor in World War II. Following his recognition, the U.S. Navy built and named a victory ship in his honor in 1945. This ship continued in service until 1969.

For details on how to register for the induction ceremony, visitors may access the Hall of Fame website at www.GMVHOF.org.

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