Honoring More World War II Veterans
Attorney William C. Hague and Peter Johnson First Black Veterans Elected to Ecorse City Council
Attorney and local businessman William C. Hague, was one of the first black people to be elected to the Ecorse City Council. He was also the first black person to be elected as a school board member. His fellow council members agreed that his exceptional educational background and temperate attitude were favorable attributes.
Educated as an accountant and attorney, William attended Detroit Northwestern High School, Detroit Institute of Technology, and graduated from the Detroit College of Law. He started his law practice in September 1952.
William Hague’s basic thinking and objectives include the rendering of his services as a councilman to all citizens without unwarranted distinction.
One of his major interests while serving on the council will be “the elimination of waste and reckless disregard of the use of the taxpayer’s dollars which is absolutely necessary if Ecorse is to look to the future rather than be digging out the past.”
During World War II, William Hague served in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
He has been a resident, property owner and taxpayer in Ecorse for more than 12 years. Married, he lives with his wife and four children on Fifteenth Street in Ecorse.
Peter Johnson- One of Two Black Veterans Elected to Ecorse Council
Peter Johnson, 50 year old retired police lieutenant who also served Ecorse as a constable for two years, was one of two blacks elected to the Ecorse Council in 1957.
A 28 year resident of Ecorse, Peter retired in January 1956 after having served with the Ecorse Police Department for 20 years. He has been a member of the First Baptist Church for 23 years.
He has been a member of the Ecorse Goodfellows for 18 years, serving on that organization’s board of directors for twelve years and he was a member of the Honor Roll Committee of World War II Veteran’s organization.
In winning election to the Ecorse Council, Johnson said, “I have reached the finest hour of my life. During my tenure of office as councilman, I promise to work unceasingly for good government and to uphold the dignity of the office to which I have been elected.
Military Governor Carl L. Rhoads, Rebuilding Okinawa
Ecorse Councilman Carl L. Rhoads, a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve, has received orders to attend a two week course in International law, beginning July 29th at the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Councilman Rhoads is presently assigned as an instructor in the Judge Advocate General’s School of the United States Army Reserve, with Headquarters at Fort Wayne, Detroit, and is also assigned as an instructor in Military Law teaching Reserve Judge Advocates at the University of Detroit Law School.
The Virginia course will govern the application of International Law during both war and peace time, with special emphasis in rules of Land Warfare, the Hague Convention, treatment of prisoners of war, the rights and duties upon occupation of enemy territory, treatment of war criminals and other related matters involving international rights of sovereign states.
Upon completion of the course, Rhoads will revert to inactive duty status and will instruct the other reserve Judge Advocates throughout the forthcoming school year, in the subject matter which he will receive at the Judge Advocate General’s School during this period.
Rhoad’s Military career began in 1942 when he enlisted as a private in a Rifle company. After graduating from Officer Candidates School in 1943, he was commissioned as second lieutenant and was soon promoted to first lieutenant and then captain and was ordered to Princeton University as a Civil Affairs office. He went overseas to serve in the far east in 1946.
Politics is nothing new to Rhoads, who became Mayor of Taira, Okinawa, although the manner in which he procured the office is somewhat unconventional as mayoral races go.
According to Rhoads, “I found it much easier to assume the duties of Mayor of Taira than to become elected to the Ecorse Council. I simply marched down the street, well armed with several uniformed soldiers, and proclaimed myself as Mayor of the Town. I took over the police station, announced that I was mayor and nobody questioned my authority.”
Captain Rhoads served as Military Government Officer in the Okinawa campaign and was occupational team leader governing Taira, Okinawa and several surrounding communities. He was among the first troops to fly up to Korea to accept the surrender from the Japanese.