Council to consider naming vet cemetery

January 8, 2014 • Local News

City Councilors may consider naming the newly dedicated veterans’ cemetery the “[auth] Gen. Douglas L. McBride Roswell Veterans’ Cemetery” tonight to commemorate the main benefactor and McBride family, who donated the land.

The Building and Lands Committee will meet prior to the council meeting to consider the name suggestion. If approved, the recommendation will be presented to the council at 7 p.m.

The Chaves County Veteran’s Cemetery Board wrote a letter of strong support to the city, requesting the name designation.

“Naming the cemetery as the Gen. Douglas L. McBride Roswell Veterans’ Cemetery seems only fitting,” wrote Col. Ron McKay, board president. “The land was donated by the McBride Foundation in his honor, and Gen. McBride’s distinguished military service brings honor to that location.”

The board formally approved the name request at its meeting Dec. 18.

The veterans’ cemetery was dedicated Dec. 30, at its newly improved grounds adjacent to the South Park Cemetery. The cemetery board and city joined in the past few months to fast-track one acre of the 20-acre parcel. The group expects to begin burials in the next few months, with future plans of seeking state and federal approvals to become officially recognized as a federally recognized cemetery.

McBride, born in 1926, in Wichita Falls, Texas, was a cadet at New Mexico Military Institute. He served with the 88th Infantry Division in Italy during World War II. After the war, he served with the Army Engineers and became the commanding officer of the 305th Engineer Command, Atlantic Region, U.S. Army Reserve.

From 1977 to 1983, McBride served as commanding general in the New Mexico State Guard. He was appointed as special military advisor to Govs. Garrey Carruthers and Bruce King. He spent nearly 37 years as an active duty and reserve officer.

He was also instrumental in the development of the Gen. Douglas L. McBride Military Museum and Hall of Fame, a public museum dedicated to the contributions and sacrifices of New Mexicans to the state, NMMI and to military history.

McBride was chief executive officer of Hanson Operating Company Inc., president of McBride Oil and Gas Corp, and president and co-owner of White Mountain Development Company.

In 1973, he moved to Roswell and became president of Hanson Oil Corp.

He was a member of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Petroleum Institute, the South Texas Geological Society, the Roswell Geological Society, the American Legion, the National Guard Association, the Society of American Military Engineers, the Association of the United States Army, the Reserve Officers Association, the NMMI/Alumni Association and the Retired Officers Association. He was also a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner.

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