Vernise A. Swearingen, 43, former Ellensburg resident, died Friday in a Tacoma Hospital from injuries received earlier last week in an accident at the Seattle-Tacoma shipyards where he was employed as a rigger.
Plant officials reported that he was crushed while unloading steel plates when he slacked off on a safety line too soon and the plates tipped over on him.
A veteran of World War I, Swearingen had enlisted for service in this war WWII, but was discharged because of a physical disability. He was awarded the Silver Star, Order of the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Meritorious Service Cross for his first World War activity when he was a member of Company G. 26th Infantry, First Division.
At the Battle of Soissons, his company attacked a machine gun nest, and he received a wound in the arm from an explosive bullet. He continued the charge and captured seven Germans in a trench, forcing them at pistol point to carry him to a dressing station.
Vern was the son of Richard Swearingen and Martina Brown. He married Martha McEwen on November 15, 1919 in Ellensburg, WA.