MAN — A bridge spanning the Guyandotte River between the old Man Hospital and Man High School was the site of dedicated services on Sunday, April 29.
Bridge number 23-11/3-0.909 on Route 80 in Man was dedicated in honor of U.S. Navy Cox Joe Gollie. Sponsoring the resolution for the renaming of the bridge was W.Va. Senator Ron Stollings and House of Delegate members Rupie Phillips, Josh Stowers and Ralph Rodighiero.
Gollie entered the U.S. Navy on August 4, 1942, serving as an armed guard and, throughout his service, participating in the Pacific, the European and the North African theaters of operation. Gollie achieved the rank of Coxswain (Cox) and was an E-4 Boatswain’s Mate. In 1944, Gollie was a sailor on the U.S. Armed Merchant Vessel S.S. Andrew G. Curtain when it was sunk in action by a German submarine on January 26, 1944, while on Murmansk Run in the North Atlantic Ocean.
During the sinking of the S.S. Andrew G. Curtain, Gollie abandoned ship in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and was picked up by the HMS Inconstant which took him to Vaenga, Russia, on January 28, 1944. After being transported by ship to Vaenga, he was taken by tugboat to Murmansk, Russia, on January 29, 1944. The S.S. Phillip Livingston took Gollie from Murmansk to Gourock, Scotland, arriving on March 13, 1944, and, from here, he boarded the S.S. Albert C. Ritchie on April 1, 1944, arriving in New York on April 3, 1944. Following his return to the states in April, 1944, Gollie served on the U.S. Armed Merchant Vessel S.S. William Webb and the U.S. Armed Merchant Vessel S.S. Charles Wilson Peale and received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy in 1945. Gollie was awarded several medals for his service to our state, nation and world including the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
Gollie continued to serve his state and his country as a lifelong coal miner in Logan County.
Gollie’s children, Joseph “Joeboy” Gollie of Danville and Shelia Gollie Combs of Man, along with their families and friends, also attended the ceremony.
Joseph Gollie said he was very impressed with the open communication between him and the state representatives who worked on getting this bridge named in the memory of his father.
“The family especially appreciates the efforts of Senator Ron Stollings, Senator Art Kirkendoll, Delegate Rupie Phillips, Man Mayor Jim Blevins, Man Police Department, and the Man Fire Department that allowed this event to be very successful,” said Gollie. “A special thanks to the Daniel Boone VFW Post 5578 of Madison who performed a remarkable twenty-one gun salute with the playing of TAPS.”
A reception followed the ceremony at the Man swimming pool.