Ernest Clineburg was a West York Area High School student when he went from the classroom to the battleground during World War II.
He received medals and ribbons for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, though he didn't talk much about his experiences in Guam and in the Battle of Iwo Jima, said his son, David Clineburg, 55, of West Manchester Township.
"One thing I remember him saying from time to time when I was young was that he didn't get his high school diploma," David Clineburg said. "He left school to serve his country."
The West York Area School District will honor Ernest Clineburg's sacrifice by awarding him a high school diploma about 9:45 a.m. Monday after West York Memorial VFW Post 8951's Memorial Day Parade. The veterans diploma ceremony will be held at the flagpole at the corner of Adams and Orange streets.
Ernest Clineburg died in 1987 at age 62, so David Clineburg said he
will receive the diploma on his father's behalf.
"I think I'll be emotional about it," he said. "I know it's something he always wanted. I might possibly go out to (his) grave and stand with (the diploma). So maybe he'll somehow be aware of it."
'Honored to do this': This is the18th time the West York Area School District will award a diploma to a war veteran, said Emilie Lonardi, the district's superintendent.
The state's public school code allows school districts to award high school diplomas to honorably discharged World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans who were unable to graduate from school because of their military service.
"There's always emotion when we do this," Lonardi said. "The atmosphere is very patriotic. For the school district, we are honored to do this. We try to instill in our students the values of being patriotic and appreciating all the people who went before them."
Marine Corps: Ernest Clineburg was 18 years old when he began serving with the U.S. Marine Corps on March 27, 1943, David Clineburg said. His father was a wireman in the 3rd Marine Division Artillery Forward Observer Team. He was discharged with the rank of corporal on Dec. 15, 1945, and returned to the area, living in West Manchester Township, according to David Clineburg.
For his service, Ernest Clineburg was awarded the certificate of satisfactory service, the good conduct medal, an Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with two stars and the World War II Victory Ribbon, David Clineburg said.
He said his father re-enlisted to serve in the Korean War, becoming a staff sergeant and drill instructor.
After his military days, Ernest Clineburg worked until 1972 for then Shipley Cooling and Heating Co., now York Shipley, his son said.
Afterward, he started Industrial Combustion Specialty in his home. Today, David Clineburg is president of the company, now based in Spring Garden Township.
David Clineburg said several family members will attend West York High School's veterans diploma ceremony, including his brothers, Gary and Bruce Clineburg, both of West Manchester Township.
"I really do think it's a great gesture for (the district) to do this," David Clineburg said. "Especially with the veterans of World War II passing on, it's good to show them that people care about them."
If you go: The West York Area School District will award the late Ernest Clineburg a high school diploma, which will be given to his family about 9:45 a.m. Monday after West York Memorial VFW Post 8951's Memorial Day Parade. The Veterans Diploma Ceremony will be held at the corner of Adams and Orange streets.
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or email@example.com.