WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ander Crenshaw commended the heroism of the late World War II Veteran Clyde L. Hillhouse in a floor speech on December 1, 2009. Legislation naming the White Springs, Florida Post Office after Hillhouse passed the House later in the day.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3667. As has been pointed out, it is a bill to honor Clyde L. Hillhouse by designating the post office at 16555 Springs Street, White Springs, Florida, after this World War II hero who devoted his life to public service.

“Clyde Leroy Hillhouse was born on February 11, 1914, in Hamilton County, Florida, a small county halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. On October 10, 1940, when he was only 25 years old, he answered the call to serve his Nation in patriotic service. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps.

“Mr. Hillhouse was assigned to the 27th Bomb Group and departed with his unit for duty in the Philippines in November of that year. Mr. Hillhouse and his fellow airmen from the 27th Bomb Group were trained as infantry soldiers and fought in defense of Bataan and Corregidor Island from the invading Japanese forces. After the eventual fall of Corregidor Island, Mr. Hillhouse was captured and held as a POW by the Japanese forces and survived the infamous Bataan death march where it is estimated that 30 percent of all of the prisoners were brutally killed by their captors.

“For over 2 years, Mr. Hillhouse was assigned to slave labor unloading ships in Manila. In July 1944, he was sent to Japan on a freighter where he was kept as a prisoner until his release at the end of the war.

“Like so many people in his generation, Mr. Hillhouse returned to his life and family after the war in White Springs with little discussion about the torture and the atrocities that he had endured and witnessed as a prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years. In fact, Mr. Hillhouse continued his public service and became an employee of the United States Postal Service.

“Both he and his wife, Sarah, worked at the White Springs Post Office from July 14, 1947, until his retirement on January 19, 1973.

“Mr. Speaker, I believe as elected Members of Congress we have an obligation and duty to honor and protect the veterans of our Nation. Those who put their lives on the line so we as Americans can have the security and freedom that we enjoy in this great country deserve the utmost recognition, and I believe the designation of this post office is a fitting tribute to a man who valiantly served in the armed services, survived slave labor and POW camps, and continued to serve his Nation as postmaster. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this legislation.”