Four American Legion members were honored and eight others memorialized during a ceremony May 20 at Whitehall American Legion Post 490, 1117 S. Hamilton Road.

Four American Legion members were honored and eight others memorialized during a ceremony May 20 at Whitehall American Legion Post 490, 1117 S. Hamilton Road.

Among those honored for service to the American Legion were Post 490 members Tony Dattilo, 82, and Don Barber, 60.

Barber, a Collingwood Avenue resident, served 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a crew member on a Lockheed P-3 Orion. The aircraft was a "sub-hunter," said Barber, who was an in-flight electronics technician. He also was responsible for all communication sent and received, even handling classified information.

In an era when radar had limitations, the crew of a P-3 Orion would fly several hundred feet above a body of water, dropping buoys to mark the location of submarines.

Barber logged more than 3,000 hours of flight time during his service in the Navy.

"It was nice to recognized," said Barber, who several years ago transferred his American Legion membership to Post 490 from a post in Pickerington, where he had volunteered as a bartender and at bingo night and other post events. He was recognized for 25 years of service to the American Legion.

Barber and his wife, Carol, have four children and seven grandchildren.

Dattilo, of Wilton Drive in east Columbus, was surprised to learn he was being honored.

"I had no idea (I was being recognized)," said Dattilo, who served four years in the U.S. Air Force beginning in 1954.

A 1949 graduate of the defunct Aquinas High School, Dattilo served overseas in Libya as a supply sergeant before concluding his service at a base in Arizona.

Dattilo is a past post commander of Scioto Post 604 and volunteered at numerous post activities prior to becoming a member of Post 490. Dattilo was recognized for 60 years of service to the American Legion.

Ed Chamberlain was recognized for 25 years of service and William Geiger for 55 years. Two members received "Past Commander" awards: Joe Blais and Jim Refinati.

"It's the first time (we did) an event quite like this and hope it can become an annual event," said Refinati, a past commander of Post 490 and a past 12th District commander of the American Legion, Department of Ohio.

In addition to honoring four members, Post 490 also memorialized eight of its past members.

The Honor Guard of American Legion Post 797, based in Gahanna, performed taps. The names of the eight individuals were added to a memorial wall inside the post.

Guest speakers were Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard, Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Guy Reece II and Jeff Kaufman, the commander-elect of the American Legion, Department of Ohio.