The Army Navy Club of Vicksburg raised a new flag over the Highway 80 bridge over the Mississippi River in honor of Corporal Betty Drake.

In a ceremony today held at the Dick Hall Mississippi Welcome Center on I-20, a new 20 x 30 foot United States Flag was raised on the Old Highway 80 bridge in honor of Corporal Betty Drake. Her child, Mark Posey, and Mark’s wife, State Farm Agent Robyn Lea, along with Mark’s brother Eric were in attendance.

drake
Corp Drake

Corporal Drake enlisted in the US Marine Corps in Birmingham, Alabama, saying she never considered any other branch of service. She trained at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina and attended Paymaster School. After school, she was transferred to the Paymaster Office for the USMC in Arlington, Virginia, at the Navy Yard. The Paymaster Office processed all of the USMC payrolls. Her barracks were in the Henderson Hall at the Navy Yard, and they overlooked Arlington National Cemetery during battles in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima. Following the war’s end, she was discharged from the USMC and returned to her home in Haleyville, Alabama.

As explained in this video, the Army Navy Club takes responsibility for raising the only flag over the Mississippi River “from the headwaters to the Gulf.” This is another source of pride for Vicksburg and the Army Navy Club. Adjutant Norman Francingues explains it in this video:

Two planes from the Southern Heritage Air Foundation, a P-51, and a T-6, did a flyby and then thrilled the crowd by maneuvering a quick turnaround and second low pass to honor Corporal Drake.

The ceremony concluded with the assembled performing a pledge of allegiance to the newly raised flag