Grand Junction’s fallen heroes

Two World War II heroes have their stories told.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 8:55 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Independent historian and author of Beyond Belief, Douglas Sterner, is highlighting many of Colorado heroes un-told stories from combat.

The book was inspired by Richard Fierro’s heroic act of disarming the gunman at the Club Q shooting last November. The author tells us that’s where he got the idea to profile Colorado heroes.

David Wells Roberts and Vivien Warren Welch, two gentlemen lost in action during World War II got their start with the US Navy in Grand Junction. Roberts served with Naval Intelligence early in his career. Old newspaper clippings about him say he knew more than any man in America about China and Japan, but he would never tell anyone about what he knew. He became known as the man who won’t talk. Roberts went on to be second in command of the USS Huston, in battle the ships captain was killed and Roberts was responsible for getting men off the ship. However, as the old saying goes, he went down with the ship after saving just under 400 men.

Vivien Warren Welch was a Naval Aviator who flew in combat missions. He served as a pilot of a carrier based Navy Dive Bomber attached to the USS Enterprise. He was listed missing in action after the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

Both were awarded the Navy Cross following their deaths. Sterner tells me that award is second, only to the Medal of Honor.