Honoring a World War II hero
Honoring a World War II hero
Posted on 05/30/2019
Honoring a World War II hero

Victor Leonard Kandle graduated from Puyallup High School in 1939. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940. On December 31, 1944 he was killed in action while serving his country during World War II.

He left behind a wife and a two-year old son.

Army Lieutenant Victor Leonard Kandle was stationed in France when he died. He is buried in the American Cemetery and Memorial in Épinal, France.

PHS CeremonyHe was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumously) for his heroic service.

More than 70 years later, it was past time to honor this local hero. With his son and grandson in attendance, a monument was dedicated to Kandle at Puyallup High School during a ceremony on May 24, 2019.

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and flags were flying in front of Puyallup High School. The Puyallup Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2224 VFW were in attendance dressed in uniform. Puyallup School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Yeomans, and School Board Directors Michael Keaton and Kathy Yang sat in the audience. 

The Rogers High School Army JROTC presented the colors, and the Puyallup High band and choir performed "In Flanders Fields." Puyallup High Principal David Sunich opened the ceremony. Jack Taylor, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Puyallup spoke next, and was followed by key note speaker Washington State Senator Hans Zeiger.

Terry KandleKandle’s son Terry addressed the audience as he raised a shoe box full of letters his father had written to his mother during the war. He said he recently discovered them — his mother had saved more than 500 letters. It helped him to learn about his father, and the one thing that stood out more than anything was the determination Army Lieutenant Victor Leonard Kandle had.

Terry Kandle and Puyallup High Principal David Sunich unveiled the monument together. “After two years of planning and fundraising, we’re pleased to accept this monument at our campus,” said Sunich.

The ceremony ended with the band and choir performing ‘The Army Song’ and ‘Viking Fight Song.’

Over the past two years, members of the Puyallup Valley VFW Post 2224 worked with Puyallup High to raise funds for the monument which has been placed on the school grounds. “Not only is Kandle now permanently remembered, in a sense, [Victor] Leonard Kandle will finally be welcomed home,” reads the VFW news release announcing the May 24 dedication.

“[Victor] Leonard is finally home. You’re not forgotten. Welcome home Leonard,” said Taylor.


Nancy French
frenchnl@puyallup.k12.wa.us