Memorial Advisory Board

  The World War II Memorial Advisory Board was established through 1993 legislation to promote donations to support construction of the memorial to be located on the National Mall, and to assist the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) in site selection and design. President Bill Clinton appointed the board members on September 28, 1994.

Three members died prior to the May 29, 2004 dedication of the memorial: William C. Ferguson, Sr., a WWII Tuskegee Airman; Bill Mauldin, an award-winning political cartoonist best known for “Willie and Joe,” two weary, trudging WWII foot soldiers; and Sarah McClendon, a national newspaper reporter and columnist who volunteered for the WACS during WWII and earned an officer’s commission.

Commissioner Peter Wheeler

Peter Wheeler has been commissioner of veterans affairs for the state of Georgia for more than 50 years. Wheeler served in the Army from 1942-46, and continued in the Georgia Army National Guard until his retirement in 1978 in the grade of brigadier general. He is past president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. His leadership provided for extensive veterans facilities in Georgia.

Admiral Ming E. Chang, USN (Ret)

Rear Admiral Ming Chang of Virginia had a distinguished 34-year career in the U.S. Navy, receiving four awards of the Legion of Merit (Combat V) and a Bronze Star (Combat V). Prior to his retirement in 1990, he served as the inspector general for the U.S. Navy, Washington, D.C.

Miguel Encinias

Dr. Miguel Encinias served in the Army Air Corps and Air Force in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He flew 70 missions in World War II, and was shot down and held prisoner for 15 months. In the Korean conflict, he flew 113 missions, was shot down, rescued and returned to duty. He flew 40 missions in the Vietnam War. Dr. Encinias, an educator with emphasis on Hispanic studies, has been awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Air Medals and two Purple Hearts.

Helen N. Fagin

Dr. Helen Fagin, a survivor of the Holocaust, retired as professor of English and director of Judaic studies at the University of Miami, Florida. She served on the content committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and as chairman of the museum's education committee. Dr. Fagin represented the advisory board on ABMC's WWII Memorial Committee. She lectures and trains teachers in the moral lessons of the Holocaust, and was appointed to the Florida task force for teaching about prejudice and lessons of the Holocaust.

Mack G. Fleming

Mack Fleming was staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs, and served as special assistant to the administrator of veterans affairs. An attorney from South Carolina, he served in the U.S. Army in Europe from 1956-58 and as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Fleming earned a bachelor of science degree from Clemson University and a law degree from Washington College of Law, American University.

Melissa A. Growden

Melissa Growden is the granddaughter of Roger Durbin, the World War II veteran who provided the initial impetus for the legislation authorizing the World War II Memorial. Growden graduated from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan, and earned a master of arts degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. Listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, she is an art historian and holds other positions in higher education.

Jess Hay

Jess Hay chairs the Texas Foundation for Higher Education and currently serves on the boards of directors of SBC Communications, Inc., Viad Corporation, and Trinity Industries, Inc. Prior to his retirement in 2001, he also served on teh board of directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation. He served as CEO of the Lomas Financial Group from 1965 until his retirement in 1994, is a former finance chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a former member and chairman of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.

Jon A. Mangis

Jon Mangis is Virginia's Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, a post he has held since 2003. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961-65, including a tour in Southeast Asia, and served with the Army National Guard from 1974 until retiring as a sergeant major in 1995. His father, a World War II B-17 pilot shot down in Holland, is buried at ABMC's Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten.

John William "Bill" Murphy

Bill Murphy, a World War II Marine Corps veteran, has been a veterans' advocate for nearly 50 years. A practicing attorney and former state representative, he was chairman of the Arkansas Commission on Veterans Affairs, and was elected national vice commander of the American Legion in 1992. He is an active member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Purple Heart Society, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Raider Association.