Crime & Courts

Names of two S.C. troopers from '30s to be added to national memorial

Two Highway Patrol troopers who died in the line of duty in the 1930s will have their names placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. on May 13, said the state Department of Public Safety in a news release.

Patrolman William Pierre Lancaster was the first S.C. trooper to die in the line of duty on June 9, 1932. Patrolman John Davenport Cunningham was killed on June 1, 1933.

The Highway Patrol is searching for family members of the deceased troopers.

Lancaster's and Cunningham’s names appear on the Department of Public Safety’s line-of-duty deaths list. But it was recently discovered by the Patrol that their names were not part of the national Memorial Wall.

Lancaster was on duty when he was involved in a collision on his motorcycle with a horse buggy in Florence County. He died from his injuries the next day. Lancaster had been a patrolman for six months.

Cunningham was killed while on duty in Spartanburg County when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with another vehicle. Cunningham was a 2 ½ year veteran of the patrol and a native of Laurens County. He was 34 years old when he died.

"We hope that we will be able to locate relatives of the two troopers so they can share in this long overdue and special honor," Highway Patrol Col. Russell F. Roark III said. "We want the families to know that their sacrifices have not been overlooked or forgotten by their state and country."

Anyone with information about surviving relatives of these troopers may call the S.C. Highway Patrol at (803) 896-7920.