Boy Scouts Troop 301 dedicates building to WWII vet John Kelley

Boy Scouts Troop 301 dedicates building to WWII vet John Kelley
Boy Scouts Troop 301 dedicates kwanset hut to John Kelley (photo credit: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Boy Scouts Troop 301 dedicated a hut in honor of a very important Scoutmaster.

John Kelley served in World War II as a paratrooper. Now, he has a building named after him.

The name on the outside of the building now reads, The John Kelley Troop 301 Boy Scout Hut.

"This building was left over from when the air strip was much larger and it's one of the few remaining kwanset huts in the area," said Greg Stewart, District Commissioner for Spanish Trail District of the Boy Scouts.

It wasn't an easy task. It took a lot of time and volunteers to get it where it is today.

"The last major renovation was probably 30 years ago," Stewart said. "It was leaking, and the tiles were coming down and the floor was a mess. So all of that had to be replaced and torn out, and it's been repainted on the inside, as you can tell."

"I got the Navy seabees together. They came in and did some demolition. Took out all the old insulation, tore down the plywood. Basically gutted to a shell," added Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 301 Michael Edwards.

"It's a real blessing to have a dry, safe building to have meetings in," said Troop 301 Scoutmaster C.J. McClendon.

More than 100 boys and men are members of Troop 301, and they all know John Kelley well.

"Mr. Kelley has been a rock here at the church for Boy Scouts," said Edwards.

"He is an inspiration to all of us," added Stewart.

Kelley said, "Very fortunate. Have been blessed in many, many ways all my life."

The kwanset hut is located behind Trinity United Methodist Church in Gulfport.

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