Patrolman Ernest Eichhorn
Ernest Eichhorn was born August 25, 1925, in Drake, North Dakota, to Frank Eichhorn and Bertha Maesner. He was raised in North Dakota alongside sisters Dorothy Ann, Geraldine, and Carolyn, before the family moved to Puyallup, WA in 1942. Eichhorn graduated from Puyallup High School in 1943, and began working for the Boeing Company.
Eichhorn enlisted in the United States Army on September 13, 1944, during World War II. His two-year tour included time in Japan and he received the Bronze Star for his service.
During his years of service, Eichhorn met the love of his life, Marion Dorn, and the two were married on February 9, 1945.
Eichhorn joined the Washington State Patrol on September 26, 1946, as a clerk based in Tacoma before joining the 14E Cadet Class.
Patrolman Eichhorn received his commission on November 8, 1948, under the leadership of Chief H. W. Algeo and was assigned to Yakima. He resigned his commission on April 18, 1949, only to return to the WSP the next year. Patrolman Eichhorn transferred to Puyallup in September 1953.
Patrolman Eichhorn and his wife, Marion, welcomed three daughters Julie, Jann and Jill.
Patrolman Ernest Eichhorn died on September 16, 1958, at the age of 33. Patrolman Eichhorn was in front of the Puyallup Fairgrounds directing traffic after the fair had closed for the day. He was struck by a drunk driver and died from his injuries three days later. At the time of his death, Patrolman Eichhorn had served twelve years with the Washington State Highway Patrol.
Patrolman Eichhorn’s wife, Marion, passed away in October 2009. Their three daughters, Julie, Jann and Jill live in the Puget Sound area. Patrolman Eichhorn’s sister, Carolyn, lives in Puyallup.
In May of 1998, Patrolman Eichhorn was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on September 16, 1958, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.
On September 16, 2018, a memorial ceremony was held at the Washington State Patrol booth at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup for the 60th anniversary of Patrolman Eichhorn’s passing.