MO State HS Sports
U.S. Army Sgt. Hugh Dunn highway signs to be unveiled Thursday evening in Macon County

U.S. Army Sgt. Hugh Dunn highway signs to be unveiled Thursday evening in Macon County

A photo of the 1981 Macon high school football team is still in the popular George’s Pizza in east Columbia (September 28, 2022 photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth)

Highway signs will be unveiled Thursday evening in northern Missouri’s Macon to honor a decorated World War II veteran who’s also been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame.

The late Hugh Dunn died in 2020 at the age of 98.

Missouri’s governor signed legislation last year to rename part of heavily-traveled Highway 63 near Macon high school as the U.S. Army Sergeant Hugh Dunn highway. State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport), the bill sponsor, notes Mr. Dunn earned two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. Mr. Dunn lost his left hand and part of his arm during battle in Germany.

“As he proceeded in this life, he became a fixture in Macon. He was the high school football coach for many, many years and highly respected. He already has several things named after him there in Macon, including the football field,” Basye says.

Hugh Dunn won 234 football games at Macon high school. His record was 234-148-15. He and his teams won six league titles and made four playoff appearances.

Private donations are paying for the highway signs, and Basye praises the Cape Girardeau-based Heroes Way for stepping up.

“They paid for these signs, and are just an awesome organization that was started by a combat vet that lost a good friend of his in combat in Iraq. And they’re based out of (southeast Missouri’s) Cape Girardeau, and they pay for an awful lot of stuff like this,” says Basye.

Tonight’s dedication ceremony begins at 7:30 at the Macon high school. Many veterans and former high school football coaches and players from across the state are expected to attend. American flags will be provided and the colors will be posted tonight. Water will not be provided, so you should plan on bringing your own water to the event.

Kirksville resident Jan Watts, who’s organized tonight’s event, says Mr. Dunn inspired many young athletes to to play hard and to never give up.

“He was a very humble man, kind and true American hero,” Watts says.