THOSE WHO SERVED
veterans were interviewed and/or researched by 10th-grade students
in Mike Gilbert’s 20th Century Global Studies classes at
BRADLEY JAMES ARNOLD, Operation Enduring Freedom
SUMMER MARTI-KINI ARNOLD, Operation Enduring Freedom
ROY BIGGS, 1950-1952
LLOYD L. BISCHOFF, Korean Conflict
DOUGLAS A. BOYTIM, Operation Enduring Freedom
WILLIAM W. BREHM, World War II
HENRY EDWARD BREYMAN, Korean Conflict
LEROY E. CLAYTON, World War II
ALEXANDER SCOTT COOK, Operation Enduring Freedom
RANDY LEE COOK, 1978-1982
CARL COOLEY, World War II
GLENN ALLEN COONROD, World War II
JOHN H. COX, Vietnam War
PETE DAYRINGER, World War II
EUGENE DIERKSHEIDE, 1958-1961
ROBERT DOLWECK, 1974-1978
CASIMIR DOROBEK, World War II
HENRY R. DOROBEK, World War II
JOSE FLORES, World War II
ROMEO GALAMGAM, Operation Enduring Freedom
JOHN M. GORDON, World War II
ROBERT H. GUTHRIE, 1954-1962
JOHN HACKENBURG, World War II
ROBERT F. HALL, World War II
JOE HALM, World War II
ROBERT DECK HENSLEY, Korean Conflict
RICHARD HESLET, Korean Conflict
MARVIN HINES, 1960-1968 (including Vietnam War)
CHARLES HULL, World War II
HERBERT KING, World War II
HERBERT J. KISER, World War II
BOB LAMB, Vietnam War
JOHN LIMESTAHL, World War II
ART LUNDGARD, World War II
GLENN MADDY, World War II
CHARLES H. MEEK, Korean Conflict
EMERSON B. MESSINGER, Korean Conflict
JAMES WALTER O’BRIEN, World War II
PATRICK W. O’BRIEN, JR., World War II
RALPH WILBER O’BRIEN, World War II
CHARLES W. PORTER, World War II
TOM REED, 1980-1983
JOE REYES, 1982-2005 (including Operation Enduring Freedom)
JOHN ROUSH, Vietnam War
MAYNARD G. SANDERS, World War II
ARTHUR SHILEY, Vietnam War
GERARD W. SMITH, World War II
JAMES R. SPIELDENNER, Korean Conflict
JAMES F. SPRIGGS, Korean Conflict
TIMOTHY STEAGER, Korean Conflict
KATHY STIERWALT, 1995-Present (2007)
CARL E. STOUT, World War II
RICHARD THORBAHN, World War II
RAY TOEPPE, Korean Conflict
WAYNE S. TRICK, Post World War II
CHARLES WAGNER, World War II
JOHN C. WEAVER, World War II
HAROLD J. WHITCOMB, 1940-1949 (including World War II)
JOHN A. WHITE, World War II
MILLARD “MERNIE” WHITE, World War II
THOMAS E. WHITE, World War II
JAMES E. WILDMAN, Defense Industry 1961-2007
STEVEN R. WILDMAN,
EDWARD BERNARD WILHELM, Korean Conflict
THOMAS JOSEPH WILHELM, Vietnam War
MARY ELLEN MELLICH WONDERLY, World War II, Elkton Triumph Explosives
ROBERT WONDERLY, World War II
RONALD EUGENE YOUNG, Vietnam War
ELLSWORTH NORMAN ZERBE, Korean Conflict
Enduring Freedom, Senior Airman,
brother, Bradley, was born on September 2, 1985, in
his time in
Bradley- I joined the Air Force right out of high school back in 2003, so almost four years now.
Arnold- Where are you currently located?
Bradley- Currently I am located in
Arnold- Have you spent most of the four years over seas?
Bradley- No, I spent two years stationed in
Arnold- Do you know any places that you will go in the future?
Bradley- Yes, within a few weeks I will be leaving for
Arnold- How long will you be in
Bradley- My wife and I are stationed here until February of 08 and then we are to be moved somewhere new. We are hoping to be stationed somewhere in states so we can be closer to the family.
Bradley- My job is called a Civil Engineer and my specialty is Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
Bradley- I have two different guns, the M16 and the M9.
Bradley is a Civil Engineer. His profession is in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. His main job is to build a base, then defend that base, and then tear it down when they leave. Their main purpose is to keep the runway clear and useable when they are under attack. While under attack he has to keep the planes up in the sky at all cost and keep the bombs on the target. But when he is in normal operations, he has to take care of all the AC in tent city, chow hall, and the morgue. His job also calls for tent build up and tent tear down and to support the security police.
Enduring Freedom, Senior Airman,
Summer was born on
August 10, 1981, in
She studied abroad in
Summer went into the Force as “Open General”, which means that she didn’t know the career she wanted. She was placed as a dental assistant and now she really enjoys it. While living in the Saipan Hall on Anderson AFB, she met my brother, Bradley. They were married on August 4, 2006.
Summer- I am in the Air Force and have been in here since August 04.
Arnold- Where are you currently located?
Summer- Currently I am located in
Arnold- Have you spent the whole three years there
Summer- No I have only been here since January 2005. Before here I was at Lackland AFB and Sheppard AFB
Arnold- How long will you be in
Summer- I will live here until February 2008 and then we are moved to new place. Hopefully instate, that way I get to meet you guys.
Summer- No I am from
Summer- My job is a Dental Assist but I help out in other places too.
Summer’s job as a Dental Assistant is to help keep service members ready to different parts of the world. They have to make sure that all members go through an annual exam and cleaning. If the patients are not up to the standards, they are put into Class 3. Class 3 means that they are not able to deploy until that condition is taken care of.
Summer does the cleaning and also assist a dentist in procedures like fillings, crown preparations, root canals, and wisdom teeth extractions. She is also in charge of maintaining the oral surgery room at her clinic. In order to be a Dental Assistant, Summer has to be able to perform tasks like taking and developing x-rays, taking impressions, making molds, set-up and break-down on the procedures, stock supplies, give fluoride treatments, instrument sterilization for the entire medical group, and various administrative duties. Summer gives oral hygiene briefings at the First Term Airmen’s Center and maintains the crash cart for medical procedures. She also has to keep the monitor for their biopsy/consult program ready for any patients that may have high blood pressure, heart murmur or lumps/bumps/sores in the mouth that may be cancerous.
For the medical group, she is assigned to the Decontamination team (picture in newspaper). In case of an emergency situation, she would have to set up an emplace decontamination system outside of the medical facility to sanitize contaminated patients before they enter the building. The Wear chem. Suits, boots, gloves, and a breathing apparatus that has a filter, that way they don’t breath in the bad stuff.
Through out the base, she is assigned to the Search and Recovery team. This team is only activated if they have to go out and recover items. The items could be anywhere from recovering body parts to mechanical parts. Usually they are only activated if there is a plane crash or some other casualty. They form a chain of people all across the area. Each item they recover is bagged, tagged, and then photographed.
Q. What division did you sign up for?
A. I didn’t sign up I was drafted into the army.
Q. what was your job?
A. I was a radioman, I spoke in Morse code
Q. what rank were you?
A. I got an honorable discharge as an active corporal.
Q. what war were you in?
A. The Korean War.
Q. what area were you stationed?
A. I was stationed at Strobin
Q. how long was you in the service?
A. Two years.
Q. What’s your most remembered memory?
A. Driving through towns and their houses made out of stone or brick only for defense.
Q. What was it like returning from war?
A. it wasn’t anything different people treated me the same and went our separate ways.
Q. Where you trained?
Roy Biggs job was to be the radioman. He had to listen to certain frequencies all day a listen to translate them. He was a Morse code talker. His job was to send messages to our team and try to intercept messages that were being sent from one enemy base to another enemy base.
Some of the comrades
that he was stationed with had the job to try to defend the
As a child growing up he lived a pretty normal
life. His favorite thing to do was to go
fishing. When he was nineteen years old
he was drafted into the army. “I chose to be
drafted rather then volunteer because if you volunteered then you would have to
stay for four years, but if you were drafted you would only have to stay for
two years.” He was trained in
Roy Biggs did have a very important job though. Just because he didn’t do as much shooting as everyone else did, he had the job to make sure that everyone who was shooting was in a safer area and would remain alive. He had to radio with Morse code to tell where the enemy was where they were attacking from, and if our men were in a safe position where they wouldn’t be killed or ambushed.
“I remember going
through the towns on the way to my station, passing broken down houses with
some families stranded. I remember
Some of the people would pick up bricks from their old houses that had fallen and the bricks that were still good they would clean off and reuse them.
LLOYD L. BISCHOFF’S STORY
Lloyd L. Bischoff was born on
August 11, 1929. He grew up in the
training was completed, he headed off into the service. He left for
7 months in
by Zach Kiser, 2007
Enduring Freedom, 2nd
Douglas A. Boytim
At Tyndall Air Force Base, he
Training for Non-Parachuting Water
Survival was held at Fairchild Air Force Base in
Doug then went to Tinker Air Force
Doug was shipped over to
I failed to obtain information on
his exact location, but received a lot on his duties, squadron, and current
situation. He is projected to be back to
As in training and in service, Doug’s main duty is on the plane he is assigned to and direct troops on the ground. He uses computers, satellites, and ground men as sources to know what to transmit to others. He is trained and could if needed, to deploy to the ground level and participate in rescue missions. Most of his duties I am told are in the aircraft directing ground forces and leading them to where they need to go. Doug also said that he is disappointed that he doesn’t get to fly the plane.
Douglas A. Boytim
was born on June 22, 1983 to Tom and Terry Boytim of
Doug graduated from BGSU with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Criminal Justice in August of 2005. During those years, he participated in an internship with the Delaware Police Department.
From May of 1998 to August of 2005,
Doug worked long hours at Donatos Pizza in
Hobbies that Doug enjoys are jetskiing, shooting certain weapons, hunting, fishing, most sports, and off-roading in his jeep or in his truck. Usually he does most of those things with me, but it has been a while.
by Rebekah Hubbs, 2007
1935-1963, World War II,
Picture: William Brehm 1
This photo was
taken on February 28, 1952. “Real
Admiral Tom B. Hill, Chief of Staff to the Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, awards
Distinguished flying cross to Commander William W. Brehm,
Picture: William Brehm 2
This picture was taken of William just after he was awarded the Cross.
Interview with William W. Brehm
Q: How old were you when you signed up to go into the military? A: I was 18 when I went to the naval academy.
Q: Why did you go into the service?
A: I went into the military because of the Depression; my
father could no longer afford my college tuition at
Q: How many years did you serve? A: I served from 1935-1963.
Q: Where did you go for basic training/ boot camp?
A: I went to the naval academy in
Q: What did you do while at boot camp?
A: I didn't go to boot camp; I went to the naval academy. It is specialized technical school for young men who wanted to become naval officers. At the school I had to take many classes on mathematics, science, and many classes on naval history.
Q: What was your first duty station?
A: I was sent to sea on the cruiser
Q: What did you do there?
A: I had a different duty each year I was there. The
first year I was assigned to the gunnery division. Under my supervision I had
four, five inch anti-aircraft guns. My second year I was assigned as assistant
navigator to the captain of the ship. I made sure that the ship stayed on
course. The last year I was there I was assigned as engineer supervisor in the
fire/engine rooms. During this time, while on the
Q: What conflicts did you serve in?
A: I was in World War II. One of the battles I was in was when a group of
Japanese picket boats started firing on the
Q: What were your locations while in service?
A: I was in so many places I don't know if I can remember
all of them. I was in
Q: What was the best part of being in the service?
A: Meeting and marrying my wife Alice, all of the traveling all over the world, and I remember talking in high school to my friends about how I wanted to be in a plane, over the Mediterranean and having Greece on one side of me when I looked down, then have Africa on the other side of me. I actually got to do it, it was really fun.
Q: Did you make any friends while in the service?
Oh yes, I had a lot of friends; I think my best friend was my roommate at the
naval academy. His name was Don Furlong, I think he might live up in
Q: What was the worst thing about serving?
A: There wasn't anything really bad, I didn't get hurt and I saw the world, what's not to love.
Q: What was the worst thing you encountered?
A: The combat of course, the close air support and getting shot at and being in a propeller plane that I would have to spray the enemy with I don't know what. I remember a time when I was up in the air and came back to ship and then when I got out of the plane I looked at the one wing and there were seven holes in it. And because I was the only person on board who was able to fly two types of planes I was in a lot of little battles, but luckily I was never hurt.
Q: What was the hardest thing you had to do?
A: The hardest things were the situations where I got into trouble, if I was getting shot at or ground fire, just knowing that every time I went out could be my last time, it was scary.
Q: What equipment did you get to use?
A: I got to fly planes, fighter jets, bombers, I got to fly the "good stuff'. I got to fly Corsairs, which is a bent wing fighter, one of the better planes I got to fly. I got to fly a British fighter, the Spit Fire. I also got to fly F4F, F6F, F8F, F9F, F4U, AD and TBM bombers, and SBD which was a famous airplane that wasn't fast but was an air bomber that could drop 500 to 5000 pound bombs in 20 minutes. By myself I destroyed three of the biggest Japanese carriers at the battle of Midway, June 1942.
Q: What was your highest rank and highest honor (award)?
A: My highest honor was that, I was awarded three
distinguished flying crosses. Charles Lindbergh was the first to receive it and
President Coolidge presented it to him. My highest rank was Captain, next was
Real Admiral. I commanded ships, and air groups. My last job was in
Q: What did you do when you got out of the service?
I looked for a job, came back to
Q: Would you do it all over again?
A: Of course I would if I got the opportunity. I would probably branch out a little bit and get more certifications or something.
While I was interviewing my
uncle, he mentioned one memory that stuck out in his mind. He told me that while he was in
Korean Conflict, Seaman 1st Class
My grandfather, Henry Edward Breyman, was born on April 13, 1930 to Henry and Alma Breyman. He was born
1941: Drafted (before
1942: Inducted into Army
1942: Basic training,
1942: Armored training in
1943-1944: Transferred to amphibious brigade in
1944-1946: Amphibious brigade was transferred to
Somewhere along the line, had intelligence and security
retired from the cost accounting department of the Clyde Whirlpool Division and
was a life member of the Outdoor Writers of America. For many years, he wrote a monthly
fly-fishing column for the Outdoor Beacon.
Also, he was involved in Boy Scouts at both troop and district
levels. In his later years, he was a
docent at the Hayes Presidential Center.
Some organizations he belonged to included:
died on Sunday, June 29, 2003, at his home (
Dec. 26, 1917 – June 29, 2003
LeRoy E. “Roy” Clayton,
by Ashley Cook, 2007
Scott Cook is a Sergeant in the US Army and has been in the service for about 3
years and has served in
received his 1st injury on March 24, 2007 while attempting to blow a
door off its hinges to get in the building but not being aware that another
bomb was set from the inside. Alex was injured in the leg by shrapnel and also
was shot in his hip. Another soldier was
injured badly in the head and wouldn’t be returning to the Army, but after some
healing Alex would be. He took 2 weeks off and was sent back to
had many encounters with civilians in
A Sergeant in the Army usually plans special operations communications and employs conventional and unconventional warfare tactics and techniques in communications. Proficient in and the instruction of the installation, operation and employment of FM, AM, VHF, UHF, and SHF radio systems to send and receive radio messages in voice, waves, and codes. They are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of tactical and operational communications and communication equipment. They plan, prepare and assist in targets in an area.
Cook is a veteran of the Marines. He was trained in
A Marine Sergeant assists the commander as senior enlisted in the unit. They are required to keep track of all policies of the commander. As a sergeant they report to the commander on the status of matters dealing with the operation of the command and also interview and counsel enlisted personnel on professional and personal matters which may affect the efficiency of the command. They also assist the commander in the conduct of office hours and participate in ceremonies, gatherings and briefings, and also assumes other duties designated by the commander.
CARL COOLEY’S STORY
When World War II rolled around it
was typical for the young men to go off to war.
Carl Cooley was one of many young American soldiers who went overseas to
take part in World War II. He is also
one of the few who survived the war and came home to tell his story. Carl Cooley's life story started on January
7, 1925, however, my story begins the day he became a
GLENN ALLEN COONROD’S STORY
was born on October 31, 1921, in
In Loving Memory of
GLENN ALLEN COONROD
Beloved Husband of
MILDRED (THOMPSON) COONROD
OCTOBER 31, 1921
SEPTEMBER 22, 1997
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1997
REV. JAMES R. BELCHER, PASTOR
by Taylor Brown, 2007
Name: John H. Cox
Rank: Navy Captain, Officer Grade Six, Level Six
Job Description: Naval officer.
During the Vietnam War, he was chief engineer of a nuclear submarine, and about half the crew worked under him. He took care of mechanical, electrical, and chemical systems on the submarine.
In charge of the nuclear reactor on submarines.
Commanded nuclear submarines.
submarine base in
Commander of all submarine bases in the Atlantic Command.
John H. Cox
joined the military for the education and because he knew that there was a
pretty good retirement plan. After high school, he attended the
It was bad weather that set the
stage for the remainder of his career. While on patrol near
His first assignment was to the
submarine USS Ray. On each of the ships he served, he was in charge of all
aspects of the nuclear power plant, except for the Sargo
on which he served as the ship’s commander. Later, he commanded a submarine
Mr. Cox believes that submarines were important to the conduct of the war, but were not as vital as the surface navy or attack aircraft. Mr. Cox said it would be a great opportunity if he could explain exactly what he really did in the war, but it’s still classified information. He recommended reading a book called “Blind Man’s Bluff” to get a better idea of his experiences. He also believes that submarines played a big part in the cold War. The Russians could design as well as American engineers could, but we kept a technological edge. Our subs always had the upper hand.
Mr. Cox explained that the reason some of the things he did in the war are still classified is because submarines do things electronically, and it would be easy for someone to develop the same capability if they knew the US were doing it. So the military doesn’t advertise what they do very much. He said that that is why it is so difficult to get funding for submarines.
Mr. Cox explained that submarines were each originally named after fish. The first ship he was on was the USS Ray, and the second one was the USS Pentado. Now submarines are named after states and cities. Mr. Cox served as executive officer on the USS Memphis.
A PERSONAL STORY BY JOHN COX
One time when I was in command [of a nuclear submarine] we had a problem in one of the channels in part of the reactor protection, so we started up on the side where the protection was good. We’d run for twelve hours or so, and then we’d shut it down again and go and work on it and try to get it back up within about one hour. We had to do that over and over again.
There were a lot of requirements you had to meet in order to do that, to safeguard the reactor and the submarine. The reason we had to get it running again was that we were [supposed to stay] in an imaginary box so many miles from a point that kept moving, geographically. We would run up to get so many hours ahead [to the front of the box] to stay in the box while we [had the reactor shut down, meaning there was no power to propel the boat, and] were working to fix it. That way we didn’t have to communicate with the surface. You almost never communicate because if you do you are sending out a signal that somebody else could detect, and you want to stay hidden. On a submarine you don’t ever want to be detected.
by Anna Dayringer, 2007
Picture: Pete Dayringer
(June 14, 1920 – June 30, 1987)
Pete Dayringer was deployed for World War Two on May 26, 1942. His main position was Corporal. This was above the Private rank and below a Sergeant. A Corporal and a Sergeant all made sure that the orders of the day were carried out. He was in the Artillery division and was responsible for maintaining and firing the cannons. He was also in the 140th Field Battalion.
He was in
continuous hand-to-hand combat in the jungles of the South Pacific region as
My grandfather Pete fought in World War Two for over four years. Unfortunately, he died before I was born so I never got to hear stories from his experiences. However, he shared a few of the better memories with my father when he returned home.
One story he shared was one that could have ended his life. One day during the war he was riding in the front seat of an Army jeep when they were fired upon. He attempted to jump out of the moving vehicle but his wedding ring got caught on the grommet of the canvas connected to the metal frame.
This caused him to get stuck in the jeep while it drove through a field of fire. Miraculously, he survived. However, this had been too close of a call and he sent his wedding ring back to my grandmother until he returned home.
Grandfather had another story he often told. While stationed in
The soldiers began firing every time a noise would seem close. They stayed up all night afraid that the enemy was closing in.
When the sun came up they all rose out of the holes to see they had been shooting at a water buffalo all night that had been grazing in the field. It was covered in machine gun holes, but was amazingly still standing.
Locations Of Service
by Derek Weikert, 2007
The Veteran I chose to interview for my history project was my grandfather, Eugene Dierksheide.
Q: What was your job(s) and your rank?
A: My job was a general medical officer and my rank was a captain.
Q: What other ranks were there besides a captain?
A: There was a base commander, which was also a Colonel, then captain, then a lieutenant.
Q: What war were you in, if one, and how many years did you sever in?
A: I was not in a war, I was in the U.S. Military and I served from 1958 to 1961
Q: What was the Military like?
A: It was an air force base and it divided into three ways. The first way was a defense command, which defended the country. The second way was the tactical air command, which deployed around the word as needed. And finally the third way was the strategic air command, which had nuclear capabilities.
Q: What other jobs were there?
A: There was a flight surgeon that was responsible for medical care of flight personal. And the general medical officer, which I was, that was responsible of welfare of the line personal and all family members. Also there were two dentists and a veterinarian.
Q: How many medical officers were there?
A: There were three and I was one of them.
Q: Finally, what made you go into the Military?
A: When I finished medical school I had no reason to go into service, but I felt I had to and I chose to do so. I thought it was right to do and the government let me finished my medical education.
Job Description for Eugene D.
Eugene Dierksheide was in the U.S. Military serving for three years. He was not in any war; he was just serving as a general medical officer in the Air Force. He also had no reason to do so but he felt it was right to and it was appropriate at the time. He got the chance to serve because he got to finish medical school and he took it.
He was a
captain in the Air Force. He was
responsible of welfare of the line personal and all family members. What he basically did was when someone was
injured from flying or just working on a plane; usually F-102’s were
there. There wasn’t much going on during
this time because a war wasn’t being taken place. But one day there was a working fixing a F-102 and tar exploded and took his hand right off. Also when they have illnesses all the minor
ones they would work on and the major ones that could make it would be sent to
Personal Story of Eugene D.
Eugene Dierksheide was a general medical officer. He served for about three years. He didn’t deal with huge operations nor did he deal with big things like people or soldiers that were in combat. At this time of his service from 1958 to 1961 all he did was in the air force. His job wasn’t huge but just helping out was good enough for him.
thing he had to deal with while in the military was one day one of his workers
that was working on an airplane tar exploded and took the guy’s hand right
off. Usually what they would do for a
minor incident is take care of him but if it was a major problem they would
life flight him right up to
By Corinne Hammer, 2007
Robert Dolweck=s Interview
What division of the military were you in?
Bob: I was in the Army.
When & why did you enlist into the Army?
Bob: I enlisted on November 11th
1974 [Veteran=s Day] because I was just out of
high school here, and really needed some work.
What kind of rank did you have?
Bob: I left the military as a PFC [Private First Class].
Where were you stationed at?
Bob: I left from the
What was your job at
Bob: I helped with the training of infantry soldiers. I worked in a sort of video library. The guys I worked with and I would help keep the videos in order and show them to the training infantry men.
How did you feel about your job?
Bob: Well, it was an 8-5 job, pretty normal. We had fun, and it wasn=t really hard work. But, we still had to take orders and stay there most of the day.
What did you do during your free time?
Bob: Pretty much just hung around
the guys. We bowled a lot, there was a bowling alley
on the base. [Benning]. We
got to drink, as well. While at Benning, we [other
guys and I] took off to
What kinds of friends did you have in the military and how did you guys get to hang out with each other?
Bob: I actually enlisted with my
best friend from
So, when and why did you leave the military?
Bob: Well, my enlistment was up, I kind of wanted to get back home, and get a more permanent job. I was 21 actually, only there for about 4 years.
Have any stories?
Bob: Well, when I was in
by Alayna Dorobek, 2007
War II, Signalman 3-C,
Picture: Casimir Dorobek
Interview with Casimir Dorobek
A-What is your full name?
C- Well it was Kazmierez Dorobek until I changed it to the English name, Casimir.
A-When were you born and where?
September 29, 1916 in
A-How many brothers and sisters do you have and what are you (oldest, youngest)?
C-I had five brothers and two sisters. I was the third
oldest but now I am the oldest of those who are still alive. I have a brother
A-Where did you grow up?
C-On the Prairie, on
A-When did you decide to join the service?
A-How old were you?
A-What were you doing?
C-Working at Herbrants
A-Why did you decide to join the service?
C-I joined the Navy because I didn’t want to be drafted into the army. To also do my duty.
A-When did your brothers, Brownie and Henry, join the service?
C-Well I went down to see Brownie in Pensicola in ’41. When Henry left for overseas we both got drunk and that was in ’42. That was the last time I saw him.
A-Do you remember discussing joining together?
C-No, Brownie was already gone, and Henry was about to leave. Whatever you wanted to do you did.
A-What branch of military did you serve?
A-Where did you train?
C-Well I had boot camp at Great Lakes,
A-Can you explain to me the everyday demands of boot camp life?
C-Oh it was a pain in the ass but you had to do what you had
to do. I didn’t like it, but most of us didn’t. They would wake you up real
early to do the craziest things. I was only there about forty days when I was
then selected to go to signal school at the
A-What was your highest rank?
A-Where were you stationed during the war?
C-Well, I wasn’t ever permanently stationed. My first ship
was the Aristides, which was a merchant ship. I was mostly on merchant
ships. I was a signalman with the
captain. We would haul troops to parts of
A-How was it being away from home?
C- You didn’t really pay attention. Everyone wanted to get out of service, but there wasn’t any way and you needed to serve your duty.
A-How was it knowing your brothers were fighting and defending the country with you?
C-I was always worried about them. The last time I saw Henry
was when we got drunk in
A-What was your job during the war, explain?
C- Well I was a signalman aboard merchant ships. You had two watches. You had four hours every twelve hours and there wasn’t much to do at night since you couldn’t see anything or send anything. You couldn’t use smoke or lights. You used different flags and lights to give signals to other ships. And you also interpreted signals. If you were in trouble you manned guns.
A-Did you ever make any life long friends during the war?
C- Well everyone is your friend. I joined with Willie Chudinski but we got separated once I was sent to signal school. He died about a year ago.
A-What were you decorated for?
C-Well we were in the Mediterranean in a convoy going to
A-What was your opinion of WWII?
C-you don’t form an opinion when you’re in service unless you see action.
A-What kind of weapons did you use?
C-Well I used a 20mm and a magazine. The magazine had about
50-60 rounds. And by the time someone went below deck to the arsenal to get
ammo for the magazine you would already be out.
A-What changes do you remember after the war being over?
C-I was on the G.I. Bill and you had to find a job. I quit
at Herbrants and then went to
A-What happened once the war was over?
C- I sat in
A-How was the food?
C- It wasn’t too bad on the ship. You didn’t eat much.
A-What did you do for free time?
C-We played cards and we couldn’t drink booze because there wasn’t any and it wasn’t the right thing to do. I kept two bottles of mine though.
A-Did you write many letters?
C- No because I was out at sea lot and when I did I would drop them off at port. The bad thing was it would take a year for mail to get to you.
A-What advice would you give to servicemen?
C-I wouldn’t give advice there isn’t much to say.
A-What about Americans not in service?
C-well during my time, the war was on so you joined, and had to go because of the draft.
A-Do you have an opinion about the war in
C-I would say we better get out but you can’t now. I don’t think we should have gotten in. People blame Bush but all of them are the blame.
A-What do you have to say about any war and being in service?
C-War is no good, but it will always be the same. There are a lot of wars being fought right now that we don’t even know or care about. People join for different reasons, like some need money or just to serve their duty.
A BROTHERHOOD OF SERVICE
and Edward were all born to
Signalmen are usually stationed on warships sending and receiving messages. They send messages using flashing lights, semaphore, and flights. They prepare headings and addresses for out-going messages, process messages; encode and decode message headings, operate voice radio, maintain visual signal equipment, render passing honors to ships and boats, and display ensigns and personal flags during salutes and colors. They perform duties of lookouts, send and receive visual recognition signals, repair signal flags pennants and ensigns, take bearings, recognize visual navigational aids, and serve as navigator’s assistants. Signalmen must have normal color perception and visual acuity must be correctible to 20/20. Training includes lectures and practical exercises covering visual communications procedures, including Morse code, flag identification and signaling, publications, flashing light drills and positions, as well as message construction and procedures. Signalmen work outdoors primarily aboard USN deploying ships.
Casey Dorobek was aboard SS Cavalcade, a merchant ship in a large
convoy of about 400 ships. They were in the Mediterranean Sea going to
by Alayna Dorobek, 2007
War II, 2-D Lieutenant, 45th Division, 157th
Picture: Henry Dorobek
Henry R. Dorobek
Hank, was born on May 15, 1924 to
Henry was a
part of the 45th division of the 157th infantry unit and
joined them as they entered
was brought back to
A BROTHERHOOD OF SERVICE
Casimir, Henry, and Edward were all born to
Henry was stationed in
Marlene Downs joined the National
Guard to pay for her education. Then she would not have to get loans for
school. She was 22 when she went to
by Mike Yuhas, 2007
World War II, Private First Class, 187th Parachute Division, 11th Airborne
Pictures: Jose Flores 1 and 2
(I): What was your name and rank?
(A): Jose Flores. I have a picture here, as you can see, I’m a lot younger than I am now. You can see the difference, before and after. I served from 1945 to 1946 in the 187th Parachute Division. I still got the emblem for the regiment. Actually, they made a mistake on my picture; it says 1174 Division when it’s actually eleven. I was a PFC, which stands for Private First Class.
(I): What did a first
class private do?
(A): When I was in basic training, it was private, PVT. That’s how we start, and then when you got out they gave you the rank of private first class. And then later you got the ranks of corporal, sergeant, and lieutenant.
(I): Were you drafted, or did you volunteer?
(A): I volunteered. I was seventeen, they draft you when you’re eighteen. I quit school to go. And when I came back, we had the GI Bill of Rights, and under that, I went to school and finished it.
(I): How much did you
know about what was happening overseas before you left?
(A): I used to hear on the radio, stories, and you read about it in the papers and magazines. But since I was a kid, you don’t really pay too much attention to stuff like that. I heard about it but it really wasn’t important to me.
(I): What was your job like in the army?
(A): Well, I took
training, when I started. And I took
training like artillery training. I went
It was hard being on the island, because it rained almost everyday, and you had to go out in the field and it was muddy and you had water up to your knees, and you had to go out into the jungle. A lot of people got malaria, I never got it, it was from these mosquitoes. They say the mosquitoes killed more people than the enemy, and it’s probably true too. And when you were out in the field, they gave you cave rations, which were what we ate. It was like a can of beans and two cigarettes, and a couple of crackers. It was a box like a Cracker Jack box, and they gave you two or three, because they didn’t know how long you would be out there. And your canteen, you used Quinine tablets to purify your water. Since you filled your canteen at any creek or pond, you had to put two Quinine tablets in your water, to purify it. So you always carried them with you. Those are things you don’t forget. I don’t remember everything, only what generally happened to us.
(I): What were the meals like?
(A): You went to the mess hall if you were in the rear [of the army], and you got a hot meal, but if you were in the front [of the army], you cooked them yourself. You got a mess kit, and in the mess kit you had a canteen, and a plate. It had a spoon and a fork too. You always carried it with you, and that was okay when you were in the rear. But when you came out of the jungle and you came back where they had the field hospitals, you got a chance to eat something warm. But when you were out in the field, you only ate cave rations.
(I): What kinds of tools and weapons did you use?
(A): The infantry mainly carried small arms. Usually like an M-1 rifle, and sometimes you had a Thompson machine gun. And in the back they had the armor like tanks and stuff, but me, I was in the infantry. I had small arms like a pistol and a rifle.
(I): Did they give you armor at all?
(A): No, in those days they didn’t give us anything, but a helmet.
(I): What was the scariest moment in your entire tour of duty?
(A): My first jump from an airplane. I didn’t know what it was like, I’d never been on an airplane before. I never been in the air before. We had to make six jumps, and then they give you your wings. So the first time was kind of hard, and the second time I was a little nervous, because here and there, you’d find out that somebody’s parachute didn’t open. We had two parachutes, your main one in the back, and a back up in the front. So we went in the airplane and the light went on. The sergeant would open the door, and we’d hook up to this static line in the middle of the plane, like a cable line. You would stand up and everybody would follow out the door, one after another. The first thing on everything was hard.
They only had one division of
paratroopers out in the Pacific, and that was the 11th. In
(I): Did you serve in any battles like Iwo Jima,
(A): No, there were
no battles per say like in
We had to get Japanese from a cave, and we had to get ‘em out of there, with force. But after awhile you get used to it. You had to go in there with a flame thrower and smoke ‘em out. But they didn’t know the war was over, like I said, they resisted and kept fighting.
(I): Did you have any pictures, and artifacts from your tour of duty?
(A): I got rid of most of my stuff, gave it to my kids and stuff. I got my glider wings and other stuff right here though. This is the patch on the shoulder of our uniforms. You see the emblem, 11th Airborne. You probably don’t know what this writing under it means, but in Japanese, Rakasans means umbrella men. And as we were coming, they would shout Rakasans! Rakasans! Because when you come down in a parachute, you look like an umbrella. They didn’t have paratroopers, so they called us umbrella men. This is the glider wings that we got. And here is the hat, and flag we got for being in the army. I also stole a Japanese flag from a cave and stuff, but I don’t have it anymore.
by Jacob Trick, 2007
to high school in
shipped to his marine core division in March of 2001. He was in the second platoon of the Kilo
first department was 6 months after he checked in. He was sent from
He was very
surprised of the culture that
The craziest thing about staying there was that they dug holes in the ground as their bed. This supposedly would be a protection from shells landing from attacks. Romeo said it was weird because it was like digging your own grave.
His company was only there for 4 months and then they were relieved by Army command. He came home after that.
Jacob: What made you want to join the navy?
Romeo: I really wanted to get out of the house and my college costs would be paid for.
Jacob: What made you want to join the medical field?
Romeo: Eventually, I wanted to become an X-Ray Technician so I thought that this would help out with that.
Jacob: Were there any worries to the decision you made to go overseas?
Romeo: Of course, the obvious would be getting killed, but I was also afraid of not getting the education that I really wanted after he was done serving.
Jacob: Was it hard leaving your family to go to an entire different country?
Romeo: Not really. I had wanted to leave home already so why would I miss it? Ha ha.
Jacob: What was your family’s reaction, when you were leaving?
Romeo: They were happy that I was leaving. They were like, “Good Riddance!” But the only people sad to see me go were my friends.
Jacob: What new things did you experience in other countries?
Romeo: Learning about the cultures. People in other countries are happier having less stuff than us. They are happier than Americans even though we think they have nothing because they appreciate what they have more than we do. Americans take it for granted. I did learn some Arabic also.
Jacob: How did this decision impact your life?
Romeo: It impacted my life greatly. It made me a better person because I learned a lot more responsibility and appreciation. Seeing how other cultures are really can open your eyes more because there are so many things we take for granted. Now, it takes a lot to stress me out because of the experiences there.
Jacob: What is the biggest message you’d want to relay to readers about serving your country?
Romeo: Honestly, I want to serve my country, but make sure it is what you really want to do before you choose to enter into the service. There are a lot of things that come along with it that you don’t expect.
main jobs in
He also had to do missions such as stakeouts. They were basically surveillance missions were they would take shifts on watching for anything suspicious.
The ultimate worst job he did was cleaning the poop. They had to burn the poop with diesel fuel until it turned into a pasty cream, and then they had to burry it in the middle of the desert. The marines always made the medics do that job, but Romeo had authority over some of the new marines. So he made them do it.
JOHN M. GORDON’S STORY
John M. Gordon was born Feb. 10, 1921 in
by Matt Guthrie, 2007
Robert Guthrie had graduated at the
age of 17 in June of 1954. He worked at
a local gas station. One morning, after
he had started at 9:30 am, three of his buddies Ken, Larry, and Jim pulled
in. They had told him about the three of
them going up to
the morning they waited on downtown St. Street, in front of Tremper’s
Ice Cream Store, so they could catch the bus to
was assigned to Kelly, one of the guys went to
at Elmendorf in September of 1955 and was assigned to Air Force Security
Service. While there, they had an Artican Indoctrination which everybody had to do because it
prepared you just in case you were caught out in the frigid, winter weather in
September of 1957 he received an early release (only served 3 yrs and 10 months
instead of the full 4 years) and went to college at
by Stephen Stout, 2007
Picture: John Hackenburg
John J. Hackenburg was born in
John was a cook during World War II. As a cook, he made all of the meals that the other soldiers ate. Also, he would clean up after the men ate and he washed the dishes. John was responsible for preparing the menu’s that the soldiers would look at so they knew what they had to eat that day. He was responsible to make sure that the soldiers had something to eat before they went out to fight or even the injured soldiers trying to return to the active service. He was issued a .30 cal carbine to allow him to have some kind of protection if someone like the Germans would try to attack the base and he would get into combat.
My grandfather was a freshmen
transferred to the destroyer base in
30, 1944, he served on board the USS Warhawk when the
vessel attached, as amphibious transport, to Task Force engaged in landing
operations against the Japanese. He
crossed the International Date Line on Sept. 20, 1944. He crossed the equator and qualified as a
Shellback. While serving on board the
USS Warhawk, the landing craft took part in the
battles of Leyte Gulf, Luzon, Iwo Jima, and
He was honorably discharged on June 30, 1946 with the rating of Boatswains Mate First Class. He also received the Point Systems Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal 3 Stars, Good Conduct Medal, American Area Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal 2 Stars.
to BGSU and took advantage of the GI Bill.
He received a Bachelors of Science.
He then owned and operated Bob Hall’s Men’s Clothing Store in
by Kaylee Halm, 2007
Q: When were you born?
A: "April 12, 1927."
Q: How old were you when you joined the Army?
Q: What war were you in?
A: "World War II"
Q: Where were you located during the war?
A: I was in Okinawa, which is by
Q: What was your job description?
A: "All I knew was to just kill the Japanese."
Q: What was your rank?
A: "PFC which was Private First Class."
Q: How long did you serve in the Army?
A: "Only a year because I got injured."
Q:Did you get a purple heart?
A: "Yes, I did. I don't know where it is now."
Q: What happened where you got the purple heart?
A: "I got shelled in the leg and stomach."
Q: Where were you when this happened?
A: "I was
Q: Where did you go after that?
A: "I went to
Q: How long were you there?
A: "I stayed in
Q: What ended up happening after that?
A: "I had my guts laying on my stomach for 6 months so I was just in the hospital."
Q: What weapon did you use?
A: "The M1 Rifle."
Q: How much were you paid?
A: "50 dollars a month."
Q: How much are they paid now?
A: "Up to 900-1000 a month."
Q: What did you do after the Army?
A: "I went to
Joe Halm only knew that he was supposed to kill the Japanese. He was the one fighting in the war and making a difference. He got us our freedom we have today. Since he got injuried while he had just started in the Army, he was in the hospital for basically six months. He couldn't even fight if he wanted to.
my grandpa was in the army, one of the commanders went up to talk to him. He
asked Joe (my grandfather) if he had taken two years of typing while in high
school. Joe told him no and the commander asked him if he was sure he didn't.
Joe kept telling him that he had never took typing.
The next day, the commander asked him again if he had took typing. And again, my grandpa said no. The commander said that he checked his records, and it showed that Joe took typing. He just kept denying it. The commander said that if he would have took typing, he would have made him secretary and he wouldn't have had to fight in World War 11.
My grandpa all along has taken typing. He said he knew that's what he commander wanted. Joe wanted to fight and make a difference. He didn't want to be a secretary.
ROBERT DECK HENSLEY’S STORY
My grandfather, Robert Deck
Hensley, was born on February 20, 1937 in
Feb. 20, 1933 to Dec. 2, 1999
Robert Deck Hensley, 66, Port Clinton, died Thursday at
By Anna Dayringer, 2007
Conflict, Private 1st
Rank: Private First Class
Picture: Richard Heslet 1
Richard in the doorway of his bunker.
Picture: Richard Heslet 2
was stationed in
His major job was to work in communications. He was a field operator who worked with the radios and switchboards to transfer calls and information between the right people. If in battle, he would have been someone enemies would have tried to take out because of his important job.
While there, he attended school immediately to learn these skills. Morse code was a talent he learned. Once he began working, he lived in a bunker on the side of a hill. They have five shifts a day, which were done in rotations between the three men. He spent almost six months straight in this bunker.
Other tasks were assigned to him as well. One of these was to run wire maneuvers on the ground from one point to a mission control station. He also worked in a bakery for some time.
Mr. Heslet shared many
stories from his time in
One story involved his living arrangements for the majority of his stay. He and two other soldiers lived in a bunker, which was built into the side of a hill. Sand bags were piled all around which they filled from the nearby river.
The steps up to their door were made from empty ammunition boxes. Whenever they were stepped upon, they would creak and moan so you could hear if someone was coming. A Sergeant would often come to check on them and make sure they were doing their job. Above the door they had a crank gun, which wasn’t loaded, although there was bullets near by.
Whenever they would hear these steps, they would grab the gun and crank it to make it sound as if they were ready to fire. They did this to scare the guard coming even though they couldn’t have defended themselves if needed.
One story from the war I heard was an anecdote that was very simple but meant a lot to Richard. It was an event that happened by chance.
Richard was growing up, he had a neighbor that he would always walk to school
with. He was an African American named Heldon Price.
They attended school in
One day in
All army soldiers were called by their last names usually because that was what was printed on their shirts. Only close friends were on a first-name basis. When Heldon got on the bus, Richard shouted out his name. He started yelling to see who knew him and saw Richard. They rode to the school, talking and catching up on the way, but didn’t see each other again after that encounter. Richard thought it was a neat coincidence that he would meet a childhood friend half away across the world.
Locations Of Service
by Taylor Brown, 2007
My Interview with Mr. Hines
T.B. - Why did you join the military?
M.H.- The reason I joined the military is because I graduated from Ross High in 1959, and at that time we talked to our school counselors like you talk to your school counselors today. The school counselor I had was very prejudiced, and 98% of the people who worked at the Fremont Foundry were African American. Most of them didn’t have an education and couldn’t read and write and had to have people sign their checks. My father had a third grade education, and he wanted me to do better than he did, so if I got past the third grade I was fine. My mentor/ guide was my counselor, so I went to my school counselor and said my grades are decent what opportunities do I have? What is out there for me? My counselor then told me I had two options: One of them is to go work in the Fremont Foundry, and the other option is to join the military. No college was mentioned. I was not even prompted to see anyone about a college education.
I had asthma, and at the
time the Foundry was paying three dollars and twenty-five cents an hour. I
didn’t really want to join the military, so I decided to work at the Foundry,
make some money, and stay in
My next step was to try the Navy. The Navy recruiter said my grades and points are high enough on the test that I had taken that I could go into anything I wanted to do. I said show me what you’ve got. So the recruiter showed me the brochures he had. The recruiter then started flipping through the pages. He showed he the airplanes. He then got to the guys in the white uniforms. I said, “Wait a minute. What are these guys?” He said they were hospital corpsmen. I said, “They are clean!” I’d been dirty from the Foundry, so I said, “Whatever those clean guys are, I want to do!”
T.B.- What is a hospital corpsman?
M.H.- Like a nurse takes care of civilians in a hospital, a corpsman takes care of the military.
T.B.- Did you go to school to be a corpsman? What training did you receive?
M.H.- They teach you how to give IV’s, just exactly what they teach nurses to do.
Remember how I didn’t want
to join the Marines? The Marines draw all their corpsman from the Navy. My
first assignment was
T.B.- What was your rank in the military?
M.H.- E- 5. To get rank in the Navy, you have to
stay in the Navy for a certain amount of time, get an education, and take
tests. I was working in the lab, and I liked it, so I put I
for lab school. They gave me lab school at Bethesda Naval Station in
The reason I chose to stay
in D.C. is because my professor knew I was good. In D.C. the cost of living is
really high, and the military doesn’t pay a lot, so what you have to do is get
another job. I got a job at the
T.B.- You were in
the Navy during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Did you ever have to go
T.B.- Were you on a
ship the whole time you were in
M.H.- When I was in
T.B.- How long were you in the military?
M.H.- Eight years.
T.B.- What were your dates of service?
M.H.- August of 1960-August of 1968
T.B.- Have you ever seen combat?
T.B.- Did you ever lose any friends in the war?
M.H.- I lost the corporal of my platoon.
T.B.- How did he die?
M.H.- He was run over by a tank during practice maneuvers.
T.B.- Did you ever have any nightmares or anxiety as a result of your military service?
M.H.- No, because I was never in the position that troops who were in combat were in, but when I was in charge of a ward at Camp Lejeune, I talked to soldiers who had been wounded, and from our conversation I could tell that many of them did have nightmares.
T.B.- What’s your opinion on the Vietnam War?
M.H.- I disapproved
of what was happening. I disapproved of the way the war was being handled. When
you go to war, you go to war to win. You don’t go to war to get your people
killed, and that is primarily what we did, as far as I am concerned. They
wouldn’t let them do their job, and a lot of our guys got killed. My voice
breaks up at this point, but whenever I visit the Viet Nam Memorial in
PERSONAL STORY #1
interview was filled with interesting facts and stories that would take hours
to tell, but there was one personal story that stood out. It was about an event
that changed the history of the
when Mr. Hines was nearly ready to graduate from lab school at the
Soon, the whole
Mr. Hines was on duty that night when they brought President Kennedy in. Mr. Hines and his schoolmates were told to not let anybody come up. He was standing ten feet from the elevator when it came up. The elevator door opened up and there was Jackie Kennedy. Mr. Hines said what touched his heart the most was the fact that Mrs. Kennedy maintained her image, even though her heart must have been shattered to pieces. She still had the pink hat and pink suit on and the blood and brains were still on the front of her clothes. Robert Kennedy was there. Mr. Hines repeated over and over that this was something he would never forget. He said she was sad, but so stoic. He said this was something that would live with him, and to this day he cannot watch the film of the assassination and what followed that they show on television every November 22.
PERSONAL STORY AS TOLD BY MARVIN HINES
Mr. Hines was stationed in
There were four African Americans stationed at Lejeune who became friends and because they were quite naturally eager to see their families, they started off in one of their cars when they had leave. On the way to see their families, they went to a drive-through where they ordered what they wanted to eat over the microphone. They were so happy to be on their way to see their families, and everything was going so perfectly that they didn’t think anything could change the good mood they were in.
The waitress in the drive-through started bringing their meal out to them, but then she soon realized they were African American. She turned around, went back in, and put their meals in paper bags. She brought back the security guards, and told them that they could not eat from there because they were African American.
Mr. Hines made it clear in the interview that this upset him highly because they were Americans serving their country and had their uniforms on to prove it. He said he couldn’t find a reason or explain why that happened. Mr. Hines described feeling like he was stepping off into another universe. He also explained that you couldn’t understand the hurt and the humiliation he felt unless you were put in that situation. He asked himself repeatedly, “Why am I here? What am I doing? What do I have to do to be equal to everybody else?” On the rest of the way home, there were no words said because they were in total shock and confused. It just didn’t make sense, he repeatedly explained.
by Tyler Hull, 2007
Charles Hull (Personal Information)
My first veteran that I
researched would be my grandfather, Charles Hull. Charles enlisted as a marine when he turned
18, other than being drafted. His rank
was corporal of the 1st Marine Regiment of HQ Company, 1st
Provisional Marine Brigade. My
grandfather died postwar on April 6th, 1974, on
When he turned 18, on November 27th,
1948, enlisted into the marines, other than being drafted. Charles’ duty is the Marine Corps was being a
ground unit in the 1st Division.
He went to
His company was
stationed in Inch’ on
My grandfather and his division were
trapped in the Chosin Reservoir for months, in
sub-zero weather, with the Chinese communists attacking from every angle. They fought their way through the trap into
As they were in
After he was treated, he was sent to
by Tyler Hull, 2007
Tim Hull’s Personal Information
The second veteran that I researched
is Timothy L. Hull. Tim enlisted in the
Army when he was 17 years of age. He
started out a private in Basic Training at
Tim, achieved the rank of corporal through ten months of
electronics repair, four and half months of classroom, and four and half months
of lab technologies. Started with class
of 52 students and graduated with only four, he was one of the four.
there was assigned to Vint Hill Farms, Virginia for
depot level maintenance and was there for a year and two months. While he was there he did repair on over 200
pieces of equipment, from all over the world.
Most of the equipment that he fixed, says that was classified
information and can’t talk about it. The
surroundings of Vint Hill Farms was
a college atmosphere that was stuck in the middle of horse country. A town around Vint
Hill Farms was
next two assignments were in
was then moved back into the
by Bobby Howard, 2005
World War II,
HERBERT KING’S STORY
Herbert King was born May 9,
1921 in Sandusky Co. to Mr. and Mrs. A.M. King.
by Zach Kiser, 2007
War II, 552 Engineers,
Herbert J. Kiser began his military service in the First
Army 552 Engineers. He was drafted in
1943 and sent from his home in
his training at
At the Atlanta Ordinance Depot, the group of mechanics and engineers received the same training as those in the Marine Corps at that time. They were a part of the Third Provincial Company Barracks #415. Here after engineering training, auto mechanic training, and exceeding in the Advanced Training processes, Herbert graduated his training program on July 2, 1943. He graduated training with honors averaging the highest scores on all exams taken.
still one more piece of criteria needed to be met and that was maneuvers. Young soldiers were required to experience
war-like situations before being involved in real-life occasions. Maneuvers were held at
maneuvers, Herbert and a few others in his group were stationed on guard duty,
which consisted of two hours on duty, and four hours of sleep, constant through
the day. When they were on the move,
trucks would need repaired, so they were in charge of fixing them. A convoy began on August 9, 1943 that stretched
from one end of
On December 27, 1943, the 552
Engineers boarded a ship departing from
Although all areas in Europe back
then were danger zones, Herbert said
Their journey ended in October of
1945. Most of his regiment was
discharged on October 24. On October 25,
1945, Herb arrived on a ship in
The 552 Engineers Regiment was an Army regiment that repaired most trucks and other transportation equipment that was used in World War Two. Herbert’s specific job was aiding in the repairing of those trucks, and as a bridge engineer. While most of his group would fix the trucks, Herb would go with others up ahead, design, and build bridges across creeks, rivers, and other debris that couldn’t be crossed. They would build in the midst of firing all around and always being on the clock to get the job done fast.
Following his dischargement, Herb attended
Herb was married to Felista “Smitty” Smith on June 15, 1946. Together they had nine children, two of whom were killed in a car accident as teenagers. Though the other seven are still living, all adults, and most with several children of their own.
In Herb’s childhood, he attended
Up until a while back, he was still enjoying the sport of golf, always playing an occasional round. He also spent a lot of time at his trailer at Nugent’s lagoon, frequently inviting the entire family down to go boating. He still had his gun collection, but not firing any lately. Herb also participated in a weekly card game with some old friends and playing cards as much as he could even alone.
On September 24, 2005, Herbert Joseph
Kiser died suddenly of a heart attack in his home in
by Derek Weikert, 2007
Vietnam War, Lt. Colonel
The second Veteran I chose to interview was Bob Lamb. My grandpa had told me it would be neat to see what he was like and he was also a good friend of my grandfather’s also.
Q: What was your rank?
A: I was 2nd Lt. to Lt. Col.
Q: What war were you in, if one, and how long?
A: I was in
Q: What did you do “over”
A: High Altitude bombing from 30,000 ft. to 38,000 ft.
Q: What all did you fly?
A: B-52 both “F” and “D” models. (I flew the “B’s” for a while instructing at
Q: Did you have any ground firing on your plane?
A: The Vietcong tried, but as long as we flew in the ‘Southern’ region they had nothing that could reach us that high.
Q: Where was your base located during your combat missions?
A: During the first tour we flew only out of
Q: What parts of
A: It was considered the southern section. The B-52’s did strike the northern section very late in the war and got shot at (SAM’s) and shot down.
Q: What was your job while in service?
A: Started out as a B-47 co-pilot then went to a B-52 co-pilot (aircraft commander), instructor, Squadron Commander, and Air Division Director of training.
Job Description for Bob L.
Bob Lamb was a aircraft commander as a B-52 bomber, co-pilot, pilot, instructor, Squadron Commander, and Air Division Director in training. But he started out as a B-47 co-pilot. Each position had multiple responsibilities. For instance, as an Aircraft Commander one is not only the pilot, but also responsible for the entire operation of the aircraft and it’s mission – much like the Captain of a ship.
The Crew of a B-52 is made up of the flight, offensive and defensive teams made up of the pilot and co-pilot, the navigator and radar navigator, and the electronic warfare officer and gunner. The gunner position was removed from the B-52’s some two years ago.
flying on his tours he also had some responsibilities. On the first tour in the “F” model, there
were only four squadrons of “F’s” and we were picked to experiment with this
‘new’ idea of dropping iron bombs.
Actually, the “B-52” had been designed for this mission, but only as a
second thought and the bomb bay equipment had to be completely overhauled. We were one of the first two squadrons sent
to Guam and the first to fly combat missions over
The AF learned quickly and while the four “F” squadrons (two at a time – each for six months) were on Guam, they modified the “B-52” “D” models (there were almost twice as many “D’s” than “F’s” in the fleet) to carry more bombs than we could. The “D’s” replaced the “F’s” and the “F’s” we soon retired form the fleet.
So on his
second tour was in the “D”. During this
tour they rotated, every month, flying out of Guam (some 12 hour mission),
Okinawa (a 6 hour mission), and
Personal Story of Bob L.
was a B-52 bomber. He served in
by Jason Keckler, 2007
War II, Military Police, Private 1st
Picture: John Limestahl
Q: What was your rank when you left the service?
A: My final rank was Private First Class.
Q: How long were you in the service?
A: I was in the service for four years.
Q: What war did you fight in?
A: I fought in World War II.
Q: What type of training did you have to go through before you went to fight in the war?
A: I had to learn to crawl under barbed wire with my gun with guns being shot above me and with bombs going off in the sand beside me. I also had to learn how to throw hand grenades and put the tracks back on tanks and how to aim and shoot off the tanks.
Q: Who were you fighting?
A: I was fighting the Germans.
Q: What did you do during the war?
A: I worked as an intelligence officer on the front lines and drove a tank.
Q: Were you ever injured?
A: Yes I had my back broken and was in a full body cast.
Q: How were you injured?
A: I was injured when I was hit by a truck in our truck.
Q: How long were you in your cast?
A: I was in the cast for a full year.
John Limestahl’s Job Description
While John Limestahl was in the army he had different ranks while in the service. First he was a MP or Military Police. Then he was in the East Coast Defense Tank unit. He was also a Private First Class and an Intelligence Agent.
While he was a MP he went wherever he was needed. He also had to go to the front lines and check on the soldiers. While doing this he also had to check for dead soldiers in the grass and had to make sure that the German soldiers were dead and weren’t just trying to hide. While doing this he saw one German that took his clothes off and started running and they couldn’t shoot him because he wasn’t in a uniform.
Then when he was part of the East Coast Defense Tank unit he drove tanks. He had to practice shooting targets with the tank and how to deal with getting knocked around in the tank even though it was cushioned inside. He also had to learn how to drive it and how to put the tracks on it when they got knocked off.
When he was a Private First Class he had to do everything that other soldiers had to do while they were serving in the army. John was also an Intelligence Agent and he had to gather information on the front lines. He almost got shot twice in two minutes while gathering information by checking bodies for documents and looking for enemy soldiers that were still alive to try and take them back to get interrogated.
John Limestahl’s Personal Story
While he was in a base camp in
by Mike Yuhas, 2007
World War II, Corporal
Picture: Art Lundgard
(I): What was your name and rank?
(A): Corporal Art Lundgard
(I): How old were you when you entered, and left the service?
(A): I was nineteen when I entered, and I left about three years later so I was twenty-one, twenty-two-ish.
(I): Were you drafted or did you volunteer?
(A): I stayed in school. Now, some of my friends volunteered, because they could get paid, and back then in the Great Depression, the pay check seemed like a great thing. And one day, we were sitting in class and they [the army] came in and said let’s go, and they took ‘em out of class. I later found out they were in the Bataan Death March. Two of my best buddies were killed in the first battle we were in. I tried to talk to them, but they wouldn’t listen. They decided they wanted to be line men, because all they had to do was go to the top of the hill and swing the telephone line around there, and then we can do nothing. But I says, yes, but your gonnna be on top of that hill. The first battle they were killed, friendly fire, our own artillery dropped a whole barrage right on top of them.
I had to leave my job that was paying me good money up in
Port Clinton, and go into the army. I
was drafted into the infantry at nineteen.
My father and my whole family have been in the service. I went out to
We landed in
I was trained as a mortar gunner. Now a mortar, this is a mortar right here. It looks like a stovepipe. It’s one of the most wickedest weapons there are. The reason why it’s wicked is the way it works. When the shell hits the ground, the shell explodes this way [out to the sides], an artillery shell explodes this way [up in the air]. Every shell has a fifty feet kill radius, and I threw a lot of shells.
We landed where the D-day invasion
landed, except forty-nine days later. If
you’ve seen the picture with the parachutes hanging on the wires and stuff,
that’s what it was like when we got there.
There were parachutes, and gliders all over the place, and we went from
there to the south of
We lived in huts underground, because of all the aerial bursts. But, we had ‘em made so that when we sleep, we didn’t have to worry about aerial bursts, because all they had over there was anti-aircraft guns. We didn’t have a problem with them, except one time. One time we had a place where we ate lunch, and every day we ate lunch there. One day lunch was late, and we were standing around, and we heard these artillery shells going WhomWhomWhomWhom, really fast because they spin, and then Bam! Bam! Bam!. We didn’t know where they went, but they didn’t hit us. We went there and it was exactly where we were eating. The nose cone of one of the shells was stuck in one of the trees.
But you never know day to day, the big thing was you had to
constantly keep your head down, you didn’t forget that someone was watching you
all the time, and that’s the bad part about being in the army. Those Germans had snipers that could hit
anything. These were trees that were
burned down. The guy I was with took
these pictures, and when we got home I asked him to send me the negatives, from
We traveled by train in the army. And when I got back with my outfit, we were traveling in “forty and eight” cars. They’re called that because they squeezed forty men, and eight horses into these little tiny boxcars.
The only time I was really sniped at was when I was getting some water. What we were doing was mopping up after Patton’s armor. And it was something to see that armor, it was just like a parade that would come through. And in the morning it was just like a continuous roar with the artillery, and then you’d see this parade start, and when they broke through, they kept going, and we had to clean up what was left. We were following so fast, I would set my mortar up, and I would fire just one round so they knew where I was, and then I’d have to leave again because they were moving so fast. Anyway, they had this SS outfit that was all that’s left, the regular army wasn’t fighting at all, it was this elite SS outfit. The armor was set up across the river, and our engineers were putting this bridge up across the river, and I had to fire white phosphorous rounds across the river, and it was horrible stuff. It just like blows up like fireworks, and it makes a smoke screen. We were doing this originally just to protect the engineers, because they were making the bridge across there, but pretty soon I was throwing HG light, which was regular rounds, across there. There was a cannon company behind us, and we didn’t realize they were there, and when the enemy fired back, they got hit, and they came up to us and said we’re getting out of here, you guys are shooting, and we’re getting the casualties. The shells would go right over our heads, and into the cannon company. Now the Germans were smart, we went out the next day, and we’re lucky we didn’t get hit. That night we slept in this farmhouse, and there was this glass window over me, and I said I think I’ll cover my head tonight, just to be sure, and all of the sudden, we heard the awfullest noise you ever heard, it was just a screaming noise coming right at us. The rockets, and we called them “screaming’ meemmies.” They threw them in on us, and they went all the way around us, and shook that old farmhouse like crazy. The only casualty was they knocked out the bi-pod on one of our mortars. The next day, I wanted some water, and there was a little spring at the bottom of the hill, and I was walking along not paying much attention, and all of the sudden I heard Crack! Crack! Those rifle bullets make that noise, which was unusual, and I dropped in the dirt, and crawled all the way back to camp, but that’s as close as I’ve come to getting sniped.
The Germans had a lot of weapons that were bad. They had a shoe mine, which was a wooden box, and there was a chunk of TNT in there, and there was this hole so you could put a trigger in there. And when you stepped on the box, it would explode the whole thing. They used these underneath the snow so you couldn’t see it, and when you stepped on it, you’d blow a leg off. They also had, I forget what they call it, a steel casing that was in the ground, and it had these steel balls inside it, and when it blew up, it tore up everything. They planted these like crazy around their positions. Our section leader got a silver star when he was in this one battle. He went up to this one observation post, and when he got up there, a lieutenant said to him, “How in the hell did you get up there, I’ve been trying to get my men through there all day, but it’s full of mines.” He said, “I just walked up.” The lieutenant said, “Take me back and show me how you did it.” And when he got back, the lieutenant wrote him up for a silver star. He also got to go home early.
War is crazy because like I said,
you didn’t know where you was at ever. We were on occupation for awhile in a rural
area, and we went from there to
When we were going home, we were right next to this airfield, and we took a picture of me next to this German airplane that we found.
You know how you see generals and
soldiers with all these fancy bars and insignia on them, you want to know what
they mean? This here is the most
important one, this here you have to be in combat to get. This is the Combat Rifleman’s Badge. When you go through training, you get the
blue part, and when you go into combat you get the silver rifle on it. These are dog tags. When you get killed, one is shoved in your
mouth, the other one, registration keeps.
You carry them all the time.
These insignias on the shoulders show what division you’re in; I was in
the Ninety-fourth Division. I went home
with this one, the Eightieth Division.
They had to transfer me to another outfit to go home with them. These are hash marks,
you get one for each year you serve.
This one shows your expertise like rifleman, or mortar, or whatever
you’re an expert on. I carried a pistol
on me, a 45’, and I said I’d throw it at them before I hit anything with
it. I never fired it once, all the way
I’m lucky to have these. I had to go to a congressman to get them, but
I got them. See these little bars; this
one is a Victory Medal from World War II.
This one is for the Middle Eastern and European campaign. If I would’ve served in the
(I): Did you take free stuff from people once you got the search warrant?
(A): Yes actually, we were supposed to take it from them so they weren’t causing trouble with it, and it’s more stuff for us. You know the Hitler Youth Group that you always hear about, well they had these knives, it was kind of like a machete, but it had the swastika on it. Any way, I was in these people’s house and I opened this drawer in this desk, and I found the knife. You should’ve seen the looks on their faces. The kid there was about your age, but he nearly fainted when they saw I discovered it. I guess they forgot to get rid of it when they confiscated all their Nazi stuff. I don’t have it anymore, I gave it to one of my grandchildren. I had a Nazi flag too, and three rifles, but I also got rid of them.
(I): Did you see any of the concentration camps when you were there?
(A): Kind of. We passed one on our way to occupation duty, and they came out and cheered for us, But we heard about what had happened there earlier, and it was just a really horrific crime.
Let me tell you something, if anybody tells you the army is the place to be, it’s not. Once you sign your name to them, you sign away all your rights, you’re their baby, and they can do anything they want with you. They could say, go out and get killed, and you’d have to get killed. In our first battle, we had this SS outfit we had to attack. There was this lieutenant who attacked their rifle company three times, and got defeated each time. Patton said go out there and attack ‘em again, and he [the lieutenant] says I don’t want to do it. And Patton says go to the back, we don’t need you. Patton was a good leader, he won the war real quick, but it was his guts and our blood. One thing we knew, and we knew one thing, when he got going he didn’t stop, like a freight train.
A lot of the Germans we saw were old men. When the war was over, I came up to this one German, and said do you speak English, and he said I was captured in the first World War and the British didn’t treat me to good, but I’m glad these are Americans, they’ll treat me better. The only real battle I was in was against the SS Outfit, and I threw enough mortars at them, I don’t think they like me to well. That white phosphorous, when it gets on your hands, the only way to get it off is to scrub real hard in water. We were spreading it just like crazy towards the end of the war.
(I): What kind of weapons and supplies were you equipped with when you left?
(A): I was a mortar gunner, so I had a mortar, but I also carried a forty-five caliber pistol. My crew had carbines, small carbines, and the section leader had a standard rifle. When we got in it, the tank guys had these automatic pistols called grease guns. And some of my crew traded their carbines for their grease guns. That’s what happens, a lot of changing around, of course, they never said a word about it. The Germans had these Schnauzer automatic guns, which were really powerful, and I fired one onetime. I found one lying on the ground after this battle, and I picked it up and, man, I pulled the trigger, and Bam! I was pointing up in the air, and I threw the gun down and said, I don’t want that gun, It’s too powerful, It would take a man to hold it down while firing.
War can be funny at times, and
other times it’s sad. You live for
today, you don’t worry about tomorrow, you live through today. Anytime you poke your head above the trees,
you have to be wary that someone was looking for you, because you never
knew. We [my outfit] were lucky, we
didn’t have any casualties. We had a
couple close shaves. We were coming up
this hill one time, and we had a weapons carrier. We carried all our weapons in it, and all our bags too.
And we were coming up the hill, and all of the
sudden, out of nowhere, mortar shells start to ring out, just ahead of us, and
our truck driver, he had it up on two wheels coming down the hill. And one of my outfit
got a piece of shrapnel in his finger, and he said he’d get a Purple Heart for
it, and we kidded with him and said, you’re not going to get a Purple Heart for
that. And sure enough, he got a Purple
Heart. But we had a good driver for
that. When we originally went to
(I): What was your food like?
(A): Well, we always got one hot meal a day, guaranteed. Sometimes it was late, and we’d have to wait till ten at night to get it, but we got it. It was usually soup, and they’d give us crackers, and cigarettes with it. Every other meal, was made using our ship rations which we had on us, which were mostly cans of beans, and soup, some bread and crackers, a candy bar, and a pack of cigarettes. Now the cigarettes proved a problem for me because I don’t smoke because I’m asthmatic. And I really minded my health when I was there, because it’s one thing you take for granted until you become one of those soldiers getting drunk and having sex with the locals, and then you don’t have anything anymore. Anyway, since I didn’t smoke, I came up to the distributor and said don’t put cigarettes in my ration bags because I don’t smoke, and he said, you’ll take the rations the army gives you, but from that day forward they gave me the cheap cigarettes like Cools and stuff. One day I was in the OT [Observation Tower] with these machine gunners, and they were out of cigarettes, and they really wanted some more, so I said, what do you got to trade for some, any chocolate or candy bars. And they said sure, so I brought them up all the cartons of cigarettes I had been collecting and gave them to them. The next day the two gunners came down into our camp with two helmets full of chocolate. I continued trading like this for awhile, until a rumor was going around that I would be so easy for the Germans to capture, all they’d have to do was tie a candy bar to the end of a stick, and I’d follow it across their lines. But I did become a chocoholic while I was over there. Another incident was when I was in the hospital for my tooth, they gave me a new uniform and bag because they said, they probably took mine and scavenged it after I left the front. So when I got back, we were in this house one day, and the army cut our supply of cigarettes so many of the men were suffering from nicotine withdrawal. They told me to go look in the basement for some, because there were some old bags down there and they might have some. So I went down the stairs, and I found my old bag, with six cartons of cigarettes in it. I tucked them under my arms so no one could see them, and came up and walked around the room. And as I walked, everybody stared at me, until finally someone said, can we have a smoke, and I threw the cartons on the bed and said light up boys.
World War II, Private 1st Class, Company L, 347-Regiment, 87th infantry division
Glenn Maddy, of Company L 347-Regiment, 87th infantry division, was the company messenger for the most of the war. He was a private 1st class, and the description of his job was to basically relay messages to the headquarters from his company and to his company from the headquarters. Mr. Maddy would also, yet very seldom, run messages to other platoons or companies.
They would have a password you would have to know to be able to get through these areas that were like a checkpoint. The password would change every day to reduce the likeability of the enemy figuring it out, and it worked because an enemy never got through without getting caught. For example, one day the word you would have to know would be carrot and bugs bunny. Alright, now you would come upon an area that someone would say, “Stop”, and you would have to say, “Carrot.” The other person would say, “Rabbit”, and you would respond with, “Bugs Bunny”. The password would change everyday so you would have to have a good memory, or else you wouldn’t ever have to go to church again because you would be so “hole”y.
The passwords could be something very hard to remember or something like my example dealing with a show. You would never know where the checkpoint would be either, because they would change where it would be at night and sometimes you could walk right up on them without even knowing they’re there.
Glenn used a .30
caliber and only fired at Germans once, which was at the
Glenn Maddy was enlisted into the army at the age of seventeen
and was in the army for roughly a little more than two years or twenty-seven
months. While he was in
One of the most stressful situations for Glenn Maddy was while you would be sitting around with a group of your buddies, just resting, you would never know if they all were going to be there for the next gathering. You wouldn’t know if they had gotten killed throughout the night or if they had to go to the medical ward for one reason or another. Because of the way that things were, it was difficult to get too close to someone because you didn’t want to get too stressed out about a buddy coming up missing.
No matter what a person said or acted like, you and everyone around you
knew that you were thinking about it.
For example, out of his platoon, one hundred and eighty men came into
this war, thirty-three men were out with trench foot, and thirty-four men were
out as casualties. When he got captured
Glenn also recalls observing a bunch of men holding back a fellow soldier from killing a German prisoner. The man had witnessed his fellow Italian buddy being killed by this prisoner.
I also recall him telling me repeatedly that nobody ever wanted to go out to the front line if they had a chance. Mr. Maddy told me that there was a group of young men that were getting ready to go to the front line. As they were getting loaded onto the transport vehicle the were making cries like, “Lets go get us some Germans”, “I bet I can kill twenty of them before you do”, and other sayings and bets. Well, after they came back and found out they had to go back to the front line again, these soldiers where like rag dolls. The officers had to literally load the men into the vehicle by picking up all their body weight and giving them a toss.
The first men to get onto the transport vehicle would lie down because they knew from experience what they would come upon, and the men not so lucky to be able to lie down, were forced to sit on the seats and duck.
Glenn also recalls passing through
Mr. Maddy described to me the first time he had seen death on the field, and it was when he was transporting a message from the headquarters to his platoon. He saw seven or nine crosses and further on down the path, he saw four British soldiers just sprawled out on the side of the road. He couldn’t believe that people were just walking past them and acting like it was nothing. He said that he walked a few yards up ahead, sat down and cried, while thanking God for letting him still be alive.
One major point that Glenn Maddy pointed out to me, and it was the first thing he said to me when I got to his house to interview him, was that he feels like he is obligated to inform and tell people what war is like. He said that he knows his family supported him on going to war. Not only did they tell him that, but the fact that when he joined the army he was only seventeen, and he had to get permission from his parents.
One of the main reasons he joined in the army was because he wanted to join up with an older buddy of his from high school. Mr. Maddy doesn’t like war, but if someone’s mind is stuck on going in, then he will be there to support him or her. He also told me that he is very proud of his step-grandson, who at this present time is in training to become a navy seal.
Another thing that was appealing to him was that his family didn’t really have that much money. He knew if he went into the army, when he got out, the army was going to pay for his college. Glenn also told me that there is a distinct line between supporting the war and not supporting the war. He said there is no such thing as supporting the soldiers and not the war, because the people you’re supporting are supporting the war. In other words, if you support someone in a war, then you also support the war.
About a year after he had joined, he found out that his brother had joined too. He prayed to God that if anything bad was to happen that it would happen to him and not his brother. Mr. Maddy encourages anyone to join the military, because it will make them more appreciative, and if they are cocky, it will help them become an adult and straighten them up. He has also been all around the world, since the war, visiting fifty-four different countries.
Glenn Maddy was
captured and sent to Limburg (Stalag XII A) during
The most common disease was dysentery, and something that everyone had was the common head and body lice. An image that he says he will always have is the bunk mate who was across from him would scratch at his lice until he bled. On top of that, the flies would be attracted to the smell of rotting flesh.
While he was in the camp he would smoke one butt a day, because smoking limited the hunger. The prisoners were fed once a day. They were given two to three boiled potatoes, one cup of rutabaga soup, and one-seventh of a piece of German bread. To limit the chances of catching a disease and in hopes of getting some exercise, he would volunteer to work. It would get him out of the camp.
He had lost so much weight by the time he was liberated that his belt was being held up by just his hip bones. While he was in the camp his finger got infected, and he went to see the camp doctor, who was also the cook. He just cut out the infection with a knife and let the puss ooze out. With no pain medicine, the doctor bandaged up the wound with crept paper and sent him on his way.
Not many people, that he heard, tried to escape. A friend of his though decided, during the work time one day that he was going to escape. After the guards made the first head check, his friend took off to get the most time possible to get away. For the next head count, and for two more, they kept on telling the guards that he was at the bathroom. Eventually the guards picked up on the fact that he had escaped. They made them go back to the camp. Nobody else that he knew tried to escape, because like he told me, there was no place to go. From then on out there were no more working brakes.
Another thing I asked Mr. Maddy was if he or any other men tried to learn any German. He said that you would learn the necessary words or sayings but that was all. No one bothered to learn any more.
On April 16, the prisoners had been hearing rumors about being liberated. Later they heard a tank coming. They weren’t sure whose tank it was. When the guards realized it was a British tank, some of them took off and others chose to stay. Glenn said that as soon as he realized they were about to be liberated, he took off to get some pork. When he arrived to the spot where it normally was, it was all gone. When the British got down to the camp they took all the guards and put them into one barracks. The soldiers started giving their rations to the prisoners.
Finally General Montgomery arrived. He ordered that every prisoner was to be given ten cigarettes and a loaf of bread until more supplies were due to arrive. Even though the prisoners were liberated, they were forced to live in the camp until they found somewhere else to put them, which was approximately one week. When the prisoners got home they were given five meals a day to get back up to their normal body weight.
by Erica Meek, 2007
Conflict, Sergeant, Airman 1st
~Chuck Meek enlisted in the Air Force in
~He didn’t like going to the rifle range to learn how to shoot or clean the guns. Also he hated having to go into sealed chambers with gas masks on. Then it was necessary to take them off and get a whiff of the gas so he knew what effect it would have on him.
~After basic training, he went to a communication school
~After he had completed communication school in
~He particularly remembers officers and how he didn’t like them the most. He said that every time you passed one you had to salute, even if it was the same one ten times a day. He also hated his drill sergeant.
~He never had any jail time but thought he might have gotten close a time or two because of his smart-aleck attitude.
~When his tour in
~He was assigned to a Naval Air Station in
~There was no hospital where they were stationed, so when
my aunt was born, they had to drive eighty-five miles to a hospital on a base
~During the holidays some of the well-known entertainers of the time would come over to put on shows for the troops. Some of the ones he remembered were Bob Hope, Eddie Fisher and Connie Frances.
~He was paid every month but it didn’t amount to much.
~It took eighteen and a half hours to drive straight
through to get back to
~He was released from the service a few weeks early, much to his delight.
Were you drafted or did you enlist?
Charles Meek enlisted in the United States Air Force on November 15, 1951.
Did you want to join or was it just something you had to do?
He enlisted because it was something he had to do or otherwise he would have been drafted. He joined because he could choose what service to go into, instead of automatically being put in the armed forces on the front lines.
Did you like it?
He didn’t really like the Air Force because of the discipline and that some people his age gave him orders.
Did you make friends?
He made friends while he was there but he didn’t keep in touch with them after the war.
How was the food?
The food was mostly good. After basic training, he said he could go to the px store (post exchange) and get ice cream. The only food he became so sick of, he hated it was shit on a shingle or dried beef gravy over toast.
What was your favorite part?
His favorite part was knowing he was helping his country and that there was adventure of seeing different countries.
What did you do for recreation?
For recreation most people played cards, read or on the training bases, went to the movie theater. A lot of time was also spent letter writing.
Did you get vacation time?
He had vacation time of thirty days annually, so in his four years in the service he had about four months off. After each basic training and communication school he also received about two weeks off. The time off after basic and communication school were included in the thirty days leave per year.
What did you buy when you were there?
During his R&R, he went to
Did you travel to other areas or did you stay in one spot?
He was stationed in a southern part of
Why did you choose the Air Force?
He choose the Air Force because he didn’t want to be a rifleman in the army and see combat. He hoped he could help by serving away from the front lines.
Were you ever in danger of being shot?
No one really shot at them since he was in
How long were you in
He was in
by Andrew Aseltine, 2005
Emerson B. Messinger’s Story
Emerson B. Messinger was born on September 15, 1930 in
the Navy, he got up to as high of rank as Captain. He served in
he served in the Navy, he came back to
Emerson Bronson Messinger- Emerson Bronson Messinger,
69, died on January 22, 2000. Christened
at birth with two historic family names, he was commonly called “Brunny,” “E. B.,” “Em,” and
“Gus.” He attended the
was a securities broker who started in the business with the
He is survived by his daughter, Michelle M. Aseltine, her husband, Chris, and two grandchildren of Fremont, Ohio; his son, Jeffrey B. Messinger, his wife, Mary, and one grandchild of Hillsborough, NC, and his son, Gregory W. Messinger, his wife, Dawn, and two grandchildren of Mebane, NC; his brother, John C. Messinger and his wife, Martha, and two nieces and three nephews of Toledo, Ohio; his former wife, Judith C. Messinger of Durham, NC, and his friend Sharon Robinson of Toledo, OH.
visitation is planned. A private
graveside service will be held at the family plot in the
War II, T-4 Technician,
War II, Helmsman,
World War II, Paratrooper, 82nd Airborne
RALPH WILBER O’BRIEN’S STORY
Ralph Wilber O’Brien was born in
Port Clinton, Ohio. Growing up, Ralph
had a very strict, military father and as a result he was never very close to
him. Ralph and his mother were inseparable. While serving in World War Two, Ralph
constantly wrote letters to his mother enclosing his love for her along with
money. O’Brien was a very fit man who
was always ready for a challenge. When
Pat would challenge Ralph to a running or boxing match, Ralph usually won. Patrick saw Ralph for the very last time in
World War II, Combat
CHARLES PORTER’S STORY
Charles W. Porter, my step-grandfather, was
drafted into the army on November 18, 1942 and was deferred until graduation in
basic training took place at
were assigned to combat MP and ordered to the
was ordered by two CIC Officers (Counter Intelligence Corps) to chauffeur them
around Clark Field,
Liberty Ship “Christopher Green Eyes” was caught in a typhoon on the way home
and they finally arrived in
by Jacob Wagner, 2007
Q. What branch of the military were you in?
A. I was in the 101st airborne division, Bravo 4.
Q. How long did you serve?
A. I served between 1980 and 1983.
Q. Why did you join the air force?
A. I had gotten into some trouble and a judge told me I had to do something with my life or I will have to go to jail. So I joined.
Q. Where were you stationed?
A. I was stationed
Q. What were some of your duties?
A. I was in charge of firing the Gatling gun at low flighing aircraft and I also help at a satellite station which sent the information about the aircrafts to the computer on the Gatling gun.
Q. Did you ever see combat?
A. No, when war broke out I was too old to go.
Q. Did you have any special ranking?
A. Yes I was an E-5.
Tom Reed’s Personal Story
The first time I jumped out of airplane they basically pushed me out. I was scared of heights and didn’t want to. I had just graduated out of jump school and needed to get some hands on experience. The man behind me seemed to push me out every time we went to jump. At first I didn’t want to but then I got used to it and every time seemed like a party. When you went out that door and the cord yanked your parachute out, it was a feeling I can’t explain. You just seemed free and there was nothing holding you down. There just is nothing that can replace that feeling.
Tom Reed’s Duties
Tom Reed was an E-3 who was in the
101st airborne division, and Bravo 4 was his unit. He never saw combat but did serve his
country. He was trained at
He was in charge of firing a Gatling gun at low filching aircraft. There would be a satellite dish that would send information to a computer attached to the gun that showed the ordinance of the aircraft. Tom would then aim the gun and fire. This weapon can shoot 6,000 bullets in one minute which would tear through its targets.
by Kaylee Halm, 2007
1982-2005 (including Operation Enduring Freedom), Tech Sergeant
Q: When where you born?
A: "April 7th, 1955."
Q: Where were you born?
A: "I was born in Puerto Rico and came to the
Q: When did you join the Air Force?
A: "I joined in 1982 which made me 27 years old."
Q: Did you have any basic training before starting in
the Air Force?
A: "Yes, I had training in 6 weeks in
A: "I went to
Q: What was the name of your first base?
A: "It was Griffiss."
Q: How long were you there?
A: "For about 5 years."
Q: What was your job when you were in the Air Force?
A: "I worked on the aircraft, basically fixing stuff."
Q: Did you work for a certain company for fixing
A: "I worked for Red Horse."
Q: Does Red Horse do anything outside of Air Force?
A: "We do work for
Q: What was some of your jobs while working for Red
A: "I fixed aircrafts, worked on the B2 Bomber and I built living quarters for troops."
Q: How long did it take to build living quarters for
A: "We could build a town for them in a matter of days."
Q: Did you have a rank; if so, what was yours?
A: "I was the Tech. Sargent."
Q: Since you just worked on
fixing things, did you have any weapons?
A: "No, the only weapon I had used was the M16 and that was during basic training."
Q: How many times did you go to
A: "I went three times. The first time was 2 weeks in 2000, second time was 3 months in 2002 and the third time was a year in 2005.
Q: Did you get injured at all while being in the Air
A: "The only injury I ever got was when I jumped off the truck and twisted my ankle."
Q: What was one of the most weird
encounters you came across?
A: "I saw a lot of camel back spiders that were about a ruler long that was lime green."
Q: Did anyone get a purple heart?
A: "There was only 3 people that got them."
Q: How long were you in the Air Force?
A: "I was in it for 20 years."
While Joe Reyes was in the Air Force, his job was to work on air crafts. He also worked on building housing for the troops fighting in the war. He said that they could build housing for the troops in a matter of days. He worked for Red Horse (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineering) They are trained units that are equipped to make heavy repairs, upgrade airfields and facilities. Red Horse. They also repaired aluminum matting runways, drilled wells to obtain drinkable water, crushed stone for roads and runways, repaired damage caused by enemy attacks, constructed and upgraded operational facilities and housing, erected aircraft revetments, and installed aircraft arresting barriers and airfield lighting systems. They even help out the community. Red Horse volunteers rebuild homes damaged by fire and weather. They also help out at local schools, refugee camps and even orphanages.
When Joe was in the air foce, he had orders
to go to
by Jacob Wagner, 2007
Q. What branch of the military were you in?
A. I was in the Navy.
Q. How long did you serve in the Navy?
A. I was in the Navy for 12 years because I had a diesel engine explode on me and had battery acid leek into my boot and was on medical leave for a while and couldn’t resign up because President Bush senior was reducing the size of the military.
Q. Where were you stationed?
A. I was trained at
the San Diego Navel training Center for a few months. After that I traveled all over the world to
Q. What were some of your duties in the Navy?
A. I had eight guys under me and I was also the chief engineer on the damage control unit.
Q. Did you have any special rank while in the Navy?
A. Yes I was a 2nd class petty officer but after my honorable discharge I received a letter in the mail stating I was promoted to 1st class petty officer.
Ross Rodriguez was a first class petty officer in the U.S. Navy. He served for twelve years and fought in the Desert Storm War. He was trained at the San Diego NTC. He would have served for many more years if he wouldn’t have been injured.
Ross was in charge of an eight man unit that served on the U.S.S. Rentz. On board he was the chief engineer of the damage control unit. On board they helped fight firers and if they ever had to they knew how to fix a hole in the side of the ship or a leak. He also helped by fixing motors that needed to be repaired.
JOHN ROUSH’S STORY
Captain John Roush of the United
States Air Force fought in the Vietnam War.
He became a member of the Air Force in 1963. When Roush retired in 1989, he was a
Lieutenant Colonel. Roush says the
reason he enlisted in the Air force was for “fun, fame and fortune.” Also, his father wanted him to go because
there wasn’t enough room for him on the family farm. So, Roush decided to go because it was more
exciting than staying in
by Jessica Kiser, 2005
War II, Technician 4th
The News Messenger,
March 1, 1920 to April 7, 2002
Maynard “Pete” Sanders, 82, of
Vietnam War, Military Police
While Arthur was in the service, he was part of the military police which is kind of like the police around any town just with a lot more responsibility. You could basically say that they were an elite police force. They would patrol areas or they could be a patrol supervisor. They traded sometimes with other recons to get what they needed. They were even required to interrogate men if necessary. They were a kind of peace maker.
The weaponry in which he carried was a .45(hand gun) and an m1911A1. His job covered a variety of experiences. Arthur told me that one night he and the other MPs got a call of about a disturbance. When they came upon the area of the call there was a group of drunken soldiers that were beating the crap out of each other in the middle of a field. Well, instead of getting in there and breaking it up and probably getting hit at the same time, they let the men fight it out until they were all knocked out. It was much easier for them to arrest them. From that point on the same men, every once in a while, would do the same thing and the outcome would be the same, too.
Arthur Shiley served in
the Vietnam War, and when he was first stationed in
There was a minor difficulty the first time
he returned, because he reenlisted to go to Sygon and
instead got stuck in Onkay. He was later sent to Kaav. His next leave he was only gone for a little
while, and he had to come back in ninety days in which he served in
When he first got to
Some of the images that stick in his head sound like they are vivid, and others you might not be able to imagine. One of the images that Arthur described to me was he had gotten into a jeep with one of his generals, and they were trying to pass through town, but all the traffic was backed up. His officer started to complain and asked him to look up ahead and see what the stoppage of traffic was from. When he looked ahead to check out the problem, he saw a Buddhist monk poor gasoline on another and light him on fire. Arthur had stated at this time, “That monk must have been praying really hard and I’m for sure that he was on something because he didn’t flinch an inch. He sat there on the ground in the style of the Buddhist and in not that much time was burnt to pure black. Then without any other kind of movement the monk fell over, dead.” I also recall him saying that that was the weirdest, yet horrific, thing to see someone burn without a cry for help or flinch, for a cause unknown at the time.
Later on they learned that the reason the monk was set on fire was in spite of the South Vietnamese leader, who at the time was Catholic was prosecuting against the Buddhist. Another site he had seen and heard about was when men would be transported or dropped by the planes. They couldn’t just sit there, because they’d be too easily hit by the mortar rounds. One time he was about to get on a plane and the plane had ran out of fuel, so it landed for a second to refuel. When they were finally ready to board, the passengers and he were heading towards the plane when mortar round came in and blew up a section of the plane. He felt like he had almost lost his life, in which if he wasn’t poking around for a second he wouldn’t be telling me this story. One thing that really shocked me that Arthur told me was that there were seldom times were there was no fire, but you knew there was something about to happen if the mortar rounds kept going off for a couple hours.
He also recalled the fact that a lot of the men on guard duty from a certain company were not very reliable on watch. Arthur said they would be on watch for about half an hour before they had lit up and were as high as a kite. The drug that most of the men smoked was called hash. It was said to be kind of like marijuana, but it was stronger, and it was native to the land.
On Arthur’s patrol he would always go to a little French restaurant and eat breakfast. He said he always offered to pay, but they would never accept it. Everyone in the American military ate there for free. One morning his commanding officer decided he wanted to try this restaurant he had heard so many good things about. A little while into the meal Arthur noticed that the chair he was sitting right next to was uneven. So like any normal person, he looked under the chair and saw a pipe. He asked his commanding officer why they would try to fix a broken chair with a pipe. His officer told him to carefully get up, exit the building, and call the bomb team! Later on he found out that the chair next to him had a pipe bomb under it, and he felt lucky to be alive because of the fact that it could have easily been him.
He also said that the children would come up to you asking for chocolate. When you would turn around to get it they would either pull your grenade pin or throw one at your feet. He even heard from other soldiers that a villager put a bomb on her kid and sent her out to a soldier. When the soldier picked the little girl up the mother detonated the bomb!
The Vietnamese would come up with many ways to injure or kill our soldiers. Other ways they did this was they would make it so when a soldier would pick up their pack of cigarettes their fingers would get blown off. They would put explosives in pop cans which would accomplish the same goal. He also heard about men getting infected by sharpened bamboo shoots that were covered in some kind of feces and placed in the swamps.
When he arrived at his first base camp he met and became pretty good friends with a fellow soldier. Arthur said it was unfortunate that his new friend had to be arrested by him for striking his wife, let alone it was one of his only friends at the time.
One thing that I didn’t quite understand about the Vietnam War was that any thing or person we killed and was their “property”, the United States Army had to pay for, including the children. Arthur heard from a soldier in the area, after he had come back from the army, that while they were driving through a city he saw a lady holding her baby, bawling her eyes out, and five other children around her. After a while they had realized why she had been crying. She had tossed her new born in front of one of our vehicles, so she’d get money from our government and be able to support the other children in her family. That is something that he said will stick in his mind forever, and the way he described it will be in mine as well.
Arthur told me when the American men would be out on post or be in a given area, they had to know when something was coming. They would take string and run it across a big area. When the string was pulled they knew something was there, so they would open fire. Well, one time they were out in the field and they had already drawn the line when they felt a tug. Everyone opened fire! When everyone finally stopped shooting they went to go make a body count and instead of finding bodies they found a whole bunch of dead water buffalo. The farmer who owned the buffalo was heated, even after he found out that he would get a good deal of money for the animal that we had killed.
Another weird thing he said was one time after some shooting had taken place they went to go see how many Vietcong they had killed. He noticed one as a man he had bought different kinds of things from every so often. From then on out he didn’t like to get too friendly with too many of the Vietnamese, because you would never know who was on your side.
One of the only times Arthur got to
draw his weapon was during the Tet Offensive. The Tet is an
annual holiday that the Vietnamese celebrate. While the South Vietnamese went
and celebrated, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong took advantage of that with
one of the greatest surprise attacks during
The men that were inside the embassy were told to start firing upon the
people in the embassy at a certain hour.
Arthur told me that it was total chaos and it showed him how easily
their lines could be penetrated, especially the embassy. He said it was really hard
to figure out where the fire was coming from because there were so many of the
Vietcong everywhere. He even said he and
some men were under heavy fire, and one man even saw a couple Vietcong hiding
behind flower pots. The main goal of the
attack was to make the town of
At another point in time the hotel he had been staying in was taken and the men were cornered and were in the middle of cross fire. The men got a little farther up the road but were pushed back and took cover behind a wall that was a foot and a half thick. That didn’t seem to help any, because the AKA bullets from the Vietcong were going straight through it without slowing down. Finally one of the officers called in for a convoy to come get them, but there was too much fire coming from that road at that time.
The commanding officer finally got fed up with being pinned down and not being sure where the fire was coming from, so he took a M79 (grenade gun) into his own hands. He just ran out onto the street and started shooting a grenade into every window in the surrounding buildings. That stopped the fire for a long enough time to get the wounded, and the lucky ones who were alive, the hell out of there. Arthur later thanked that officer for saving his life and found out he was later awarded the Purple Heart.
When I asked him if he knew if he had ever killed anyone, he said, “I have prayed for many days and nights that I didn’t kill anyone, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I was just returning fire.” Another time they were suppose to be holding a position, and they saw around two to three hundred Vietcong running at them. He was out of ammo and the only gun he had left was his hand gun, so he asked his buddy next to him for any ammo. After his buddy gave him some, he was shot. He saw him die, and the fact it was the last time he was going to see him, was really hard for him to swallow. The weird thing is I recall him saying, “I had no time to weep and cry then, because I had the Charlie’s coming at me and I didn’t want to die too.”
One of his fondest memories was of Paul Micheal Timberburg, a three star general for four years. He always looked out for his men and actually took the time and courtesy to go down and visit them. Arthur remembered that this general had always been considerate towards the foot soldiers and would come down randomly, have a meal with them, be with them while on guard duty, and just overall take the time to understand where his men were coming from.
The general had given specific orders to not let anyone transfer through their position without six platoons to guard as a convoy. One instance an M.P. wouldn’t let a major through until they had enough people to lead a convoy. The major got restless and started to shout that the M.P. was going to get discharged, he was a disgrace of a soldier, and basically that he was going to have his hide. No matter what the major said to this M.P., he wouldn’t budge one bit. Finally, the general showed up and asked what the problem was. In the long run, after the general had exchanged a few curse words, he explained that he gave the soldier direct orders. The general told the M.P. that he was a fine young soldier and that he had more respect for the M.P. then he did for the major. He told him if he did that again, he would have his stripes, but he also said that the major was one-fifth the man that the M.P. was.
When Arthur Shiley first
had joined the military, he was at the age of eighteen and joined up hoping to
end up with some of the buddies he enlisted with. His parents were supportive of his decision,
but they were not happy that he had made that decision. He said he was proud of the military then,
and to this day he is still proud of it.
One thing he said he couldn’t understand about when he came home from
Some people were decent to him, and other people would throw things at him and spit at him, but they weren’t there and they didn’t understand what he went through. For the most part, he would say he just dealt with it himself. If he knew someone was going into the military, he said he would support them. He’s not saying he would approve of it, but if that’s what they wanted, then he would be behind them all the way.
The thing that scared him the most when he came home was the fact that his brother was drafted into the military two months before his withdrawal. When his brother entered the army he was a private E2, and within six months he was a sergeant E5. His brother was part of a crew in Armor Personal Carrier. He was very proud of his brother, who after he got back from the war, was greatly affected and committed suicide.
by Matt Guthrie, 2007
Gerard Smith was drafted at the age
of 18, in the year of 1943, and was inducted on October 22nd,
1943. During his freshman year of
school, he quit to help out his father with their 250 acre farm. The Army took him, even though he helped on
his father’s farm. He was a PFC (Private
First Class) in the 10th Army, which was issued in
month was up, he left
By the time
they arrived in
conditions in the
They had to
stop because of Japanese resistance and the fighting tactics were just like in
Gerard W. Smith had received many medals, badges, and awards for serving his country when it needed him the most. There were 8 of them all together and they were the Good Conduct Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Three Bronze Campaign Stars, American Theater Ribbon, Victory Ribbon, Rifleman, and the Purple Heart.
JAMES SPIELDENNER'S STORY
is a veteran of the Korean War and like every veteran has a story. He was born November 17, 1931 and became part
of the American armed forces on January 21, 1953. After enlisting he attended the basic camp in
Polk Los Angeles. He was at basic for 6
months before being shipped overseas.
When he was shipped overseas he was stationed in
Since he was stationed in
James was shipped home on Jan. 6, 1955 and explained the ride back as not so pleasant. Due to inclement waters their carrier was only able to travel 28 miles in 24 hours. After serving two long years he was happy that he was returning home safe and sound.
by Rebekah Hubbs, 2007
Korean Conflict, Airman 1st Class
Feb. 21, 1933- Jan. 23, 1993
James F. Spriggs, 59,
He was born in
Mr. Spriggs retired from Nickel’s Bakery
He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Surviving are his wife, the former Suzanne Vogt, whom he
married on May 3, 1969, in
Sister Imelda Halm and brothers Larry, Donald, and Joseph Spriggs are deceased.
Services and visitation are pending at
Keller-Ochs-Koch Funeral Home, until the arrival of his son from the
for James F. Spriggs, whose obituary appeared in
Monday’s News-messenger, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Keller- Ochs-Koch Funeral Home.
died Saturday morning at his home,
Memorials may be made to the church.
The Personal Story of James F. Spriggs
James F. Spriggs
was born to Harvey A. and Irene T. (Adamsky), on
February 21, 1933. He was the sixth of seven children. James was born and
When James was 20 years old he
enlisted in the United States Air Force. James started duty on January 5, 1954.
He was then sent to
After he returned back to '
by Ashley Thorbahn, 2007
Korean Conflict, Corporal
Picture: Timothy Steager
This is a picture of Tim by a sign warning against the DMZ. The line of the DMZ is shown by the small white dots in the background along the mountains
Timothy Steager was drafted as a heavy
equipment manager during the war in
He was drafted for the war and was sent into basic training in
Sailing on the Marine Link
One of the first things Tim noticed upon arrival in
Although he wouldn’t share much
about his actual experiences during his 11 month stay he did share one story
with me. One day he was driving a
bulldozer up along the side of a mountain.
On the other side of this mountain was a DMZ (demilitarized zone)
between enemy territory and
Another story that I thought was weird was once during a battle, he was really close to the front line and was in immediate danger of getting shot. He had to (very quickly) help build a barricade for him and a few others. The only thing they could find to use for their “wall” were the frozen bodies of some Chinese soldiers who had been killed. So they stacked them up, building a barrier between them and the enemy fire. They had to stay behind them until the danger had passed.
He remembers stopping in
Once back in the
One of the final remarks he made to me was “Sometimes we try to keep things in the very back of our minds just so we can forget. There’s just certain things you don’t wanna remember.” I found this statement to be particularly interesting.
by Erica Meek. 2007
~Since she is currently in the Air Force Reserves, she always has her bag packed in case she needs to go somewhere. But sometimes she needs to run to the store before she leaves. This is because things are taken out of her bag if they are running low at home, like toilet paper, shampoo or other everyday items.
~On her very first Air Force weekend, her son fell off a horse and broke his wrist. She could not be with him and it made her wonder if she should be making this kind of commitment since she has a family at home.
~General T. Michael Mosely, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, “coined her”. Coining is a big event in the Air Force, especially if you were coined by someone with a higher rank than you.
~She was also coined by
~When she first joined the reserves her son, Kyle, who was in second grade at the time, would ask her everyday when she came to pick him up from school, “Did they call yet?” At first she said she did not understand what he meant by saying that but then realized that he wondered if the military had called her and if she was deployed yet.
~On her first summer tour, she cried on the airplane ride
~She decided to join the Air Force Reserves because it is the only branch of the military that will allow you to split your tours in half. She did not want to have to be away from home for four months at a time, so instead she is only gone for about two months each time.
What rank are you?
She is a Major in the United States Air Force Reserve, Nurse Core.
Where have you been/served?
What inspired you to join the service?
She has always admired the regimented military and wanted to be a part of it. She also wanted to serve her country and to travel.
When did you join the Air Force Reserve?
She joined when she was 40, in 1995.
What did you buy/bring home from where you have served?
brought home a kimono from
What is it like being a nurse in the Air Force?
There are monthly training sessions for wartime. When you are in peacetime you train for wartime. You have to be aware of what medicine and course you should take with that patient. It is a challenge with the different languages of the different people on the Air Force Base. There are so many patients with many different nationalities that you have to try to communicate with.
When were you coined by T. Michael Moseley?
was coined by him on Veterans Day of 2005 at the courthouse in
What is an Air Force Base like?
A base is like a little city. There are about ten gates to get in and many things going on.
As a nurse in the Air Force Reserve, training for wartime is what happens during peacetime. She needs to know what medical route to take with each person who needs medical attention. Part of her job requires her to be very strong. This is because if a wounded patient is on a litter and you need to lift them up into a plane or vehicle, there is only enough room for one person on each end.
by Stephen Stout, 2007
Picture: Carl Stout
Carl E. Stout was born in
Carl’s job was an aircraft mechanic in World War II. He was called on to fix broken and smashed up aircrafts. During the day, an aircraft would come in with bullet holes in it or would have trouble flying and his job was to get any damage sustained fixed and get it running right again. His job in general was to get the aircraft back up in the air and in use for another day. While on duty, he was issued a .30 cal carbine due to the fact that he could be attacked at his base and would need protection. He worked on P38s and P47s which are fighter planes in the military.
by Ashley Thorbahn, 2007
World War II, Corporal, 94th Infantry Division,
Picture: Richard Thorbahn
Richard Thorbahn was drafted as a gunner in the 94th Infantry Division during WWII. His job was to back up the front line with heavy artillery.
He first received training at Camp Phillip Kansas where he remembers it
being incredibly muddy and snow-covered.
From there he went to a camp in
For Christmas of 1944 until May, he was in the
He remembers having Bob Hope perform for him sometime around Christmas. The first line Hope said upon reaching the stage was “By God these girls are mine!” Richard remembers this show to have been at least one good thing to enjoy and take their mind off the war.
Something interesting that he told me was that during the
Once the war in Europe was over, he and some fellow soldiers visited
He was then supposed to go to
Richard came home on December 27, 1945 and remembers having to come all
that distance only to walk another mile from the drop-off in
Enduring Freedom, RP3 (Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class),
Q: What was your rank?
A: RP3 (Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class) in the Navy
Q: What war did you serve in?
A: The war in
Q: What was your job?
A: Number one to protect and serve Navy and Marine Corps chaplains. Number two to set up for religious services of all religions such as Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, etc. I also typed up correspondents and did secretary work. I performed and arranged burials at sea, weddings and special services.
Q: What ship were you on?
A: The USS Enterprise CVN 65. It is a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier; 65 was the year it was commissioned. It is the fastest and largest aircraft carrier in the world. I worked one level below an airport and ten levels above a nuclear plant. What I mean is, one level before the runway for the airplanes and ten levels above all of the nuclear weapons on board.
Q: What were some of your experiences?
A: I met Ben Affleck
and Robin Williams, and I swam with beluga whales. We also went through Hurricane Isabel and
because of it we had to go into the Gulf of Mexico to wait for the storm to go
away so we could go across the
Q: Where were you located?
A: In the Arabian Sea
Q: When and why did you enlist in the Navy?
A: I enlisted in February of 2000. The reason I did it was for money for college.
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment from being in the Navy?
A: My greatest accomplishment was to successfully serve four years I the world’s greatest Navy.
Q: What did the pilots on your ship do?
A: The air wing flew
Q: What did you do in
the Navy before you served in
A: I worked at the Naval District in Washington D. C. for two years.
By Erick White, 2007
Korean Conflict, Commissary Man 2nd
Picture: Ray Toeppe
Ray Toeppe’s Job Description
Ray Toeppe was a Commissary Man 2nd class in the
U.S. Navy. Ray was trained and served at Great Lakes Naval Station in Great
After boot camp Ray was promoted to Commissary Man 3rd class and had a job working in the commissary store at the station. The commissary store was just another name for a grocery store or supermarket. At the store Ray did all kinds of jobs. He started off as a supply man. He unloaded supplies such as food and drinks. He also stocked the shelves at the store with all the supplies that he unloaded. The food that could be cooked at the store was cooked at the store. Ray helped cook certain things for the store such and bread and pastries. He also did other jobs around the store such as cutting meat and cleaning. Also at the commissary store he learned everything he needed to know to be a cook on a ship. So after almost two years of working in the commissary store he was transferred to the USS Lowry.
was transferred to the USS Lowry he was still a Commissary Man 3rd
class. He was a cook on the Lowry and worked in the galley. When Ray was new on
the ship he helped cook all the food. While the ship was at dock in
When Ray was promoted to Commissary Man 2nd class he became a head of one of the cooking teams. The schedules were still the same but instead of helping with all the cooking he watched over all the CM3’s and made sure they were cooking the right stuff. He also got to choose the menus on certain days. Ray was promoted to Commissary Man 2nd class only a few months before he was discharged.
Overall Ray’s job did not consist of hard manual labor but did call for long days. The cooks were up very early in the morning to cook breakfast and were up till early morning hours the next day baking bread and such. The cooks in the US Military are the backbone of the Military because without them the army itself could not function.
Q: Why did you enlist in the service?
A: I enlisted in the Navy because I just wanted to and thought it would be a good idea.
Q: How old were you and when was it that you enlisted?
A: It was April in 1951 and I was 19 years old at the time.
Q: Why did you choose to enlist in the Navy and not some other armed force?
A: I thought that it was a better deal being in the Navy because you didn’t have to go ashore and get shot. I also wanted and liked being on the water.
Q: What job did you have in the Navy?
A: I was the cook and had to cook 3 meals a day for 350 people on my ship.
Q: What kind of training did you go through and where was it?
A: I had boot camp for 6 weeks at Great Lake Naval Station
in Great Lakes,
Q: What ship were you assigned to?
A: I was assigned to the USS Lowry DD-770; it was a Sumner-class destroyer that had been in service since 1944.
Q: Where was your home port?
A: Our ship was stationed at the Naval Station in
Q: Was your job on the ship self-demanding or challenging?
A: It wasn’t too hard of a time. I had to help my crew cook 3 meals a day every other day. The ship had two cooking crews and we switched off every other day. The only thing that I didn’t like was that we had long days usually waking up very early to serve breakfast and staying up very late to do all the baking or bread and pastries.
Q: How was life on the ship when you weren’t working?
A: Life was not bad on the ship at all. When we were off for a day we would goof around, sunbath, write letters, watch movies, pretty much do whatever we wanted except diving off the ship or anything stupid like that. So overall, yeah life was very good on the ship.
Q: Did you ever see any combat while you were on the ship?
A: No, while I was on the Lowry we never saw any action other than when we were doing training drills at sea. We were called to general quarters a few times for unidentified flying airplanes or other unidentified objects but nothing ever turned up.
Q: How long were you in the Navy?
A: I served in the Navy a total of 3 years and 10 months. I
Q: What was your rank by the time you were done serving?
A: By the time I was done I was a CS2, Commissary Man 2nd Class. Which meant I was the head of my cooking crew and directed operations around the kitchen. When I boarded the Lowry I was a CS3, Commissary Man 3rd Class, and before that I was a Private First Class.
Q: Did you enjoy your time in the Navy?
A: Yes, I enjoyed my time in the Navy very much. I got to travel all around and see places I would of never seen if it were not for the Navy. So all time I spent in the Navy I am thankful for every day.
Ray Toeppe’s Story #1
Ray Toeppe told me a number of interesting stories when I interviewed him. But when we were finished only a few stuck out. One story that was very interesting was how Ray was part of a world cruise taken by the USS Lowry. For 8 months the Lowry and Ray sailed around the world.
1, 1954 the USS Lowry captained by Commander F.B. Johnston sailed out of
After a few months sailing around
The Lowry was only in
turning back from the equator they headed for
Ray Toeppe’s Story #2
Ray told me
another story when the USS Lowry and it’s fleet were
sailing about 1000 miles out in the
Ray was serving on the USS Lowry when this happened but would have to be transferred to another ship to be taken home. Ray had hoped that he would be transferred to the aircraft carrier and flown home. He got an order one night to go see an officer that told him he would be transferred to a supply ship to go home. The officer told him that he would be transferred by way of a cage like device. Ray was put in a cage that was connected with cables from the Lowry to the supply ship. Sailors on the Lowry kept the rope tight while sailors on the supply ship had to pull the cage over to their ship. The ships were sailing and were approximately 150 feet apart. The transfer took 3-4 minutes to get between ships. Ray said it was quite an experience to be transferred like this. He also said that it was kind of scary cause he thought in the back of his head he would fall in and drown. But he was transferred successfully and on his way home.
ship couldn’t just take Ray home though. It had to make stops with other U.S.
Navy ships sailing around the vicinity. It collected others ships mail and gave
supplies to the ships. He finally got to
by Jacob Trick, 2007
War II, Sergeant,
Wayne Trick graduated from
While overseas he got to visit
Eight years after that he met my beautiful grandmother and the rest is history.
During my interview with my grand father, I learned many things. From his experiences to the fun he would have while off duty and also to the fears that he had while serving his country.
Jacob: What made you want to join the air force?
Jacob: Why was going overseas your second choice?
Jacob: Were there any worries to this decision you made to go overseas?
Jacob: Was it hard leaving your friends and family?
Jacob: What was your family’s reaction to you leaving?
Jacob: What new things did you experience being in a whole new country?
Jacob: How did this decision impact your life?
Jacob: What’s the biggest message you’d want to relay to readers about serving your country?
The job was difficult sometimes because certain people did not want to do what they told or some were rebellious. Sometimes he had to use force, like with his night stick. He said that he had to also use his knowledge of self defense because some guys would become restless.
He would also guard the general and his house as well. They would be posted around the house sometimes; it was guarded for 24 hours a day. My grandpa would also escort the general from place to place. He would have to be on his toes all the time because this was the head general that he had to protect. But it was never nerve-wrecking because everything was mostly cooled off by then.
Charles Wagner was a foot
soldier during World War II. Foot
soldiers are the soldiers that fight in all or most of the battles in
wars. Wagner fought in many important
Dec. 23, 1926 – Sept. 10, 1998.
Charles F. Wagner, 71, of Sandusky County Road 175, Clyde,
died Thursday at
by Jason Keckler, 2007
War II, Private, 361st
Picture: John Weaver
the army John C. Weaver was ranked as a Private. This meant that he was a soldier on the front
lines. He was an infantryman in the 361st
regiment and he fought in
Weaver died in
by Trevor Langel, 2007
(World War II)
Harold J. Whitcomb started off as a private. His job then when it was his first time in the war he was a basic foot soldier. As the war went on he was upgraded to lieutenant where he had a little more control over his squad. He was lieutenant for about a year or two when he was then upgraded to captain where he had almost complete control over his infantry.
Harold J. Whitcomb was a brother of two with both parents still living together. He had a wife and her name was Beatrice. The way the two meant is Beatrice was the nurse who nursed Harold back to health after the war battles.
Harold attended many battles. The battles he attended were Agaloma on Feb. 3rd 1942. At that battle he was awarded a purple heart
with an oak leaf cluster for wounds he suffered in route to
Arthur Whitcomb was Harold’s brother who was the captain of the 137th infantry. Arthur volunteered his infantry to go try to rescue his brother from the march. He was eight days late. Only eight days and that caused him to be trapped behind enemy lines which resulted in Arthur to go through at least a dozen battles before he was able to rescue his brother.
Harold and the ones who made it alive out of the march were held captive for three and a half years of being nothing but tortured and brainwashed. When Harold was rescued he only weighed 77 lbs. Just think that’s how much he was starved and tortured. Harold was hospitalized for almost 8 months before he was back up to full health.
When he got out of the hospital he was in love with the nurse that nursed him back to full health who he ended up marrying.
When he got out of the hospital he
ran for mayor of
World War II,
JOHN WHITE’S STORY
Jack White joined the 37th
Ohio National Guard at the age of 16. In
order to join, he had to lie about his age.
He quotes about joining, “I pestered them so much they finally took me. It was bad times then during the
Depression.” When the war broke out in
December 1941 he was transferred to the army.
After his training was complete he was in
John A. “Jack” White, 79,
By Erick White, 2007
War II, 1st
Picture: Mernie White
Mernie was born on December 16, 1919 in
Mernie was accepted into the Air Force and signed up to be
a fighter pilot. I don’t know what base Mernie
learned to fly at. But Mernie learned to fly an older
fighter plain and got a P-47 to fly in combat. In 1945 after learning to fly Mernie was sent to
Cause of Death
Mernie White was at
He was sent to For Sumner in early 1945 to train to be a
fighter pilot. He flew in a P-47 and was preparing to go over to the Pacific to
fight the Japs. On July 3, 1945 he took off on a
normal mission with some other flyers with him. Towards the end of the mission
he split off from most of the fighters. The pilots had just got new P-47’s and
many pilots had reported problems with them.
During the mission Mernie had noticed slight
engine problems but had done nothing about it. Toward the end of the mission
the engine had caught fire. Mernie was calm about the
fire and radioed in saying he was making an emergency landing. He landed and a
witness said that the landing couldn’t of gone any
better. But something went wrong and the plane suddenly exploded killing Mernie instantly. The Air Force did not know why the plane
exploded. Mernie’s body was sent home to
‘Mernie’ White dies of injury in
Lieutenant, 25, victim of
airplane accident at
Lieutenant Millard (Mernie) White, 25, husband of the
former Jeanne Freeh and son of Marlin (Dod) White, died Tuesday at
Word of the popular youth’s death was received by his wife at the home of her mother, Mrs. Lawrence Freeh, Lincoln Street, less than 12 hours after she arrived home from Winfield, Kansas, where she, Lt. White and Marlin, their 23 month-old son, had lived for the last several months while the lieutenant was training.
was transferred to the
arrived Tuesday evening, the telegram from
The body is
being shipped to Fremont, Captain Young accompanying it. It is expected to
arrive Saturday morning and will be removed to the home of Mr. And Mrs. Marling
Military funeral services will be Monday at 2 P.M. at Hayes Memorial Methodist church, the Rev. Clifford Bangham officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood cemetery by the Ochs funeral home.
the accident in which Lt. White met death have not been learned, although the
was on of
lieutenant was born in
was educates in
by Jessica White, 2005
World War II,
Thomas E. White’s Story
Tom White joined the Army in
1944 at the age of 18. He was part of
the 106th Lion Division, 3rd Armored, 1st
Armored, and 423rd infantry. His rank
was a Platoon Sergeant. The Platoon
Sergeant is the second one in command of each regiment. He took part in the reclaiming of Northern
Oct. 3, 1926 – Sept. 16, 1993
Thomas E. White, 67,
Willa Linder and Martha Belch of Fremont and Mary Weil of
Toledo; stepsisters Carol Briney of Fremont, Joanne
Mann of Monticello, Indiana , and Ruth Johnsen of
Escondido, Calif.; stepbrother Tod Simon of Concord,
Calif.; and 10 grandchildren. Son Thomas
White Jr. and brother Mernie
White are deceased. Services will begin
at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at
by Riley Wildman, 2007
James E. Wildman is worked in the defense field
for nearly 45 years. My grandfather
started his job at Rock Island Arsenal in 1961 as a draftsman when he was
recruited out of college. His job was to
draw the different parts of machines before the blueprints for them were
made. He has worked at Rock Island Arsenal,
British Aerospace, and Battelle Memorial Institute (where he currently works
now). He was worked his way up the
ladder throughout his career from draftsman to designer to engineer and finally
to senior engineer. He has showed
aptitude for engineering since a very young age. When he was around six or seven years old he
took apart his father’s drill that he had gotten for Christmas and put it back
together again. When he was around
twelve, he was helping his father build a new house. Runoff water was seeping into what would be
the basement and my grandpa had to bail out the water. His father had to leave on an errand and told
him to stay and keep the water out. My
grandfather wanted to play baseball instead so he built a makeshift aqueduct
that diverted the water. When his dad
returned to find him gone, he was quite upset.
This October, my grandfather will go into retirement after a long and
fulfilling career. He married Jean Riley
in 1961 and they had three sons: Scott, Jim (my father), and Steven. He lives in Catawba with his wife. My
grandfather has held several jobs throughout his career. He first worked as a draftsman who draws
pre-blueprint sketches of different mechanical components. He then became a designer, followed by an
engineer and then senior engineer at his current place of employment. He and his colleagues have worked on many
things. Some examples include a magnet
suit that is supposed to deflect or negate bullets; the beginnings of what
could be a force field in 25 years or so.
There is something that they call a Submarine Curtain that uses Lithium Oxide
to scrub Carbon Dioxide out of the air.
During the Sago Mine disaster, someone at Battelle suggested that they
alter it so it could eliminate Carbon Monoxide.
They call it the Mine Survivability Curtain. He has also worked on many firearms, and experimented
with things such as liquid propellants.
He has also traveled extensively.
He has visited
James E. Wildman Interview
Q: When did you start your job?
A: He started in
January 1961 at the
Q: What training did it require?
A: The job required a high school diploma, and sometimes, college. He had both and was qualified.
Q: Did the job seem overwhelming at first?
A: He adapted fairly quickly. The job was challenging but very rewarding, and he had many mentors and people who helped him.
Q: What things have you gotten to do because of your job (travel, people, etc…)?
A: It opened my
grandfather’s awareness to what could be done with the human mind. He had the opportunity for further training
and enjoyed doing that very much. He has
traveled widely, throughout Europe and
Q: What wars were you involved in during your employment?
A: He was involved in
any war from 1961 until current day. His
Q: How does your job change in wartime?
A: War changes the intensity of requirements. There is a lessoning of “what-could-be, to what can we have now?” The key word is urgency. What they develop is of a lesser quality but a higher production. The concern is for the soldier, but also finances. It is foolish to believe that money isn’t a factor: three factors exist for soldier material-cost, schedule, and performance. All are weighed equally, while taking into account the available funds and competition. How to prioritize is a tough question. He tried to think in terms of, “If my kids were in the war, what would I give them”, which later became the case with both Scott and Steven.
Q: Are there any specific programs you remember?
A: His first job was to design a future artillery piece. My grandfather constructed a model and it was successful: he got to see every step of the process from the design to the finished weapon.
Q: How crazy are some of the things that you work on.
A: He has developed a magnet suit that is supposed to deflect bullets, a mine-survivability curtain, guns with liquid propellants, and even the beginnings of what could be a force field in maybe twenty-five years.
Q: Is your job a part of the military, the Department of Defense, or Independent?
A: Battelle Memorial Institute is the largest independent research and development organization and is commissioned by the government and industry.
Q: What is your favorite project if any?
A: Every project is taken with passion and becomes my favorite. “My favorite becomes whatever is over the horizon-a machine is a machine, and inanimate object…the thing I enjoy is the people working and the sharing of intellect.”
Q: As a result of your job, have you ever been involved with combat?
A: My grandfather
once was going to go to
Q: What are the best and worst memories of your career?
A: The best memories are working with so many brilliant people. The only bad things are watching so many colleagues, friends, and mentors die. He also hates seeing idiots working where he is. There are people who excel, and people who have no business being there, and incompetence really annoys him.
Q: Would you do it again?
A: Absolutely. He said he hardly ever regrets anything that he does. There are things he could have done better but I don’t regret it.
by Riley Wildman, 2007
Steven R. Wildman Description/Personal Story
Steven Wildman joined the marines on October 13,
1987. He went to take part in Desert
Steven R. Wildman Interview
Q: When did you first join the Marines?
A: He joined on October 13, 1987.
Q: What training did you have?
A: My uncle went to
boot camp and the
Q: What did you do in Desert Storm, and what was your rank?
A: He was an automatic gunner in his squad and he was a Lance Corporal.
Q: What equipment did you use?
A: He used a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon; also called a “Saw” that was a 9mm automatic weapon. He also used Kevlar vests, helmets, and other standard materials.
Q: Do you have any memorable stories?
A: He remembers
vividly when he and others were first flown into
Q: What are your best and worst memories?
A: The best was being able to travel and see places he probably wouldn’t have seen, and the worst was the drudgery of being a “grunt”. He didn’t like being treated like an idiot.
Q: How long were you
A: They were in
Q: Were you scared?
A: First coming into the country, the realization of your own mortality was very scary. His life really did flash before his eyes, in his own words.
Q: Did you kill?
A: He did not kill. Shots were fired several times but he never killed anyone.
Q: Were you ever
A: He said he was pretty much prepared. The goal was to kick
Q: Were you relieved when you came home?
A: He enjoyed the experience but was happy to come home.
Q: What did you do?
A: My uncle worked at
CIC (Catawba Island Club) for a while and attended
by Chase Wilhelm, 2007
Wilhelm died at St. Providence Hospital in
2nd Class Petty Officer
6/15/1940 – 8/2/1988
Q: What was his rank in the U.S. Navy?
A: He was a 2nd Class Petty Officer
Q: What was his job in the Navy?
A: He worked on a submarine as an engineer.
Q: What weapons did him or the people on the submarine use?
A: On the submarine, the crewmen used torpedoes for defense.
Q: Was he in any conflicts or wars?
A: He was in a Korean conflict while he served in the Navy.
Q: Was he drafted or did he join the Navy?
A: He joined the service and was in it for four years.
Edward Bernard Wilhelm was an engineer on a submarine in the Korean Conflict. His job was to keep up the maintenance of the submarine which was a pretty tough job to fill. This included changing the oil and other jobs that were required for this profession.
by Chase Wilhelm, 2007
Vietnam War, E-5
Q: What was your rank in the U.S. Army?
A: I was an E-5 Sergeant.
Q: What was your job in the Vietnam War?
A: I was an LCM operator on a land-side boat.
were you located in
Q: Where were you stationed in the
A: First, at Fort Knox but there was no
room, and then to
Q: What was your favorite part of the army?
favorite part was driving a boat to
Q: What was your least favorite part of the army?
A: My least favorite part was taking orders from others.
you go to any other countries besides
were you treated at home after
A: When I got off the plane there were girls spitting on us calling us baby killers.
What weapons did you use in
A: I used an M-14 rifle, an M-16 machine gun, an M-50 machine gun, and a grenade launcher.
Q: Were you drafted for the war or did you sign up?
A: I signed up because I would have gone anyway so I wanted to choose of my job in the war.
Thomas Joseph Wilhelm’s personal story is quite an interesting
story. Every night one person from the
boat that Tom patrolled had to stay up and keep guard of the boat. This particular night my uncle was in charge
of this job. This job requires a hand
grenade to be thrown into the water every 10, 15, or 30 minutes. Tom asked if the water was clear of any “friendly
forces”, and it was. So he decided to
throw a grenade since the water was clear.
This turned out to be a bad decision because there turned out to be a
Korean boat that he threw the grenade at.
At this time the Koreans were known as a “friendly force” to the
Before my uncle could blink an eye there was fifty Koreans that were going after him and they were out to kill him. As the Koreans got closer and closer with their bats and weapons, Tom got to a captain to tell him what happened. Next thing the Koreans knew there were 150 troops coming to get rid of them. Turns out that it was not Tom’s fault that the Korean ship was hit because the ship didn’t call in and tell the United States Army they were close to a ship. My uncle got away without any injuries and nothing came about because of this event.
by Meghan Wonderly, 2007
World War Two, Elton Triumph Explosives
Mary Ellen Mellich was born on November 25,
Mary Wonderly is still living today. She enjoys spending time with her copious amount of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Crocheting and telling tales of her time at Elkton are favorite pastimes as well.
Christmas season in 1941, Evelyn Mellich came home
Mary and a few other girls boarded in Elkton with an older woman who lived a few blocks from the plant. Breakfast was provided, no men were allowed upstairs in the house, and the rooms were shared. It was a small but comfortable living arrangement. Elkton was a bustling town full of military men, boarding houses, and duplex apartments. With so many young people around, Elkton was a fun town with lots of things to do. Mary and Evelyn’s brother Harry was stationed at a naval base nearby, and he would come to visit the girls. On one occasion, Harry came over for a visit and could not find Mary anywhere. When she finally came home from shopping, she found an angry note from Harry saying he had looked all over town for her and why on earth didn’t she stay home more?
Triumph Explosives, Inc. was a steady job for many girls, not just Mary. Girls mostly from the surrounding areas such
Six days a week Mary worked at Triumph Explosives on the day or afternoon shift. She was assigned to inspect 40 millimeter anti-aircraft shells. The room before her would pour the powder into the shell itself and then seal it. After picking it up from her own turn table, Mary would run her thumb along the casing to make sure it was properly secure. If not, the shell was discarded. Mary would then put shell on to a turn table that would take the ammunition to the next room. There the shells would be put onto metal frames to be shipped away. Running her hands along the shells left jagged slivers of metal in her hands, and her boyfriend Albert had to pick out the pieces of metal for her.
There are two stories in particular that my grandmother loves to tell about her housemates. One is the tale of how a girl worker kept her pregnancy a secret for so long. The second is about her roommate Opal. There was quite a lot of drama at her boarding house in Elkton!
One of the young women who stayed at the house had always been a little pudgy. (Due to age and the fact that it has been over sixty years since the war, my grandma cannot remember the girl’s name.) This girl grew a bit larger, and the other girls thought nothing of it. The heavier girl still played softball and ran around the bases, no problem. Then late one night my grandma and another housemate (the girl’s sister) awoke to screaming. Evidently the chubby girl had been pregnant and was going into labor. My grandmother and the housemate took the mother-to-be to the hospital. After having the baby, the mother gave it up for adoption and never got to see her child again. Back then, it was common for girls who got pregnant before they were wed to give up their babies, no question.
Opal was my grandmother’s roommate. Both of them worked at Elkton Triumph Explosives, Inc. When Opal had an appendectomy, my grandmother covered Opal’s spot as well as her own. But when she recovered and came back to the plant, she did not work. Instead Opal hung out in the canteen all day, chit-chatting with others.
After a while my grandmother got
sick of doing twice the work, so she paid a visit to the canteen. She yelled at Opal, saying that she was not
going to do Opal’s work anymore. The
next day Opal came back to her position in the work line. However, the tension followed them home. For months the two went without speaking,
even though they slept in the same bed!
Finally, Opal “broke the ice”, and the two got over their squabble. After the war, Opal went back to
and grandpa met in
No fool, my grandmother made sure to ask, “You don’t have a girl at home, do you?” He fervently denied having one. Gullible grandma believed him, and they began dating. They would sit on the steps of the boarding house and talk, because men were definitely not permitted upstairs. Once he brought her a ring, saying that he had won it in a game of poker. My grandmother could not wear it, because it was so big it fell of her thumb.
On June 30, 1944 they were wed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Only several children later did she find out that he had actually been engaged to a girl back home at the time they met. The ring that he had said he had won in poker had actually been a present for the other woman. This did not upset my grandmother however, for she reasoned, “he must’ve liked me better!” Although he started out with outright lies, it must not have tainted the relationship too much. They were married for fifty years and had twelve children.
by Meghan Wonderly, 2007
Corporal Robert Wonderly was born on December 6, 1924 to William and Loreena Wonderly. He was one of five children. Robert was raised in the Burgoon area. My grandfather, Albert, and Robert were first cousins.
One day in the early 1940s, Bob was
sitting in his classroom at
After the war, Bob led a normal life. Construction is the only career he has had other than being a Marine. He married Jean, who is also still living today. They raised six children together. Robert is a jovial man who loves spending time with his family.
enlisting in the Marine Corps, Robert Wonderly was
The Navajo Code Talkers were also stationed where Robert was. He recalls them as being tight knit and not very talkative.
Once the war was over, the 5th
Division was back to
Robert was paid thirty-five dollars a month. He received five extra dollars than the rest because he was an expert rifleman. Every three months the government would take out $7.25 in taxes, but they would send a twenty-five dollar war bond home to your family.
On May 1, 1946 Corporal Robert Wonderly came home after serving thirty-three months in the Marines. He had not been wounded. His brother Don, however, came home suffering from malaria, but he eventually recovered.
The men arrived at
Robert acted as a radio operator
during the battle at
One day something went tragically wrong. The infantry needed support from above, so Bob called in an air strike. Sadly, the infantry did not pick up the plastic squares when they advanced. Not realizing that they were firing on their own men, the pilots kept on with their air strike. By the time the air strike was called off, many men had already died. It was a scarring moment in Robert’s life.
After the air strikes, Robert’s
battalion fought at
the ship ride to
PFC Ronald Eugene Young, 20, native
A Requiem Mass for Pfc. Ronald Eugene Young, 20, son of Mr. & Mrs. Lester Young,
ELLSWORTH NORMAN ZERBE’S STORY
Ellsworth Norman Zerbe was born on November 2, 1928, in
Nov. 2, 1928 – Aug. 3, 1988
Ellsworth N. Zerbe, 59,