For Navy medic Bert Thornton, WWII offered an adventure, although of course it wasn’t without its dangers.
During the invasion of a German-held beach in southern France, the two USS LCT 1012 boats next to Bernard Fink’s hit mines and blew up. He remembers a soldier being thrown 20 feet into the air from the blast.
Bert Sikowitz had just returned to his bunk on the USS Horace A. Bass on July 30, 1945, when a kamikaze pilot slammed his aircraft into the ship’s superstructure.
Bill Thompson, now 100 years old, was older than most soldiers when he was drafted to join the U.S. Navy. Five years married with a young daughter and a career as a press operator at IBM, he was suddenly called to serve, at 26, as a storekeeper on an amphibious cargo ship, watching fellow sa…
The first Japanese person Cecil Culpepper ever saw was the face of a kamikaze pilot whose plane was tumbling from the sky toward the ocean below.
By the time Milton Erdmann had enrolled in college, World War II was well underway in Europe, and the eventual involvement of the United States was, for most, a foregone conclusion.
Frank Devilbiss served on the water for two years in World War II, working as a diesel mechanic on Army boats in the Pacific. But in all that time, he never learned how to swim.
Raymond Pettingall’s late wife, Frances Sanger, hated the Army, so much so that she got rid of his uniform after he was discharged in 1945.
Photographs depicting military scenes from the Philippine Islands during World War II very well may have been the handiwork of Frederick native Charles Bare.
The situation was tense in the winter of 1945, a little-known chapter of the second World War. On the Filipino island of Manila, an estimated 3,800 civilian internees were being kept on the grounds of the University of Santo Tomas by Japanese guards. Food supply was running perilously scarce…
Five years after the end of World War II, Tom and Norma Day met as schoolteachers at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. But it was only a few months before they got married, Norma said, that they spoke about their service during the war.
When George Deluca’s draft number came up, he deferred his high school graduation in Wanamie, Pennsylvania, to join the Army. He entered the European theater in the last days of the Battle of the Bulge and stayed on in the occupation of Germany.
Carl Molter Jr. stalled his jeep turning around on a narrow Belgian road just outside the city of Bastogne. It was the early days of the Battle of the Bulge, and Molter had inadvertently driven into a field where German and Allied troops were about to clash.
Hank Hilburn joined the 77th Infantry Division in 1944. He had tried to enlist two years earlier, but being 16 at the time, he was told to wait.
Missing arms and legs were some of the most common injuries that Mildred Winkler would see among soldiers as a nurse at Tripler Army Medical Center, a military hospital near Honolulu. Harder to absorb, she said, were the mental injuries — soldiers with traumatic brain damage or lingering psy…
Irwin “Buck” Isaacs still has the dog tags that hung from a chain around his neck during most of his service as an Army tank mechanic. But at one point, they were almost lost to war.
More than 70 years after Frederick resident William Smith enlisted in the military, it is not surprising that he does not remember everything that happened during his tour.
“I remember one of the patients so dramatically because I can still see his face,” Marilyn Sandler said. “A very, very young soldier who had been overseas and was in a coma. I was taking care of him for three or four days. He was in a coma, and one day his eyes flew open like that, and he lo…
Not long after Warren Dorsey learned he had qualified for a scholarship with the Julius Rosenwald Foundation in 1943, he got some news that significantly altered his path — he had been drafted.
William Edwards spent two Christmases during the war on a ship. In Hollandia Harbor, New Guinea, in 1944. And, after the war ended, waiting to settle back on land in San Francisco Bay in 1945.
Stanley Sundergill was only 17 when he graduated from high school, so he asked his parents to sign a special form that allowed him to enlist in the military.