European

Out on the Atlantic Ocean, a constant procession of planes took off and landed on the aircraft carrier on which Louis Best served as a torpedoman.

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.

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.

James Baker joined the Army looking for adventure. In November 1945, the Frederick native quit high school and went with a friend to enlist.

American

“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…

Pacific

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 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…

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…

African

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.