We are losing so many of these fine men every day, the youngest that would have been old enough to see much combat is about 83 now and the oldest that I have scheduled to appear is 93. About 400,000 of these men died so that we could continue to have many of the freedoms that all too many of us take for granted. The public needs to know of their sacrifices in battle both in the European and Pacific theaters of operations, as well as the men and women on the home front that worked so hard to keep the fighting men supplied with war material as well as keep their morale up with the horrors that they faced repeatedly for nearly four years, many of them never got back to the US for three and a half years.
All programs are on Saturdays at 10am at the First United Methodist Church at 275 W. Michigan Ave. directly across the street from the Carnegie Branch Library. They are free to the public with coffee and rolls provided.
August 1st – Mr. Colin McKinzie was at Pearl Harbor on Dec.7th 1941 aboard the Battleship Pennsylvania (pictured right) manning a gun; he was wounded and hospitalized for four months. He was also at Normandy on the destroyer USS Thompson on June 6th 1944 (D-DAY).
Sept 12th – Dr. Eugene Bleil who was an Army Air Corp mechanic stationed in the Philippine Islands when the Japanese attacked the Philippines on the same day they attacked Pearl Harbor. He was pressed into the Infantry with 15 minutes of Infantry training, given a WW I rifle and fought valiantly until all the men WERE surrendered four months later to stop a total slaughter. He then endured the 60 mile DEATH MARCH OF BAATAN, he was taken as a “Guest of the Emperor of Japan” as a POW for three and a half years, weighing as little as 85 lbs.
Oct. 3rd – Jackson resident Donald Goss was in the 29th Infantry Division and landed at Omaha Beach at 9:30 am on June 6th 1944 (D-DDay) where he fought in the Hedgerow country. Mr. Goss was shot by a sniper about two weeks later.
Oct. 17th – Lt. Col. Charles Cooke, 8th Air Force. Col. Cooke flew 30 missions as a B-17 pilot over Germany and Europe. Also Oct. 17th, Ber Seitz, a Ball turret gunner crewman on a B-24 bomber that flew 35 missions over Germany and Europe.
Nov. 7th – Jackson resident Mrs. Amy Bakker, lived on Java in Indonesia with two small children while her husband Paul was taken prisoner by the Japanese and forced to work on the Death Railway also called the Burma, Thailand Railroad project or commonly called the “The Bridge on the River Kwai” from a movie with William Holden in 1958. She had to keep her family together under Japanese rule as a 21 year old woman alone for about 5yrs before she and Paul who did survive the Death Camps were able to reunite with each other.
If you have any questions my phone is 783-0761 or my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org or my blog at worldwar2intheirownwords.blogspot.com to view photos and more information on programs or to converse about World War II in general.