Monthly Archives: May 2014

Murphy’s Laws of Combat

Military Appreciation Month has been emotional straining on many, so I feel it is time for some humor! Therefore let’s look to our Maiden on the Midway, Anna and get a laugh or two…..

Maiden on the Midway

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  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
  • No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
  • Friendly fire ain’t.
  • The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.
  • The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it .
  • The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
  • The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
  • The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
  • If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.
  • The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.
  • The only thing more accurate than…

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Home to Heroes

On Memorial Day, Mustang Koji did far more than what was expected from him. For those of you who are not familiar with this wonderful person – PLEASE continue to read and then go to the page for his family – The Letter from 1945.
http://p47koji.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/45/
Thank You!

Masako and Spam Musubi

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A journey to the Riverside National Cemetery for this Memorial Day weekend was deemed in order.

Just my way of saying “Thank you” to three men… and Marge Johnson as well.

I was told that the Boy Scouts planted over 200,000 flags for this weekend.  Well, there’s a few more flags now…  albeit just small tokens of appreciation from me, they are recognition of what America deeply owes them.

If you never served (like me), you should be grateful that these men did…  instead of you.

In a documentary, a paralyzed Marine who made it back from Iwo Jima said one indescribable smell resonates in him to that day: the sweet, distinct smell of fresh blood squirting out from a wound to the jugular vein.  He said if you smelled that, it signaled a dying Marine.

The Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration. …

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MEMORIAL DAY

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

TODAY IS MEMORIAL DAY.  WE HONOR HEROES.  THEY ARE HEROES, NOT BECAUSE THEY DIED, BUT BECAUSE THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE RISKING – AND WENT ANYWAY!

REMEMBER!

Wear your colors proud!

MEMORIAL DAY

by:  CW Johnson
 
We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As Taps began to play.
 
The Chaplain led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.
 
They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom
They lie here ‘neath the sand.
 
I felt a little guilt
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.
 
Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
 
Thanks for what you’ve given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.
 

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James J. O'Leary, my uncle, photo courtesy of Mustang Koji.

MSgt. James J. O’Leary, USMC, my uncle, photo courtesy of Mustang Koji.

 Mustang Koji can be located HERE!
 
click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

James “Holly” Black – Easley, SC; US Army, Korea

Keith Borck – Sebring, FL; US Army, Vietnam, helicopter pilot, Distinguish Service Cross

James Crawford – Springfield, IL; US Army Koreaus-flag-and-soldier-1

Henry Davis – Augusta, ME; US Army, Vietnam

Virginia Devine – Joliet, IL; WAVES, WWII

John Hamilton Sr. – Jacksonville, AL; US Navy, Korea, SeaBee, Chief Petty officer, 22years

Hubert “Pete” King – McCook, NE & Minneola, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Charles Long – Ocala, FL; US Navy, WWII

James Pasdertz Sr. – Joliet, IL; US Army, Vietnam

Donald Smith – Jacksonville, FL; US Army & US Air Force, Vietnam 3 tours

Gordon Willis – Falmouth, MA – US Air Force, Korea (Famed Hollywood cinematographer)

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Arlington Cemetery, 150 Years

Visitors entrance to Arlington Cemetery.

Visitors entrance to Arlington Cemetery.

STARTING MAY 2014, ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY WILL HOST A SERIES OF EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS EXISTENCE.

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DURING MAY AND JUNE, VARIOUS CEREMONIES WILL TAKE PLACE.  THE TWO MONTH SPAN IS TO EMPHASIZE, FIRST- THE BURIAL OF THE FIRST SOLDIER ON 13 MAY 1864, UNION PVT. WILLIAM HENRY CHRISTMAN.

Union Pvt. William Henry Christman

Union Pvt. William Henry Christman

SECOND, IT WAS OFFICIALLY DECLARED A MILITARY CEMETERY ON 15 JUNE 1864.  ARLINGTON WILL CLOSE THEIR CEREMONIES AT THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

 

MAY THEY ALL REST IN PEACE.    

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Michael Adamson – Lebanon, PA; US Army, MSgt. (Ret. 20 years)

 John Altieri – Naples, FL; US Army, 2nd Lt.Veterans_Day-thanks

Curtis Cooper – Mountain Home, AR; US Air Force, Vietnam & Desert Storm

Silda Covington – Rexburg, ID; WAVES, WWII

Charles Helvey – Sheridan, WY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, waist gunner B-17s

John Whitehead Hunter – Devonport, NZ; RNZ Navy # D15528

Kenneth Lee – Lake Placid, FL; US Army, WWII, Cpl

David Savage – Anchorage, AK; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), WWII & Korea

Mabel “Doreen” Tunney – Toronto, Can; RC Air Force, WWII

James Vaught – Myrtle Beach, SC; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Taylor Young – Duquesne, PA; US Army, WWII, 472nd Artillery

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U.S. National Maritime Day, 22 May

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May 22nd is the date when the American ship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia in 1819 and became the first transoceanic voyage ever made under steam power.  Hence the day was chosen for the date of tribute.

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In 2002, the Military Sealift Command held a memorial service in Washington D.C.  Rear Admiral David Brewer III and Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, tossed a wreath into the Anacostia River at the Washington Navy Yard in honor of the fallen mariners.

Capt. Susan Dunlap & Capt. Robert Burk during ceremonial in Hawaii

Capt. Susan Dunlap & Capt. Robert Burk during ceremonial in Hawaii

In 2013, National Maritime Day was celebrated with picnics and tours at the Port of San Diego; maritime career fairs in Seattle and Baltimore, as well as the traditional memorial ceremonies.

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Merchant Marine cap insignia

Merchant Marine cap insignia

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For A striking story sent to us from fellow blogger, Argus, we have the story of the N.S. Savannah.

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Also – about the rescue of the crew of the Montebello from Enchanted Seashells – Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife can be located HERE!

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A very poignant and dramatic story, well worth taking the time to read…

From

From “The Week” news magazine.

Click on images to enlarge!!!

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Farewell Salutes –

Dale L. Blackburn – Huntsville, AL; US Navy, Vietnam

Robert Babin – Beaufort, SC; US Navy WWII

Lilian Bromich – Maunganui, NZ; WAAF, WWII, #W4124flag

Glynn Coster – Sheridan, WY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 10th Mountain Div.

George Dodd – Graceville, FL; US Army, SFC (Ret. 20 yrs.), Korea, Purple Heart/Vietnam, Bronze Star

Ralph “Dean” Fisher – Wichita, KS; US Army, WWII/US Air Force, Korea

James Holmes, Mt. Home, AR; US Navy, Korea

Arthur Kaeseburg – Mesa, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 194th Glider Infantry/17th A/B Div., Bronze Star

Farley Mowat – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Can.; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Harold Stelicha – Bethlehem, PA; US Air Force, SAC, B-17 pilot

Gene Watterson – Birmingham, AL; US Navy, WWII, ETO

James Zimmerman – Bradenton, FL; USMC, Korea

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I sincerely want to thank the volunteers of the Little Rock, AR VA Hospital for their care and concern, not only for the veterans but for Sheri deGrom as well.  You all have the spirit of the Greatest Generation!!

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How to Observe Memorial Day

Some important information that everyone should know to show support of their military! LET’S SHOW THEM WE CARE!!

theleansubmariner

How to observe

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Intermission Stories (18)

Once we get back into WWII, we will mainly have Pacific Theater information here.  So, during this intermission time, I’ll take this opportunity to include another European Theater story.

X-Troop, George Lane is standing, back row center

X-Troop, George Lane is standing, back row center

 

Mr. X Meets the Desert Fox

George Lane aka: Lanyi Gyorgy

British Commando, No. 10 X Troop

In the spring of 1942, Lord Mountbatten created a commando unit made up of 10 troops.  No. 10 consisted of European born Jewish volunteers to be described as “unknown warriors,” false identities included.  To prove their loyalty, these men were required to perform extremely dangerous operations behind enemy lines.

Lanyi Gyorgy, Hungarian-born, was in England in 1939 and married Miriam Rothschild in 1943; it was through her connections that he was able to enlist in the army at all.  On 15-17 May, before D-Day, the newly named “George Lane” and “Roy Woolridge” were sent to Normandy Beach to search for mines.  They brought back an old corroded sample.  They were sent back to locate and photograph the anti-tank obstacle known as Element C.

George Lane

George Lane

Upon eluding capture on shore, a German patrol boat caught them in their dory and brought them back to the beach.  Lane’s interrogator insisted he was a saboteur and a member of the special services.  (An interpreter was used because Lane insisted he did not speak German).  Lane continued to state he had been on a troop ship that sunk in the Channel and he knew nothing.  He had his hands bound and a blindfold applied, but it was not done correctly – he could see out of the bottom.

George was led to a car and saw Roy sitting in the rear, he was put in the front.  During the drive, he pretended to sleep, head tilted back to view the route and memorize the French street signs.  At a large castle, an English-speaking German officer gave him food and tea and requested he was up to meet someone; he said, “…can I count on you to act like an officer and a gentleman?”  Lane agreed that he was indeed a gentleman.

He was brought into a vast ballroom and a slim, impressive general walked up to greet him.  Lane recognized him at once – the legendary “Desert Fox”, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.  “So you are one of those gangster commandos?”  Lanes replied that he heard the commandos were the best in the world.  “So, you are a commando?  And a saboteur too, I suppose?”  Lane answered that he wouldn’t have been invited to the castle if that were true.

Field Marshall Erwin Rommel; The Desert Fox

Field Marshall Erwin Rommel; The Desert Fox

“You call this and invitation, do you?” Rommel snorted.  “Of course,” Lane said to the interpreter, “But also a privilege,” and then he smiled.  Rommel began to laugh and the discussion went on for about 20 minutes.  The general promised he would be treated fairly as a POW.  Lane and Woolrige both agreed that they were.

At the POW camp, Lane reported to the English senior officer, Col. E. Miller and admitted he was a commando in X-Troop.  A coded message was sent to England to confirm his identity along with the name of a road sign he remembered by the castle.  17 July, Rommel’s car was strafed by a Typhoon fighter-bomber, the driver killed and the general injured so badly he was forced to relinquish his command.  There is no proof that Lane’s info caused the attack, but he was awarded the Military Cross for his services.

Military Cross

Military Cross

He returned to the castle 40 years later and asserted that he always believed General Rommel had saved his life.

George Lane passed away on 19 March 2010 at the age of 95.  His story here was derived from one that appears in “True Stories of D-Day” by Henry Brook and The Telegraph.co.uk.  These are the only 2 photos of George Lane I was able to locate.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Fred Bickley, Jr. – Birmingham, AL; US Army, WWII

John Boyle – Farmingdale, NY; US Air Force, Korea

A Farewell Salute

A Farewell Salute

David R. Clare – Westfield, NJ & No.Palm Bch., FL; US Navy, WWII

Charles Garrison III – Long Beach, CA; US Army, Ranger

Anne Jarvie – Rotorua, NZ – RAF # 2145065 & RNZ Air Force # 73299, WWII

Sydney Johnson – Colorado Springs, CO; US Army, Korea, Military photographer

David Lake – Buhl, ID; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, flight engineer, B-17’s

John Niceley – Front Royal, VA; US Navy, WWII

Richard Parrish, Jr. – No.Palm Beach; US Army Air Corps, Lt., B-17 pilot

Walter Shackel – Port Washington, NY; US Army, WWII, 86th Mountain Infantry

George Thomas – Toronto, Can; RCAF, WWII, Squadron 435-436, Burma/India Theater

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Armed Forces Day

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TODAY, BEING ANOTHER PART OF MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH, IS CALLED ARMED FORCES DAY.

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THE FIRST ARMED FORCES DAY WAS CELEBRATED 29 MAY 1950 (one month before the start of the Korean War).  ARMED FORCES WEEK BEGINS ON THE 2ND SATURDAY OF MAY AND ENDS THRU THE 3RD SATURDAY.  Due to their unique schedules, the NATIONAL GUARD & THE RESERVE units may celebrate this at any time during the month.

Col. Don Campbell & members of the US Army 4th Infantry, 9 April 2008 (Hussein capture)

Col. Don Campbell & members of the US Army 4th Infantry, 9 April 2008 (Hussein capture)

PRESIDENT DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER, 1953 –  “Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man.  For it is he – the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine – who has fought to preserve freedom.”

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If you do NOT normally fly your flag everyday, make this day one that you do!  Even a small one sitting in your window shows your heartfelt feelings toward our troops.

If you are not from the U.S., tell us about the days you honor your military in the fight for freedom – help us to learn by sharing.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Judson Barrack – Lake Ridge, VA; US Army, WWII

Andrew Cherpak – Dix Hills, NY; US Army, WWIISoldiers_saluting_siloutte1

John F. Cary – Colorado Springs, CO; US Air Force, Colonel (Ret.), Korea & Vietnam

Marie Fisher – E.Winthrop, ME; US Air Force, Colonel

Thomas Harmon – Rockville Centre, NY; US Army, WWII

Chuck Mares – Great Falls, MT; US Army, Vietnam

Hugh Pickering – Matamata, NZ; RNZ Army Trooper # 80214, WWII

Mark Rogers – Rosebud, AR; US Army, Iraq & Afghanistan, 82nd Airborne Paratroopers

Herbert Sedlis – Wayland, MA & Boca Raton, FL; US Army, WWII

Martin Stoller – NYC & WashingtonDC; US Army, 4yh Armored Division, WWII, ETO

Angus St. Pierre – Belleville, Can & Juno, FL; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Clifton von Kann – WashingtonDC; US Army, WWII, Major, ETO, Silver Star

Walter Walsh – Secauscus, NJ; USMC, WWII, PTO, sniper, FBI agent (Ret.)

Donald Wiethuechter – Tacoma, WA; US Army, Lt. Colonel (Ret.)

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Intermission Stories (17)

Woody Gorback in Italy.

Woody Gorback in Italy.

Woody Gorbach

A local story

Woody Gorbach, a current resident of South Palm Beach County, had served with the 135th Battalion/34th Infantry Division/5th Army during WWII in the European Theater of Operations.  He was raised in Westport, Connecticut and enlisted at the age of 19.  “I felt I had to fight for the country.  I wanted to end the war.”

Woody sailed from Newport News, VA on a trip that would take 30 days and drew the attention from German bombers who tried their best to end the voyage.  Gorbach recalls, “…being sick and scared and excited.”  His first real fighting was at Monte Cassino, a hilltop abbey on the German defense line.  Multiple battles cost the Allies about 55,000 casualties.  Woody developed trench foot and was sent to a base in Africa.  When he returned to Italy, he discovered his unit had been wiped out.

Woody, photographed in April 2014 w/ his medals.

Woody, photographed in April 2014 w/ his medals.

He would later fight at Anzio beach where the German fought with the advantage of the high ground.  “A lot of casualties there,” he said.  “I thought my time was up.  After that I knew each day was a gift.”  He felt lucky and guilty and devastated to have lost so many friends.  “But when you’re 19, you didn’t think too much about it, you just did your job.”

Gorbach said he was one of the first to enter Rome, greeted joyfully by the Italians.  He slept that night at the foot of the Colosseum.  When asked if that meant on the ground, he replied, :Always on the ground.  We carried a blanket.  It’s not like there were hotels.”  As he looks back, he calls the years “Interesting.  They weren’t altogether bad because I met a lot of good people and brave soldiers.”

Woody in front of his real estate office.

Woody in front of his real estate office.

Retirement for Woody wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and at 90 years of age, he continues to work as a real estate broker in Manalapan, Florida.  His wife of 60 years, Lori, put his name in for the Honor Flight, which he recently took to Washington D.C.

Hats off to you, Woody Gorbach!

The facts and quotes were taken from an article written in the Palm Beach Post, by Kimberly Miller, Staff Writer.

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Current veteran’s story….

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ALERT  – 

Sheri deGrom

Sheri deGrom

Our fellow blogger and good friend, Sheri deGrom, could use our support right now.  Her husband Tom has been rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and I hope each and every one of you will show her that we are behind her with our thoughts and prayers!  Thank you!

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Farewell Salutes – 

Please click on to read.

Please click on to read. From ANZAC

Joel “Shelly” Bienstock – Phoenix, AZ; US Army, Korea, Purple Heart

Thomas Carton – Hicksville, NY; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Miami

Jack Dowdall – Pompano, FL; US Army, WWII

Steven A. Farris, Jr. – Alexandria, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Colonel, fighter pilot, West Point grad, 48th Combat Support Group, ETO

Herschel Ingram – Anchorage, AK; US Army, Sgt. (Ret.)

Clyde E. Keller – Berryville, AR; US Army, WWII, ETO, 742nd Field Artillery Battalion

Carl Moses – Sand Point, AK; US Army, Korea, artillery

Thomas O’Brien – Forestville, MD; US Army, Korea

Madison Post – Fond du Lac, WI; US Army, Lt. Col.(Ret.), ETO

James Roberts, Sr. – Fairfax, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 379th Bomber Group

Allan Sawyer (90) – Auckland, NZ ; Flt Sgt., RNZAF, RCAF & RAF #636536 & #435581

Norman Sooter – Berryville, AR; US Army, WWII

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Intermission Stories (16)

Sgt. Tommy Prince

Sgt. Tommy Prince

Thomas George Prince

WWII and Korean War Veteran

Tommy Prince was born 25 October 1915 at Petersfield, Manitoba as one of 11 children, a descendant of Peguis, the Saulteaux Chief.  In 1920, the family moved to Scanterbury, Manitoba on the Brokenhead Reserve.  Although he easily met the requirements for the army, he was turned downed several times before finally being accepted on 3 June 1940.

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Tommy did well in the army, first as a Field Engineer and then with the Canadian Parachute Battalion.  He was among a select group chosen to train with a specialized assault team, the 1st Special Service Force.  They became known to the enemy as the Devil’s Brigade.

Tommy Prince w/ his brother Morris at Buckingham Palace

Tommy Prince w/ his brother Morris at Buckingham Palace

In 1944 in Italy, Sgt. Prince was spying on the Germans.  He set up an observation post in an abandoned farmhouse.  For days he reported on the activity in the nearby German camp.  Soon after, shelling severed his communication wire.   Undaunted, Prince donned civilian clothing and acted as a farmer tending his crops.  By pretending to tie his shoes, he successfully repaired the broken wire in full view of enemy soldiers.  His actions resulted in the destruction of 4 German tanks that had been firing on the Allies.

Monument at Kildonan Park, Winnipeg

Monument at Kildonan Park, Winnipeg

Prince continued to distinguished himself.  In the summer of 1944, he walked across miles of mountainous terrain, behind enemy lines, going days without food or water, to locate an enemy camp.  He returned to his unit with the intelligence and they captured more than 1,000 German soldiers.  When the fighting ended, King George VI decorated Prince with both the Military Medal and the American Silver Star.  He was honorably discharged on 15 June.

Tommy Prince returned home to a country that denied him the right to vote in federal elections and other Canadians veteran benefits.  The business he had entrusted to a friend had failed while he was away, so rather than face unemployment, he re-enlisted.  This time Prince was assigned to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI).  During 2 tours of duty in the Korean War, he won numerous medals (pictured),  he was wounded in the knee, and honorably discharged on 28 October 1953.

Medal array

Medal array

After the war, he was was once again in the news as a civilian for saving a man’s life at the Alexander Docks, June  ’55.  A film was made about Tommy and his part was played by Adam Beach, also from Manitoba, entitled Tommy Prince: Prince of the Devils.

Adam Beach

Adam Beach

Sgt. Tommy Prince is Canada’s most decorated Aboriginal war veteran and proved himself to be a brave and remarkable man.  Prince had a strong sense of civic duty and a fierce pride in his people.  He said, “All my life I wanted to do something to help my people recover their good name.”

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The Canadian hero passed away on 25 November 1977, he was 62 years of age.

This story was taken and condensed from Historica Canada.ca and newspaper archives.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Joseph Aliano – Phoenix, AZ; US Army (Ret.), Bronze Star

A Farewell Salute

A Farewell Salute

Earl Buell – Cunningham, Ca; US Navy, CW03 (Ret.), WWII, POW

Joseph Bull – Dargaville, NZ; RASC # T/10665006, WWII

William Dougherty – Glen Cove, NY; US Navy,USS Wharton & Submarine Sea Poacher

Robert Firlan – Eagle River, AK; US Army, Iraq, Afghanistan, Purple Heart

Louis Gelabert, Jr. – East Meadow, NY;   US Army Air Corps, 1946-49

Ernest Johnston, Jr. – Palm Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII

Richard Liguori – Arden, NC; US Coast Guard, Korea

Al Pease – Canada; WWII, Hall of Fame racecar driver

William Scheid – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Larry Williamson – Vienna, VA; USMC, Lt., Korea

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