Worcester County Veterans Memorial
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Veteran Stories

Corporal U. S. Army, WW II Pennsylvania National Guard Henry Abbott was raised in Berlin, MD. Following graduation from Buckingham High School he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and received basic training in Virginia and Mississippi. He was shipped overseas in July of 1944, and as a replacement, was assigned to the… Read more »

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United States Army (Retired) and his wife, Mary C. Adair “You belong to something in support of the country.” That is how Bob Adair summed up his nearly 31 year Army career. But as he readily admits during that career, he was supported greatly by his wife, Mary, and their four children. A military family… Read more »

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U.S. Navy World War II Memoirs I joined the Navy on November 7, 1942 at the age of eighteen and was shipped to Boot Camp at the Naval Training Station located in Norfolk, Virginia. My next assignment was the Naval Air Station located in Anacostia, DC. After serving a few months at the Anacostia facility,… Read more »

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VIC BEARD UNITED STATES NAVY MY WWII STORY On March 17, 1944, at age seventeen, I enlisted in the United States Navy. After boot camp and electrician mates’ school, I was shipped out to the western Pacific, where I was assigned to the USS Yarnall. The Yarnall (DD-541) was a Fletcher-class destroyer. The ship was… Read more »

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U.S. NAVY WWII by George Hurley Albert Berger is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. While working at the Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard as a welder, he thought he should join the military. At that time the company was building Liberty ships and LST’s, landing craft designed to carry men and equipment. Albert was told he could… Read more »

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1949-1971 U.S.ARMY-AIRBORNE RANGER VIETNAM WAR KIA “Dear Mom & Dad; Sorry this has been so long …[but] we were preparing for a combat mission. The “chopper” pilots over here are really good. They fly very low; about 10 feet over the top of the trees. It’s really great because [the sides] are open and we… Read more »

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United States Army (As related by his wife, Annette Berry) We mortals are all prisoners of the time into which we are born and the time in which we live, but there are a few who can step out of that captivity, and, in so doing, move us all forward as a people. Perhaps this… Read more »

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United States Army Died July 7, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom He was 38 years of age, from Cleveland; assigned to the 216th Engineer Battalion, Ohio National Guard, Akron, Ohio; killed July 7 when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near his vehicle in Samarra, Iraq. Maryland native killed in Iraq Associated Press BERLIN, Md. —… Read more »

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United States Marine Corps (1st Battalion, 26th Marines, B Company, 2nd Platoon) We few, we precious few. We who have shed our blood, together, shall forever be……a band of brothers. William Shakespeare “We had a plan. Well, actually, I had a plan. It was a good plan. Bill Bohlen and I were going to join… Read more »

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United States Army DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY On December 8, 1942, while on a four year senatorial/athletic scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, I enlisted in the U. S. Army. I was nineteen years old. Ninety-two days later I was ordered to basic training at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. As a private in basic training, I… Read more »

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A B-17 War Story A most unusual story. This one should be read around the world. God shows up in the form of a German pilot. Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England . His B-17 was called ‘Ye Old Pub’ and was in a terrible… Read more »

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United States Marine Corps WWII Philip C. Canfora, 82, a native of New Castle, Pa., near Pittsburgh, and resident of Ocean Pines, remains a proud Marine 62 years after being discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. He enlisted when he was a teenager, wanting to serve his country during World War II. When he left… Read more »

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United States Air Force (Retired) What is a “Fighter Pilot”? A fighter pilot is noted for intelligence, independence, integrity, courage, and patriotism. “Fighter Pilot” is a state of mind, not a job title. Therefore, not all people who fly fighters are fighter pilots, nor do all fighter pilots fly fighters, some of them drive trucks…. Read more »

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UNITED STATES ARMY NURSE CORPS Willa Cromwell knew all too well that war did not stand still for emergencies. “On our way to England, in the middle of the English Channel, one of the troops on board had appendicitis.” Willa, an Army Corps nurse during World War II, remembered an appendectomy had to be performed… Read more »

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1916-2005 United States Navy World War II Robert (Bob) Cropper, the son of Harry and Harriet Hickman Cropper, was born and raised in Ocean City, MD. Bob’s father operated the local hardware store. Bob dropped out Princeton University in January, 1941 (his junior year) to join the U.S. Navy. He became a pilot and flew… Read more »

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UNITED STATES ARMY 559th Anti-Aircraft Battalion (As related to his daughter, Carol Cummins Salter, and his grandson, Adam Salter, contributor) While on a five-day leave from the United States Army in August 1943, Charles Cummins met Jane Smith who, upon his return from World War II, would become his wife. Although he promised to come… Read more »

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(As related by daughter of Marshall and Lillian Davis and niece of Mervin Stein, Jeri Lipov) In his book The Greatest Generation, author Tom Brokaw chronicled the lives of many WWII veterans and the contributions they made to our country both during and after the war. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in 1990 that… Read more »

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(As related to his nephew George Reiswig) One of my visits with my uncle Walter was in the summer of 2002. During that visit we talked about some work I was doing on a veteran’s memorial in Maryland. Walter had never before spoken to me about his military experience other than to say the scar… Read more »

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January 17, 2008 Tom Exarhakis was interviewed by LtCol Richard T. Tanner, USMC (Ret.), on January 17, 2008, concerning his duty with the American Armed Forces during World War II. This synopsis is prepared for submission to the Worcester County Veterans’ Memorial Foundation for their historical records. Mr. Exarhakis was apprised of the purpose of… Read more »

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Al Ferguson was born in Bayonne, NJ, on May 21, 1929. He served in the United States Army from March 1951 to December 1952. After training at Fort Dix, NJ, he served with the 176th Armored Field Artillery, I Corp, Eight Army, Korea. Al achieved the rank of sergeant having served in the Winter Offensive,… Read more »

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United States Air Force (As related by his sister, Patricia Flanagan Arthur) Family bonds and affection are never illustrated more vibrantly or are more heartfelt than when a younger sister remembers the character and personality of her older brother. Such is the case when Patricia Flanagan Arthur talks about her older brother, Sherman E. Flanagan,… Read more »

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United States Army Nurse Corps (Retired) “The Army nurse is the symbol to the soldier of help and relief in his hour of direst need. Through mud and mire, through the mark of campaign and battle, wherever the fight leads, she patiently – gallantly – seeks the wounded and distressed. Her comfort knows no parallel…. Read more »

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United States Marine Corps 2nd Marine Air Wing, 4th Marine Air Group, 1st Scout Bombing Squadron (VMSB-241) (As related by his daughter Sharyn O’Hare and recorded in his personal war-time diary) The official United States Navy account of the Battle of Midway and the events of June 4 – 7, 1942 presented on the Naval… Read more »

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United States Marine Corps (Company C, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines) (As related by his Gold Star Mother, Katherine “Kit” Federico) The official name of the Memorial is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It is sometimes referred to as VVM or “the Wall”. It is not a war memorial but a memorial to those who served in… Read more »

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United States Army Harry Holowach is proud to say that his service in the United States Army should be remembered as “a bit of patriotism.” As it is with the vast majority of those who serve our country, a little bit of patriotism is the amount needed by all young men and women who realize… Read more »

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United States Army 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) (As related by his friend, Dave Paquet) The 101st Airborne Division Association was created almost sixty years ago by Screaming Eagle veterans for Screaming Eagle veterans. It is now approaching 10,000 members. Their website claims their insignia to be “the most recognized… Read more »

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United States Marines, (I Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division) There were good strategic reasons for the decision to invade the island of Iwo Jima. It was central to the overall plan to eventually invade the Japanese homeland and to end the war. However, the degree of difficulty in capturing the island was… Read more »

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By Sheila R. Cherry Associate Editor, Bayside Gazette OCEAN PINES—Local veterans, Navy Quartermaster Elmer Muth and Army Air Corpsman John Sauer were among 156,000 military service members from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, assigned to invade France’s northern Normandy coast on June 6, 1944. The United States joined its allies in the successful,… Read more »

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KIA- South Pacific -World War 2-U.S. Navy Lieutenant William Mann (U.S. Navy) was born in 1918 and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1920’s. His father, (William Mann,) was a Yale graduate and the chief council for the Illinois Bell Telephone Company. His mother, (the former Julie Manierre,) was a Chicago… Read more »

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United States Army Air Corps The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life, I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. When… Read more »

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United States Navy (As related by his daughter, Ruby Chaney) It was 1946 and the war to end all wars was over. The United States was entering a period of unprecedented prosperity. It was time to celebrate, enjoy the fruits of victory, and begin a new civilian life. However, for Palmer Theron McCormac, as with… Read more »

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SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE | UNITED STATES AIR FORCE Dates of Service 16 January 1943 – 31 October 1945 29 June 1946 – 31 July 1968 John “Jack” Huston McCracken, son of William Paul and Margaret Huston McCracken was born on 26 November, 1922, in Pittsburgh, PA. Jack is the grandson of… Read more »

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THERE IS A GOD I was a Company aid man in E Company, 115th Infantry, 29th Division. Every night I would pray to God to get me home safe and sound to see my mother who had serious health problems at the time I was sent overseas. God kept me safe for I never got… Read more »

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Lawrence (Joe) United States Navy | George United States Navy, United States Army Air Corps | Robert and Donald United States Air Force David, John and Rosemary United States Army If service in the United States military were a family business, then the Mulholland family could certainly claim it as their own. During a period spanning nearly 40 years, starting in 1943,… Read more »

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QM2c WORLD WAR II- D-DAY – AS I REMEMBER IT LCT 613 arrived at England on LST 288 on April 2, 1944, and was launched immediately. Shortly thereafter, additional crew members were assigned to bring the crew up to full complement. The weeks that followed enabled the crew to assimilate and begin sharpening their individual… Read more »

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United States Marines and his wife, LANI RAKOW Marriage under any circumstances is an experience of highs, lows and in betweens. When the added pressures associated with military life is added to the equation, marriage can become very challenging. Bill and Lani Rakow can certainly speak to the joys and hardships of a military marriage…. Read more »

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Herman A. United States Army | Curtis H. United States Army | John D. United States Army Air Corps | Leroy F. United States Army Carl H. United States Navy | Robert United States Army The town of Donaldson, Pennsylvania is situated just west of the Pocono Mountains and on the northern edge of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Schuylkill County. The area is… Read more »

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UNITED STATES ARMY (As related by his nephew, Joseph Reynolds) This banner headline of the Baltimore News American of May 31, 1943, announced the fate of Captain Peter Reynolds, United States Army: PETE REYNOLDS REPORTED PRISONER OF JAPS The story continued: “Capt. Pete Reynolds, U.S.A., a former stellar Johns Hopkins athlete, reported missing after the… Read more »

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United States Marine Corps SOUNDING TAPS FOR A FALLEN MARINE My Father, Ralph Eugene Riley, died June 22, 20l2. He was a decorated Marine who was wounded in action on September l5, l944. He served within the enemy zone of operations in the Pacific Ocean from l942-44 with Company K,3rd Battalion, lst Regiment, lst Marine… Read more »

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United States Army How Joe Sangermano, the son of Italian immigrants living in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, went from a tranquil existence in his hometown to becoming a prisoner of war is a story punctuated with fear, determination, hope and downright perseverance against debilitating odds. By his own admission, Joe was quite a character who enjoyed life… Read more »

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116th Infantry, 29th Division, Company F The invasion of Normandy began June 6, 1944. Code named Operation Overlord, the landing involved 4,100 landing craft. General Eisenhower told the troops, “You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we’ve striven these many months.” Among those involved in the “great crusade” was nineteen year… Read more »

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United States Army 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Regiment From an early age, Donald Saville had an interest in the military. He joined ROTC when he attended South High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his senior year in 1939, he was appointed Cadet Lt. Colonel to command the ROTC Battalion. His interest in the… Read more »

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United States Air Force (Retired) 487th Fighter Squadron “The Ruhr will not be subjected to a single bomb. If an enemy bomber reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Hermann Goering: you can call me Meier!” – Reich Marshal Hermann Goering “The day I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up.” Commander-In-Chief… Read more »

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United States Air Force (As related by his widow Marge Peake) “I just happened to be there. It was an accident.” These simple words of explanation were characteristic of Kenneth Stickevers, a Long Island, New York native who, in August 1960, along with seven Air Force crew mates became the victims of civil unrest in… Read more »

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United States Army 3rd Battalion, 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106 Infantry Division – The Golden Lions Military Rules for Prisoners of War The Code of Conduct (CoC) Article I – I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their… Read more »

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United States Navy United States Marine Corps Reserve NAVAL AIRCREWMAN’S CREED I am a United States Naval Aircrewman, member of a combat team. My pilot and shipmates place their trust in me and my guns. I will care for my plane and guns as I care for my life. In them I hold a power… Read more »

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U.S. ARMY – WORLD WAR II 1925-1996 Luther (Luke) Thornton was born and raised in Ocean City, MD. Luke was a senior in Ocean City High School when Pearl Harbor was attacked and the country entered World War II. After his high school graduation he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army’s 33rd Infantry… Read more »

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(1921-1996) Lt. Colonel U.S. Air Force 414th U.S. Army Air Force-VII Fighter Command Colonel JackTyndall was raised in Berlin, MD. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June of 1942. He was originally trained for aircraft engine maintenance but signed up for pilot training in 1943. He was trained as a fighter pilot flying… Read more »

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United States Marines (Retired) (As related by his great grandnephew, Hunter “Bunk” Mann) When Bunk Mann was a young boy in 1954, he was not very interested in World War II. Bunk and his dad were visiting Uncle Archer at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia that year, and, although the Four Star General was as… Read more »

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United States Army

(1923-2002) United States Army Sergeant World War II Experience (1942-1946) Frank Villani graduated from Ocean City High School. He was living at home with his family who owned and operated the Villa Nova tourist Cottages in West Ocean City. In the fall of 1941 he had taken a job on a deep sea fishing vessel… Read more »

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United States Army

United States Army (66th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division) (As related by nephews George Reiswig and Ronald Reiswig) In March 2004 I received the package I had been expecting for almost a year. The package was sent to me by an individual in California whose business card stated he specialized in “Personalized WW2 Historical Research”…. Read more »

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United States Army

JOHN WAGNER & RICHARD WAGNER Union Army | WILLIAM CARPER United States Army |CHRISTOPHER F. CARPER Unites States Air Force (As related by William Carper) When Bill and Mary Carper of Ocean Pines were interviewed for this story, we engaged in an easy going conversation that ranged from early 19th century Prussian immigration through the Civil War, the… Read more »

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United States Naval Reserve Nurse Corps

United States Naval Reserve Nurse Corps The United States Navy Nurse Corps was established by Public Law No. 115, H.R. 20471, on May 13, 1908. The following is an excerpt from the section on the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, providing the partial text of the portion relating to women. “The nurse corps (female) of… Read more »

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United States Air Force

Major USAF [1939-1972] 716th Bomber Squadron 307th Strategic Wing, SAC KIA Vietnam Major Nutter Jerome Wimbrow III was raised in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County, MD. While in elementary school his father had moved the family from Berlin to reside with his grandparents who were in failing health and needed assistance. His father had… Read more »

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United States Army

JAMES WISEMAN Private, Company I, 76th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, Schuylkill County Volunteers February 1865 to June 1865 DANIEL ZECHMAN Private, Company G, 151st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, Burks County Volunteers September 1862 to July 1863 (As related by great-grandchildren Nate and Rosemary Pearson) This Harper’s Weekly cartoon exposes the corruption existing under the policy which allowed… Read more »

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