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A Virtual World War II Honor Roll

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Stories from the Greatest Generation

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A Virtual World War II Honor Roll

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Showing Results 25 - 32 of 1014

Raymond E. Armstrong
Navy
Raymond
E.
Armstrong
DIVISION: Navy
Feb 21, 1926 -
BIRTHPLACE: Larned, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: May 19, 1944 -
0
May 10, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Children William Ray Armstrong and Elizabeth L. Price

BIOGRAPHY

My ship the USS Hinsdale was hit by a Japanese Suicide plane on Sunday April 1, 1945. I drove Landing Crafts to shore at Iwo Jima. I saw the Flag on the hill raised. The Hinsdale received two Battle Stars for World War II. I was a Coxswain-This is the person who pilots the boats that carry the men to shore. My boat (Duck) would carry 36 men or 12 men and a jeep. The hardest thing was backing out to go to shore. Because if you didn't back out perfectly straight the waves (sometimes huge) would hit the side of the boat and turn it sideways-once the boat was sideways, you were stuck. Another function of the boat I piloted was for a Refueling station. The Ducks could drive out to 500-1000 yards from shore and refuel when needed. My ship the USS Hinsdale APA 120 was named after Hinsdale County Colorado. Life on the ship wasn't too bad. We had a place to eat, sleep and a Canteen in which we could get cigarettes, candy or just about anything we needed. To send mail and receive, was only when we were docked every couple of weeks. Communication was limited. I was in the Pacific Ocean two years 1944-1946. I went through the Panama Canal 3 times. I was 3 months in New York while my ship was being repaired.

Gene V. Arnold
Army
Gene
V.
Arnold
DIVISION: Army
Sep 14, 1922 -
BIRTHPLACE: Elmo, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: American
SERVED: Jan 1, 1943 -
0
May 16, 1955
0
HONORED BY: Daughter, Jeanne Batha

BIOGRAPHY

Gene was born in Elmo, Kansas to Benjamin and Alla (Rutz) Arnold. After graduation from Abilene High School, Gene attended college in Wichita. While in school he began working for Southwestern Bell Telephone as a part time coin collector. In October, 1942 he married Willetta F. Irby of Wichita. As he was completing his enlistment papers, Gene was drafted into the Army in January 1943 and completed basic training at Camp Polk, Louisiana. Because he had completed nearly 2 years of college, Gene rose through the ranks very quickly. After basic he was sent to Miami, where he decided to transfer to the Army Air Corps. He began pilot training in Bozeman, Montana. On November 20, 1944, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant while stationed in Santa Maria, California. Because of his skill as a pilot, his commanding officers kept recommending him for further training on newer and bigger planes so he was never deployed overseas. His last assignment was as a pilot on a B-29. After leaving the service he returned to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, retiring in 1979 as an Assistant Vice President of the Rates Department. He is the father of 2 daughters (Jeanne Batha and Linda Ingram), grandfather of 3 and great grandfather of 7. He currently resides in Abilene.

Harold F. Arnold
Army
Harold
F.
Arnold
DIVISION: Army,
A.G. Div.
Jul 4, 1921 -
BIRTHPLACE: Newark, NJ
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Aug 20, 1942 -
0
Mar 25, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Eisenhower Foundation

BIOGRAPHY

I played on the SHAEF Football team, SHAEF invaders in France and Germany. I also made the All Star Team in Europe.

Edward Arzinger
Navy
Edward
Arzinger
DIVISION: Navy,
USS Clarence K. Bronson (DD-668) and USS Wickes (DD-578)
Jul 16, 1925 -
BIRTHPLACE: Philadelphia, PA
HIGHEST RANK: Petty Officer 3rd Class
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Sep 1, 1942 -
0
0
MILITARY HONORS: Navy Unit Citation
HONORED BY: Witness To War, Ike's Soldiers and the Eisenhower Foundation

BIOGRAPHY

Arzinger served on the destroyer USS Bronson when it was newly commissioned, making him a plank owner on that ship. Upon arrival at Pearl Harbor, Arzinger was transferred to the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Wickes as a Torpedo Striker. On the Wickes, he participated in the battles of Corregidor and Okinawa. Following Okinawa, they returned to San Francisco where they celebrated the end of the war. He was then assigned to shore patrol in New York City for eight months. He was discharged in 1946. He considered rejoining the Navy but they wanted him to start over at the rank of Seaman. At the urging of a friend, Arzinger joined the Army Air Corps as a 'buck sergeant,' a rank equivalent to his Navy 3rd class rank. This was during the time of the Berlin air lift when the Americans were dropping food and supplies. Reluctant to be transferred to Germany and possible war with Russia, he was transferred to Smoky Hill Air Base in Salina, Kansas. He met his future wife on a blind date in Wichita, Kansas. His next assignment was a photo lab technician at Hickam Field in Hawaii until his discharge when he returned to Kansas to be married. Next came a move to New Jersey where Arzinger enrolled in an Aircraft and Engine certification course. He joined the Naval Reserves and got called up as a torpedo man during the Korean War. Thankfully, that war ended before he got to Korea. He and his wife then returned to Wichita, Kansas, where they have lived ever since.

VIDEOS

Raymond R. Ascher
Army
Raymond
R.
Ascher
DIVISION: Army
Dec 26, 1917 -
BIRTHPLACE: Junction City, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Mar 3, 1942 -
0
Nov 3, 1945
0
HONORED BY: Eisenhower Foundation

BIOGRAPHY

Raymond Roland Ascher was born 12/26/2017 to Louis and Emilie Ericksen Ascher on a farm in eastern Geary County seven miles east of Junction City, Kansas, where he grew up and also attended school. After farming several years, he was called into the service and served in the Army. During this time he spent nearly a year in Europe, of which most of this time was spent in Germany and France on the front lines. On July 28, 1945, he married Ruth Etta Pettyjohn.

Lawrence R. Ashton
Navy
Lawrence
R.
Ashton
DIVISION: Navy,
USS Fuller
Sep 26, 1920 - Feb 28, 1998
BIRTHPLACE: Fairview, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: Pacific
SERVED: Dec 5, 1944 -
0
Apr 1, 1946
0
HONORED BY: Wife, Grace Ashton Children Shirley, Susan, Wanda, Randy

BIOGRAPHY

Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

Vernon S. Atwood
Army
Vernon
S.
Atwood
DIVISION: Army
May 11, 1916 - Jan 11, 1980
BIRTHPLACE: Brush Creek, TN
THEATER OF OPERATION: European
SERVED: Jul 13, 1936 -
0
Jan 31, 1957
0
HONORED BY: Children: Carol Atwood Walker, Stephen Francis Atwood

BIOGRAPHY

Vernon S. Atwood enlisted in the horse cavalry at Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia at the age of 20. His first assignment outside of the continental United States occurred when he re-enlisted in 1937 and was attached to the Coast Artillery Corps and sent to Panama. He came up through the ranks. In 1942 Vernon applied for OCS and was sent to Ft. Riley, Kansas becoming one of the fabled '90-day wonders.' Upon completion he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He took part in WWII's bloodiest battle, the Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge. Vernon proudly served in the famed 9th Armored Division, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (mechanized) participating in the capture of the Remagen Bridge on March 7, 1945. He received his first Bronze Star in 1945 which read in part: {Capt. Atwood was decorated for his work in Germany last April, when he led reconnaissance troops ahead of a tank battalion spearheading through enemy territory. His mission was to keep driving forward, gathering information and uncovering enemy strong points. According to the citation, 'the success of the operation was due largely to the brilliant leadership and keen foresight exercised by Captain Atwood.'} His military campaigns included Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. He was awarded the following medals: Bronze Star Medal with 2 bronze oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 bronze service stars; World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal plus the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. When war in Korea broke out, Vernon served with the 70th Heavy Tank Battalion, Company B, Ft. Knox, Kentucky. After 20 1/2 years of military service, Vernon retired in January 1957 with the rank of Major. Three of his brothers also served their country during the war years by enlisting in the Merchant Marine, Army and Seabees. In 1941, he married Margaret McKean of Rossville, Georgia. They were married 38 1/2 years when he passed away in 1980. He is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Vernon and Margaret were the parents of two children. Their living heritage includes four grandchildren, Heath Walker, Adrienne Poteet, Stephanie Atwood and Mary Fields; plus two great-grandchildren, Isis Fields and Tanner Poteet.

Mildred Axton
Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)
Mildred
Axton
DIVISION: Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)
Jan 9, 1919 - Feb 6, 2010
BIRTHPLACE: Coffeyville, KS
THEATER OF OPERATION: American
SERVED: 1943 -
1
1944
1
HONORED BY: The Eisenhower Foundation

BIOGRAPHY

Mildred "Mickey" Axton was born Mildred Tuttle in Coffeyville, KS. 1/09/1919. Mickey was a test pilot during World War II and "one of the first three Woman Airforce Service Pilots to be trained as a test pilot and the firs woman to fly a B-29. Micky Axton's first airplane ride was in a WWI-era Curtiss Jenny biplane when she was ten years old in 1929.

Micky graduated from Coffeyville Kansas Senior High School in 1936 and continued her education at Coffeyville Community College, where she took many classes in science, math and physics. After she graduated from Kansas State University, Micky was selected into the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPT) at Coffeyville Community College. She was the only woman accepted into her CPT class. She earned her pilot's license through the CPT program in 1940. Micky received a letter from Jacqueline Cochran, inviting her to join the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs). In 1943, Micky began flight training with the WASPs at Sweetwater, Tex. She graduated from flight training in November 1943 and was assigned to Pecos, Tex. as an engineering test pilot. Micky was responsible for conducting flight tests on repaired aircraft to ensure they were flight worthy. In March 1944, Micky left the WASPs and returned to Wichita, Kan. to work as a Flight Test Engineer for Boeing Aircraft. On May 4, 1944, Micky became the first female pilot to fly a B-29. When the war ended, Micky returned to teaching. During the war, 38 WASPs died in service to their country. The Commemorative Air Force Jayhawk Wing in Wichita, Kan. restored a PT-19 primary trainer and named it “Miss Micky“ to honor her service. She is the only WASP to have a restored WW II aircraft named after her. "Courtesy of edenpraririe.org"

On May 4, 1944, according to Boeing Aircraft archives, she was one of the crew of nine aboard "Sweet Sixteen" the 16th of 1644 B-29s rolled out from the Wichita plant. Mickey's account of that day.

"I was back in the aft flight blister when Elton Rowley "chief of engineering flight test) called back over the intercom and said. "Micky, how'd you like to come and fly this thing?" I was absolutely in 'hog heaven"! she recalled. "So I put my parachute on my back and crawled through the tunnel which was over the bomb bay to the front. He gave me the left seat and I flew the plane? Axton said. "The problem was, it was so top secret, I could only tell my husband." Rowley did write a letter, however, verifying her feat. Micky Axton had just made history as the first woman to pilot a B-29" (Courtesy of Boeing Frontiers May 2006 Volume 5, Issue 1

Micky married David Axton June 1, 1941 and taught at East High School in Wichita from 1958-1969.

Micky's brother Ralph "Tut" Tuttle was a World War II fighter pilot who flew an estimated 250 missions and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and a Silver Star.

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The mission of Ike's Soldiers is to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower's legacy through the personal accounts of the soldiers he led and share them with the world.

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"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
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Guildhall Address, London, June 12, 1945