November 6, 2014 |
Lawyer, judge, soldier, father, husband - Leonard B. Sokolove was all those and more, a man whose love for country, community, and family was evident to all who knew him. Mr. Sokolove put the "gentle" in gentleman, said his son, Michael, though he could be tough when necessary. During World War II, he was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery after he faced enemy fire to pull a wounded soldier to safety during the Battle of the Bulge. As a Bucks County Court judge, the rulings he made in complicated cases became in retrospect models of reason and foresight.
October 18, 2014 |
NEW EGYPT, N.J. - Maybe he should have gotten a medal for patience. After waiting seven decades, World War II veteran Leonard Brotzky was honored Thursday with a Purple Heart for wounds he received during the Battle of the Bulge. "After 70 years, I'm finally getting it," said Brotzky, 89, of Manchester Township, Ocean County, at a presentation ceremony at the district office of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.). "I felt I earned it. " The medal should have been awarded in 1944 but was apparently overlooked because of a record-keeping foul-up.
August 16, 2014 |
Bernard B. Grossman, 95, of Philadelphia, a decorated World War II veteran, died Thursday, July 31, of sepsis and heart failure in the VA Medical Center's Hospice Unit. Mr. Grossman, a Philadelphia native and Central High graduate, trained as an Army rifleman and served with the Bushmasters, an elite unit that fought in the South Pacific. The Bushmasters were well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and jungle patrol techniques, and used high-powered rifles and long machetes. They subsisted in the jungle for weeks at a time, and depended on one another for survival.
June 5, 2014 |
Wayne B. Davis, 68, of Camden, a former worker at the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, died of heart failure Thursday, May 29, at home. He was a brother of Camden community activist Mangaliso Davis. Wayne Davis graduated in 1958 from St. Bartholomew Catholic School in Camden and served in the Army in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart, a daughter, Tammy Scarborough, said. Mr. Davis worked first for Campbell Soup Co., then for ABC Bus Co., and then for the Housing Authority, from which he retired in the mid-2000s, she said.
May 28, 2014 |
Seventy years after being sprayed with shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge, former Army Pfc. Herman Chidekel was awarded the Purple Heart on Monday for his service during World War II. Chidekel, 88, of Glen Mills, was discharged from the Army in 1945, went to college, started a family, and worked in book publishing. He had largely forgotten about his injuries until recently, when he was getting an MRI and the metal remnants of his war wounds interfered with the test. "They did an X-ray and there it was, shrapnel all up and down one of his legs," said Maj. Gen. Louis H. Guernsey Jr., who presented the medal at a ceremony after the Radnor Memorial Day Parade.
November 22, 2013 |
Seventy years ago, Saburo Kitagawa was released from a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans, enlisted in a special "Nisei" unit of the infantry, fought on the battlefields of Europe, and was twice wounded by shrapnel while serving his country. His combat team in the 100th Infantry Battalion was made up entirely of Japanese Americans. They stormed a German-controlled mountaintop abbey in Italy, rescued a trapped battalion in southern France - risking their lives while also confronting the anti-Japanese attitudes of the era. This week, a retired Army general undertook his own mission from Hawaii.
November 18, 2013 |
John B. Fitzgerald Jr., 91, of Devon, an insurance-company executive, died of a stroke Saturday, Nov. 2, at his home. Starting in 1952, Mr. Fitzgerald worked in the insurance industry, rising to a vice president of Cigna Corp. and later president of the firm's bond services unit. He remained active in the industry after retiring in 1989. Mr. Fitzgerald was born outside Chicago and grew up during the Depression. After high school, he joined the National Guard just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
August 23, 2013 |
Gerard G. Bernhardt, 88, who earned a Purple Heart at Normandy and went on to become an optician and union leader, died Thursday, Aug. 15, of respiratory failure at a hospice in Mount Joy, Pa. He had moved to West Chester to live with his daughter Jane Joyce after spending most of his adult life in East Falls. At 17, Mr. Bernhardt volunteered for the Army and served as a rifleman in the 28th Infantry Division in World War II. When his unit landed on the beaches of France in 1944 as part of the D-Day invasion, a sniper shot Mr. Bernhardt in the front of the neck, and the bullet pierced his left lung, his son Joe said.