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.
July 27, 2013 |
One day last winter, Verne Rider stopped by the two-story house with its wheelchair ramp and Stars and Stripes flying from a pole, and presented a hard-to-refuse offer to its homeowners. Rider, a military and veterans affairs caseworker, had received a call from a colleague saying that the owner of Closets by Design in Exton was looking to donate a makeover for a local disabled veteran. Immediately, Rider thought, How about Jim McGuire? Rider has known the decorated Vietnam War vet since 2005, when he worked on McGuire's behalf to replace his Purple Heart and Air Medal, stolen shortly after McGuire returned home from the war in 1968.
July 13, 2013
Douglas Dayton, 88, who led the transformation of a family department store into retailing giant Target Corp., has died. His wife, Wendy, confirmed his death Sunday, saying he died Friday after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Dayton, of Wayzata, Minn., was the youngest of five sons who took over the family's Minneapolis department store from their father, George, in 1948. Douglas Dayton started working in the family business after serving in an Army infantry division in Europe during World War II, where he was injured and received a Purple Heart.
May 10, 2013 |
Robert James Miller remembers the terrible day he was riding on top of a military vehicle when a firefight erupted around him. A piece of shrapnel from an explosion dug deep into his left shoulder. "It hit me like a white-hot hammer," he recalled. At a field hospital, the doctor told him: "You got yourself a Purple Heart here. " That was Nov. 17, 1969. He did get a Purple Heart . . . 44 years later. Miller, who lives in a comfortable two-story house on a leafy street in Norwood, was awarded the medal this week in a ceremony at the Springfield office of U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (R., Pa.)