April 11, 2004
On Saturday, May 29, the National World War II Memorial will be dedicated in Washington to honor the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from home. Did you or a close relative serve overseas during World War II? What is your most vivid memory of that experience, or of what it was like during the war here at home? Send your responses to World War II Voices, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Box 41705, Philadelphia 19101.
November 12, 2013 |
The veterans were in their late teens and early 20s when they fought in places that most people now know only from history books: Normandy, the Ardennes, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. But as the nation marks Veterans Day, 70 years later, their memories of World War II remain vivid, as if the physical and mental wounds of their service had been much more recent. Sam Laskin, 93, of Lower Providence Township, clearly recalls piloting a B-24 bomber, dubbed "Mean Kid," over a German target in France in 1944 when flak passed through his plane, seat, and right leg before exiting the fuselage.
August 13, 1995 |
As a chorus of voices reminds us this month, most Americans look back fondly on World War II. Despite all the death and destruction that war entailed, the fondness is well founded. The war completed America's escape from the Great Depression, improving living standards so much that life expectancy rose despite the death of 400,000 Americans in uniform. It prepared the United States to become economically and militarily dominant in the postwar world. It yielded a cornucopia of new technologies adaptable to civilian use - jet engines, televisions, computers.
July 15, 2013 |
Robert R. Purzycki didn't talk much about his World War II infantry experiences, even though he had earned a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. But when his daughter Dolores rented a copy of the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan, he watched it with her. "He said it was as close to realistic" as any such film, especially because he had survived the second wave of D-Day landings on Omaha Beach. What the film helped him recall, she said, was that as he waded toward the beach, "the water was red" with the blood of men who had died in the first wave of landings.
November 2, 2012 |
FRENCH WRITER Louis Pergaud's 1912 novel The War of the Buttons - an allegory of combat featuring rival "armies" of button-pilfering children - has been adapted for the screen twice before. A 1962 version set in rural France was followed by a 1994 adaptation set in Ireland. Although neither of those films took place during wartime, it was clear that their real message didn't have to do with buttons at all, but with the absurdity of our world's more grown-up battles. (As in the book, the children in the movies cut the buttons off their enemies' clothing to humiliate them and to send them home with their pants around their ankles.)
July 4, 2012 |
Theodore L. Webster, 87, a decorated World War II veteran and longtime resident of Haddonfield, died Thursday, June 28, at Virtua Voorhees after several strokes. Mr. Webster received the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards for his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a bombardier and navigator of a B-24 with the 376th Bombardment Group. Mr. Webster was stationed in North Africa and, as the war progressed, Germany, his son, Theodore Jr. said.
November 23, 2012
Manuel Ignacio Bonet, 89, of Philadelphia, a decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II, died of natural causes in Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 17. Born in Anasco, Puerto Rico, Mr. Bonet joined the service on April 16, 1942. He served in the 3266th Quartermaster Service Company and fought in Germany, according to his discharge papers. He was honorably discharged with the rank of private first class on Nov. 23, 1945. He was awarded the American Theater Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with one Bronze Star, the WWII Victory Medal, and six overseas Service Bars.
December 12, 2012
Vernon W. Sherlock, 95, a longtime resident of Broomall, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Lancaster General Hospital. A graduate of Upper Darby High School, Mr. Sherlock enlisted in the Army Air Corps on the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served four years in World War II and was posted to North Africa and Italy, including the Allied invasion of Sicily, his family said. Three days after returning to the United States, on Aug. 20, 1945, he married Dorothy Glasgow. They settled in Broomall and lived there for 50 years.
April 19, 2013 |
ANTHONY NIXON didn't realize what a fabulous mother he had until long after he had grown up and started to think about it. His mother, Rosemarie Nixon, wife of a prominent surgeon and mother of nine, was a paragon of old-fashioned duty and dedication. "We took it for granted that she got up before everybody else, took out the trash, did the shopping, cooked the meals, waxed the floors, encouraged her children to be the best they could be and never complained," Anthony said. "We didn't see anything odd or unusual about that.
June 2, 2013 |
Veto Iavecchia, 92, of Mayfair, a World War II veteran whose B-24 bomber was crippled by enemy flak over Germany in 1944, died Wednesday, May 29, at home. Mr. Iavecchia graduated in 1938 from Frankford High School, where he was the centerfielder for that year's Public League champions. His high-energy play earned him the nickname "Sparky. " Mr. Iavecchia enrolled in Army Air Forces flight school during World War II and was qualified as a bombardier in the 389th Bomb Group, Second Air Division, Eighth Air Force.