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World War II Veterans

Freedom--no word was ever spoken that has held out greater hope, demanded greater sacrifice, needed more to be nurtured, blessed more the giver. . . or came closer to being God's will on earth – OMAR N. BRADLEY

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid – DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

HARRY CUMMINS, JR.

1911 - 1996
Captain, Combat Liaison Officer,
IX Tactical Air Command,
assigned to US 1st Army.
Went ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day+2.
Accompanied frontline units on the Breakout
and the race across France to the Rhine.
Bronze Star.
Built an insurance agency after the war
read more here...
(my wife's father, my father-in-law and granddaddy to my daughters)

CHARLES WADE HENDRIX

1919 - 2014
Captain, commanding E Troop (Armored Assault Guns),
25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,
4th Armored Division, Patton’s Third Army
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Practiced law after the war.
read more here...
(father-in-law through my ex-wife and gramps to my son)

Chuck Hendrix, citizen-soldier

DUANE R. CHICOINE

1926 - 2011
Lieutenant, US Navy.
Graduate of Columbia University
through the US Navy V-12 Officer Program.
Successful career in engineering management
read more here...
(my dad, whom I deeply loved and respected, and grandpa to my three children)

GIANCARLO E. FACCA

1913 – 1986
Active in the anti-Fascist resistance.
Partisan leader, Tuscany region of Italy.
Renowned international geologist.
Technical expert for the United Nations
on geothermal energy development.
read more here...
(my employer and friend, who introduced me to Ramey and in so doing allowed me to secure financial aid for graduate study at Stanford)

HENRY J. RAMEY, JR.

1925 – 1993
Navigator, B-29 Superfortress Bomber
from base on Saipan
Professor of Engineering, Stanford University
(my graduate thesis adviser and friend at Stanford)

BRENT ASHABRANNER

1921 –
Served on LST in amphibious force in Pacific.
Worked in international assistance in Africa after the war.
Deputy Director of the Peace Crops.
Well-regarded writer whose books include Vietnam Veterans
Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.
read more...
(my writing mentor and friend for many years)

R. W. “BROCK” POWERS

1926 - 2010
United States Marine Corps
Pacific Theater island landings
President, Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company)
(my adviser & mentor for the last half of my career as an oil executive and a friend beyond that time)

ED BEARSS

1923 -
United States Marine Corps
Pacific Theater
severely wounded, Cape Gloucester, New Britain
Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service
(led two amazing battlefield tours of which I was fortunate to be a part)

JOE GOMER

1920 - 2013
Tuskegee Airman.
Served in Italy with 99th Fighter Squadron
Flew 68 combat missions,
first in P-39s, then in P-47s, later in P-51s
Joe Gomer obituary
(I interviewed Joe on more than one occasion at the air shows. He always smiled and was a delight to be around. I last talked to him by phone and it was clear his days on this earth were ending. RIP, Joe, and thanks for everything.)

REUEL LONG

1924 – 2014
Combat infantryman, replacement, in
357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division.
Bronze Star
Taken prisoner in fighting after The Bulge.

AL KAROW

1920 – 2008
Flight engineer and top turret gunner
on a B-24 Liberator Bomber
778th Squadron, 464th Group
12 combat missions, including Ploesti
POW

MANNY AGUIRRE

1925 – 2013
Served on the landing ship USS Ozark.
Coxswain on LCVP landing craft.
Participated in the landings on
Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
In Tokyo Bay for Japanese surrender
(met him in the Twin Cities when I learned he needed a ride to a political rally)
read more...

WAYNE JOHNSON

1921 –
combat pilot in China-Burma-India
with 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force
flew P-40s and P-51s

ANDY SMITH


(Andy played minor league baseball in my hometown) Photo courtesy of Alamo Scouts Historical Foundation
1920 – 2000
Corporal in the Alamo Scouts,
US 6th Army Special Recon Unit.
Participated in The Great Raid
on Cabanatuan in the Philippines.
Purple Heart

NIKOLAI ZAITSEV

1924 –
young lieutenant during Siege of Leningrad
Chief of Intelligence for Artillery Regiment by war’s end
Retired as a colonel after a long career in the Cold War
Emigrated to the US

ALEXI MITSKEVICH

1919 -
Graduate of Soviet Naval College.
Fought in the early defense of Leningrad.
Lieutenant on Soviet submarine out of Barent Sea.
Endured depth charges for two days on bottom of the sea
Survived to command Soviet subs during Cold War