Lt. Harley Cox was almost a casualty of war when his Wildcat fighter plunged into the sea in front of the aircraft carrier USS Tulagi (CVE-72) during the battle of the Philippines. Photo provided

North Port man flew a Wildcat off USS Tulagi in WWII

During the Battle for the Philippines in World War II, Lt. j.g. Harley Cox of North Port, Fla. was catapulted off the deck of the carrier USS Tulagi (CVE-72) at the instant the engine of his Wildcat fighter died. He and his plane plunged into the sea in the path of his oncoming flattop.

The victors: Jim Knight, right, holds a bottle of champagne as he stands in front of a Sherman tank with a buddy at the end of World War II in Germany. Photo provided

Jim Knight was a German POW in World War II

Jim Knight went overseas as a BAR (Browning Automatic Weapons) man with Patton’s 3rd Army, 76th Infantry Division, 17th Regiment, Company L. Of all of the actions he took part in two are indelibly etched in his memory. The first is his assault across the Sauer River and the seconds the action which resulted in…

Bob Denton of Charlotte Harbor stands beside a 1st Battalion, 29th Regiment, 6th Marine Division sign bundled up in a parker during the winer of 1945 in Northern China. Photo provided

Pvt. Bill Denton showed up for World War II a bit too late

Pvt. Bill Denton was on a troop train headed from the Marine training base at Parris Island, S.C., to San Diego, Calif., for shipment to the Pacific Theater of Operations when the young leathernecks got word the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally and World War II was over.

Pvt. Bill  Cross at 17 shortly after graduating from British Royal Air Force boot camp in 1940. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, in Holiday RV Park in Englewood. He is 93. Photo provided

RAF Sgt. Bill Cross flight engineer on B-24 in WWII

“We were flying over Rangoon, Burma when we got shot up real bad by Japanese ground fire and the whole crew had to bail out,” Bill Cross of Holiday RV Park in Englewood, Fla. said. “I was a flight engineer on an American B-24 ‘Liberator’ bomber even thought I was in the 159th Bomb Squadron…

This picture of Pfc. Silas Jessup, in full Marine dress uniform was taken just after the war. Photo provided

Marine stretcher bearer tells Iwo Jima tales of life and death

During most of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, Marine Pfc. Silas Jessup was a stretcher bearer. He received a commendation from the commanding general of his division for carrying more than 100 dead and wounded U.S. Marines and a Japanese Imperial Marine off the most costly battlefield foot-for-foot in the Corps 231-year…

Gilbert and Phyllis Butson of Oak Forrest condominiums in Port Charlotte are pictured 70 years ago when they were married in the Detroit, Mich. area in 1944 when he was an anti-aircraft gunner on the destroyer Cowell during World War II. Photo provided

USS Cowell helped rescue sailors from USS Indianapolis during WW II

What Gilbert Butson of Oak Forest Condominiums Port Charlotte, Fla. remembers most about the three years he served aboard the destroyer USS Cowell (DD-547) in the Pacific during World War II was the time his ‘tin can” rescued sailors from the ill-fated heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea during the “Great Mariana Turkey…

Cpl. Pete Marlo saw a picture identical to this one showing him at the left, his father Joseph, his older brother John, his older brother John, his younger brother Rossi, hanging on the wall of a cottage in southern Sicily during World War II. It was just like the one his father had in their home in New York. When he saw it, he knew he had found his grandparents in Vittoria, Sicily. Photo provided.

This picture was American soldier’s clue in WW II

Pete Marlo of Holiday Estates in Englewood, Fla. served in the 62nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion from Totten, Long Island, N.Y. His unit was attached to Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army during part of World War II. They fought Field Marshal Irwin Rommel during the disaster at the Kasserine Pass shortly after the Invasion of North…

Lt. Holland, at the left, and Al Meersman of Port Charlotte, Fla. on the right, take a Jeep across the Rhine River on a pontoon bridge at Remagen after the original bridge collapsed during World War II. Photo provided

He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day plus one

Pfc. Al Meersman was behind quad-fifty caliber machine guns mounted on a halftrack when it rolled out of an LST onto Omaha Beach on D-Day plus one, June 7, 1944. Eleven months later he and his four buddies were on their halftrack when they met the Russians, who were advancing westward fighting the last of…

Marine who fought at Iwo Jima makes last trip home

Ray Richards’ latest battle is as tough as the one he fought more than 60 years ago, when, as an 18-year-old Marine in the 3rd Marine Division, he saw action and was wounded at the start of the Battle for Iwo Jima during the final months of World War II.