Herb Brough of North Port, Fla. smiles as he holds his steel pot and helmet liner from World War II. He was hospitalized for months after being hit in the head with a piece of shrapnel during “The Battle of the Bulge. Sun photo by Don Moore

He was lucky to survive ‘Battle of the Bulge’

Herb Brough of Bobcat Trail subdivision, North Port, Fla. is a medical miracle. Almost 60 years ago, while serving as a “foot-slogger” in the 3rd Battalion, 398th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Army at “The Battle of the Bulge” in Europe, he took a blow to the head he will never forget.

Eldon Mengel of Venice, Fla. holds a hunk of aluminum in his hand that he cut from the propeller of a downed Japanese Zero fighter plane near Myitkyina, Burma during World War II. Beside him is his 1st Lieutenant’s uniform he wore in the Signal Corps during the war. Sun photo by Don Moore

Lt. Eldon Mengel built the phone line to ‘Burma Road’

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 Eldon Mengel of Venice, Fla. was about a week away from becoming a “90-Day Wonder.” The 89-year-old local man joined the Army almost a year earlier because he had a low draft number and he knew he would be called once war broke out.

1st. Sgt. Vic Morman served with the 89th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II. His unit was the first American division to liberate a Nazi concentration camp in Germany. photo provided

Sgt. Vic Morman helped liberate Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Former 1st Sgt. Vic Morman, who lives in Lexington Manor Assisted Living Facility in Port Charlotte, Fla., served in the 89th Infantry Division that liberated Auflenlage, part of Buchenwald, the infamous Nazi concentration camp near Ohrdruf, Germany, during the closing days of the war in Europe.

When this picture was taken, Col. John Ripley was the director of Marine Corps museums with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo provided

Marine recalls Iwo Jima years after WW II battle

Sgt. Gary Hoffman of Englewood, Fla. who spent time in the Marines half a lifetime ago, contacted me a while back. He’s a Sun reader who likes war stories. Consequently he looks at my column from time to time. More importantly the old Marine e-mailed me a story he liked. I liked it too, so…

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.

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…