From U. S. Army

WWII buddies meet up 55 years later

Bill Tannatt of Englewood, Fla. and Milton Dorr of Worcester, Mass., started out as members of the Yankee Division, the Massachusetts National Guard’s 26th Infantry Division, and ended up in the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division of the 5th Army during World War II.

Tom Peterson survived ‘Battle of the Bulge”

Tom Peterson’s baptism of fire came during the Battle of the Bulge, the biggest battle on the Western Front during World War II. He was a young 2nd lieutenant commanding a platoon of M-4 tanks, part of the 781st Tank Battalion attached to the 7th Army.

War dogs – ‘Prince’ was his protector in Vietnam

Dan Byrd lived an idyllic life growing up as a kid on Longboat Key off Sarasota, Fla. half a century ago. In those days, he hunted rabbits on the key with his .22-caliber rifle while his mom and dad ran the bait shop and hamburger stand on the south end of the New Pass Bridge…

Elliott‘s military intelligence unit protected supply base

Paul Elliott was trained as a Russian linguist and military intelligence agent and when he went to Vietnam in 1966. He had to use those skills and more to ferret out saboteurs trying to sneak into Camp McDermott — the main supply base for the 1st Logistical Command that provided American forces with most of…

Vietnam POW presents prison garb to Military Museum

Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte, FL) – Sunday, April 15, 2007 Capt. Luis Chirichigno was piloting an Army Cobra attack helicopter high above a couple of low-flying observation copters eight miles south of Duc Lap, South Vietnam, on Nov. 2, 1969. What happened next would make this Peruvian-born American chopper pilot a POW for the next…

Capt. Ray Starsman commanded 105 mm Howitzer battery in Vietnam

“I was a 27-year-old captain who commanded Delta Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 1st Division. That battery was the longest serving unit in the history of ‘The Big Red One.’ It went back to the Revolutionary War when its original commander was Alexander Hamilton,” the 72-year-old retired Punta Gorda, Fla. bird colonel said. “That was kinda cool.”

Jim Crowell fought at Yalu River against Chinese hordes

Jim Crowell of Port Charlotte, Fla. was enjoying himself as an 18-year-old occupation soldier with the 7th Infantry Division in Japan when the Korean War broke out in June 1950. Over night the teenaged soldier was sent to Inchon, North Korea by ship, together with a division or two of infantry and a like number…

Lemon Bay High School grad back from Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Larry Reyes was recovering several years ago from injuries sustained in a tour with the 301st Military Intelligence Battalion that returned from Afghanistan. He and his wife, Michele, were vacationing at the home of his mother, Linda Reyes, in North Port, Fla..

Roy Kroesen fought with the 696th Field Artillery in WWII

Ninety-one-year-old former Sgt. Roy Kroesen of Rotonda commanded “The Priest,” a 105 mm, M-7 self-propelled Howitzer in World War II that looked a lot like a tank. He served with the 696th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, which came ashore at Pont-Scorff, France, on Aug. 7, 1944, and fought through France, Belgium and Germany, eventually meeting the Russian Army at the Elbe River near Berlin.

Old Soldier went back for her

  A VFW chaplain said a few words, two soldiers in dress uniforms folded an American flag into a precise triangle and handed it gently to the widow, a rifle squad fired three volleys and Taps was played as 50 mourners bowed their heads.

Sgt. Harold Glover fought at Salerno, Anzio, Monte Cassino, France & Germany during WW II

Harold Glover of La Casa mobile home park in North Port, Fla. was a sergeant in the “Fighting 36th Infantry Division” that first saw battle in North Africa in World War II, went on to Italy and before the war was over made the invasion of Southern France and marched into Germany. He received three Purple Hearts while fighting at Salerno, Anzio, Monte Casino and finally crossed the Rhine River into Germany at war’s end.

Pvt. Andy Ellul of Emerald Point fought as mortarman during Korean War

Andy Ellul of Emerald Point condos in Punta Gorda, Fla. arrived in this country from the island of Malta on Christmas Eve 1950 as a 21-year-old immigrant. He went to work for the Ford Motor Co. in Detroit. Two years later he found himself serving as a private in the 461st Heavy Mortar Battalion holding a defensive line along a river near the 38th Parallel that would separate North and South Korea.

1St. Sgt. Jim Tankersley of Brookside Bluff fought with Patton, Bradley in Europe

1st Sgt. Jim Tankersley, who lives in Brookside Bluff Condominium Park north of Arcadia, Fla. was in charge of ground communications for the 95th Infantry Division’s artillery battalion. He and a squad of 25 soldiers laid and maintained the phone cables connecting division headquarters with front line troops during some of the major battles in Europe in World War II.

John Krusinski Sr. manned quad .50s on the DMZ in Vietnam

John Krusinski, Sr. was a 19-year-old draftee who grew up in the Chicago area and went to war in Vietnam in 1967. He was a member of the Army’s 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery, G-Battery station at a base camp in Dong Ha, along the DMZ separating North and South Vietnam. He spent a year being shot at or shooting at other people.

Combat engineer in Vietnam recalls the lighter moments in war

Gordon Quick, who lives off Burnt Store Road south of Punta Gorda, Fla. near the county line, served in the 588th Combat Engineer Battalion in Vietnam in 1965-1966. His unit was under command control of the 1st Infantry Division—the “Big Red 1” with division headquarters and the support command located at Tây Ninh.

First blood during Korean War

About Life’s cover shot “The first U.S. infantry outfit to shed blood in the Korean War was the 24th ‘Victory’ Division. Three of these men are shown aboard a jeep in Korea. Last week the men of the 24th fought heroically to hold the key city of Taejon against superior Communist forces. They were forced…

‘Black Lions’ faced death in Vietnam

The ”Black Lions” were looking for a fight. The battalion had been on a search-and-destroy mission for more than a week. Now the men of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division were exhausted from chasing the Viet Cong through the jungle 50 miles north of Saigon.

‘Jap had me in his sight’

Hal Ross of Port Charlotte, Fla. was trained as a member of the 10th Mountain Division in World War II, but ended up fighting the Japanese in the jungle islands of the South Pacific.

Fighting for Gen. George Patton at the Bulge

It was the day after Christmas 1944 when the 704th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army broke through the German lines at Bastogne to rescue the 101st Airborne Division, dug in and holding back the enemy onslaught at the Battle of the Bulge.

He saw the gates of Hell

Irving Ross saw the “Gates of Hell.” He was among the first American soldiers to help liberate Dachau concentration camp in Germany at the end of World War II.

Jewish POW swapped by Germans in World War II

Harry Glixon couldn’t believe his ears when he answered the phone at his Sarasota, Fla. home one day in June 2001. He wasn’t expecting to become a war hero after 57 years. The old soldier had been a member of a 55-man combat patrol from the 94th Infantry Division captured by the Germans near Lorient,…

Harry Long was a POW with Patton’s son-in-law

It was his baptism of fire. Ten days before, in early August 1944, 2nd Lt. Harry Long, a member of the Medical Administration Corps of the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, France as part of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army.