Henry Cwiklinski of Indigo Isles in Englewood, Fla. was in the second wave that attacked the Japanese-held island of Leyte in the Philippines on Oct. 20, 1944 during World War II. He was a member of the 106th Field Artillery Battalion, a National Guard unit, from Buffalo, N.Y.
1st Lt. Andy Carrico’s D-Company platoon, part of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, trained for five months on New Guinea in preparation for their assault on the Japanese-held island of Leyte. When his regiment landed on the beach at Leyte the enemy was nowhere to be found. But Carrico and the rest of his airborne…
Harold Tyson was a teenage quartermaster 2nd class at the helm of the USS Sheridan (APA-51), an attack transport, in seven major Pacific battles during World War II. He and his ship took part in the Invasion of Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Philippines and Okinawa, the largest island engagement during the Second World War.
Harold Hayden of Punta Gorda, Fla. was a flight engineer aboard a C-47 twin-engine transport plane attached to Troop Carrier Wing 322, 374th Group, 24th Squadron, part of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s army in the Southwest Pacific during World War II.
By the time Ken Rivers of Port Charlotte, Fla. was 20 he had taken part in seven major engagements in the Pacific in World War II aboard the destroyer USS Mansfield (DD-728), participated in the first naval battle of the war in Tokyo Bay and attended the Surrender Ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945 when the…
Bill Stevens of Deep Creek near Port Charlotte, Fla. was a member of a four-man Coast Guard crew on a plywood “Higgins Boat” that transported Marines and soldiers to South Pacific beaches during five major invasions in World War II.
Drennon Judy was a quartermaster who served aboard the Battleship USS Pennsylvania. He saw action during many of the major battles in the Pacific during World War II.
Martin Warnke of Port Charlotte, Fla. was a spotter on a 20 millimeter anti-aircraft gun aboard landing craft (LST-66) that brought troops ashore at 15 major invasion beaches in the Pacific during World War II.
Besides the 16 million service men and women who took part in World War II, there were also thousands of civilians on the front lines involved in fighting against the Germans and the Japanese, too.