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When was this Gary?
 

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Having gotten to know so many WWII veterans by virtue of my father's career (and of those a few became personal friends) this is something I think about quite often. The entire world owes a debt of gratitude; and we may never understand their value and perspective (until, I fear, it's too late). My father got his wings in 1938. I attended several of his flying class reunions - until, at 91, he was the last one to remain. He rarely reflected on that openly, but I knew it was a sorrow he carried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When was this Gary?
I don't know. David. The photo was in a quora message in my inbox today. I assumed it was recent (within the past year), as I'd read recently that an agency was looking for WWII veterans prior to our last Veteran's day....?? I looked again for the quora post, but since I'd deleted it in my email, I couldn't find it...?

The photo and street scene has the 'look' of perhaps being in France? but I'm not certain...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info, Shadetree (something about those medals made me think possibly Russia, but I couldn't see them clearly enough in the photo).

So Maybe US WWII veterans ARE already gone... My father enlisted in the Navy in early 1942 at age 20, served in the Pacific Navy until the end of the war and came home in late 1945 (crossing the International Date Line on Christmas Day in 1945). I still have the 'menus' from his ship where they got a 'Christmas Dinner' two straight days on that crossing. He was a Navy Radioman, who was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force for a portion of the war, being commended for bravery and courage under fire by the Marine Commanding General when he went ashore with the first wave of Marines when they retook Bougainville (something I never knew until going thru his discharge papers upon his death in 2006, at age 84).
Any WWII veteran who actually served prior to the end of the war, would be very old. Assuming the earliest possible age (16 or 17?) in 1945, he would have been born ~ 1928 or so, and would be at LEAST 95 by now and even that is a pretty unlikely scenario, as any who actually served in the war would likely be ~ 100 by now.
 

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Thanks for the info, Shadetree (something about those medals made me think possibly Russia, but I couldn't see them clearly enough in the photo).

So Maybe US WWII veterans ARE already gone... My father enlisted in the Navy in early 1942 at age 20, served in the Pacific Navy until the end of the war and came home in late 1945 (crossing the International Date Line on Christmas Day in 1945). I still have the 'menus' from his ship where they got a 'Christmas Dinner' two straight days on that crossing. He was a Navy Radioman, who was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force for a portion of the war, being commended for bravery and courage under fire by the Marine Commanding General when he went ashore with the first wave of Marines when they retook Bougainville (something I never knew until going thru his discharge papers upon his death in 2006, at age 84).
Any WWII veteran who actually served prior to the end of the war, would be very old. Assuming the earliest possible age (16 or 17?) in 1945, he would have been born ~ 1928 or so, and would be at LEAST 95 by now and even that is a pretty unlikely scenario, as any who actually served in the war would likely be ~ 100 by now.
according to wikipedia "This is a list of last surviving veterans of World War II (1939–1945) among various groups of veterans, as identified by reliable sources. About 70 million people fought in World War II and, as of 2022, there are still approximately 167,000 surviving veterans in the United States alone.[1][2] Only people who are (or were) the last surviving member of a notable group of veterans are listed. "
 

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If any of you ever get the chance go to the WW2 museum in New Orleans. It's huge and takes 2 days to really take it all in. The whole area is paved with engraved bricks of all who served in the US.
They have a movie theatre in there with actual films of various battles. It's very interested and sad in some ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike, The Soviet Union lost more 'soldiers' (~ 10 million) and 'civilians' (~ 24 Million) during WWII than any other country, and they were fighting the Germans also... and without them, the Nazi's probably would have won the war...
 

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Gary, I was definately not commenting on anything political here, just that it was a photo of a Russian veteran and not of an American veteran. That photo has been circulating for a while now and it has been variously represented, incorrectly, as a photo of a British vet, or an American vet, but it is in fact a photo of a Russian vet walking in a parade.

And yes I agree that they were part of the victory in WWII. But they were also part of a much much larger problem, particularily after the war. For example:



Given what is currently going on in the world today, some things do not seem to have changed.
 

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Greatest generation, my Dad and one of his two brothers were WW2 Vets(the youngest brother was too young), also on my mom's side four of her six brothers were in Europe theater. They signed up, did what they were assigned (one was a decorated sniper, two wounded in action, two in airborne) none of them bragged or even talked about what they did (I didn't know one was shot up on D-day until as a child I saw his scars and asked my mom about it, my Dad's wound was the same story with minimal story shared, letters and metals discovered after they passed). Honorable men that did what was needed for their country that returned home and made lives and families, quiet heroes are my favorite. Greatest generation, all of mine are passed now and I miss and admire them all.
 

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For those who may be interested in a little trivia about our A26 restoration project, this is Col (ret) Richard (Rick) Hudlow.
He is THE human being responsible for rescuing our plane from going to the smelter and being melted down and made into Coke cans (LITERALLY).
Rick had flown at a VERY young age before WWII and enlisted in the US Army Air Corp and after flight training, started flying B25s, then went to B29s. After the war, he transitioned to the B47 jet bomber and eventually became a full Colonel and B52 group commander, with many Nam missions. He flew every model of B52 before retiring in 76. He went on to be the international sales executive for Rockwell.
He learned about our abandoned A26 on a field in Ark, where it had sat neglected for several years with a broken wing spar. He managed to get funding donations to rescue it and dismantle it and transport it to Okla in 1999, when our group began the restoration. After 21yrs of dedicated volunteers, we made the first flight.
UNFORTUNATELY, Rick passed away before we got it back into the air, BUUUUUUUUUUUUT, his wonderful wife got to see us put it back in the air.
He was from an incredible generation!!!! He and his wife now rest in Arlington National Cemetery. He was in his 90s when we lost him a few years ago
Below, he is on the left.
Jeans Motor vehicle Sleeve Workwear Engineering



In 2015, we got the engines back from the engine overhaul shop and got them mounted on the wing. Everything had been connected and we put rick in the pilot seat and let him turn over the engines. Lots of tears that day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FINALLY, this was our first flight Nov 1, 21. By the way, when we get funding for the paint job, Rick's wife (in her nighty) will be our nose art.
 

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My father was a WWII vet who wouldn't talk about the war. One of his duties was to provide photographic documentation of some of the battles. My family came across some photos after he passed that he kept hidden away. What was shown was unimaginable horror. I always felt that there is no way one could honor the WWII vets properly for what they went through. I frequently think of my dad and the other WWII vets' sacrifices when I see how our current world seems to take so much for granted.
 

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When I was a teenager in the mid 70s and up through my 20s, I worked for my grandfather who was a funeral director. He hired a lot of WWII vets who worked for him part time as a supplement to their day jobs. One of those vets was a man named Ray York (passed away a couple of years ago). He was a lower ball turrett gunner on a B-17 because he was short. I think I remember him telling me his bomb group was the 309th stationed in England. At night, if we were the only ones on duty, he would answer my questions and walk me through his experience and what a mission entailed. He made 20 or 25 missions, I forget now. Harrowing would be one way to describe it. Something I never knew, those ball turretts were so snug there was no room for a parachute. That and those things apparantly jammed a lot. I can't even imagine.

The other thing he told me was that at the end of the war, the FAA would not allow any of the B-17s to fly home in their war time condition. In particular, every one of the planes had to have the propellers replaced before they could fly back to the US. He told me they would come back from a mission and the ground crew would sand down the nicks and divits from the flac smooth and up they went the next day. Good enough for war but not good enough to come home on.
 
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