Reunited after a Wartime Separation

The Pacific during WWII

After his service to the U.S. Navy, S2 John Kanouff, Jr. made very persistent efforts to find his long lost wartime love. He tried for five long years to find Thelma Neal who he met in Melbourne, Australia where he was stationed as a gunner for the Armed Guard. They hoped to be married after the war.
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That Boy Earned a Bronze Star Today

PFC Bernadine Dale Linn was with Army Company L, 75th Infantry Division and served from Aug 1944 – July 1946.
PFC Bernadine Dale Linn was with Army Company L, 75th Infantry Division and served from Aug 1944 – July 1946.

On a sunny afternoon in October, PFC Bernadine Dale Linn invited Mr. Kip Price into his home to speak with him about his years as a PFC after being drafted. He said he had just turned 93 years old on September 24th. He is originally from this area, Glady Creek, and still lives here today. His wife of 63 years, Mary Kirk, has passed and was also from Rock Creek, which is not too far from Glady Creek. He said, “She was a very good wife and we had a wonderful life together, and she could sing…She loved to sing and sung in many of the church choirs around here.”
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“The Sergeant York of WWII”

Allied invasion plans and German positions in Normandy
Allied invasion plans and German positions in Normandy

Jack Oliver is a Certified Public Accountant with Oliver and Associates from Fairmont, West Virginia who became actively involved in filing a petition on Harrison Summers’ behalf for a Medal of Honor. He spoke to us about Sergeant Harrison Summers and we would like to share some of the story with you.
Sergeant Summers is awarded D.S.C old newspaper clipping Harrison was born in Catawba near Rivesville. Around 1937, after attending East Fairmont High School, Mr. Summers served a tour where he had been stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii before re-enlisting in 1942 for WWII. Jack told us the reason he reenlisted was so that he could train to be a paratrooper; otherwise, he would return to the same duty he left. Once he was trained, he immediately began instructing at the paratrooper school in Ft. Benning, Georgia. Eventually, Mr. Summers received his assignment for Europe and was placed with the 101st Airborne Division (of the First Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment). They were stationed in England preparing to invade German-occupied Normandy.
On June 6, 2:30am (D-Day), Thousands of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne were lifted into France. As the assault force approached the coast, it encountered fog and antiaircraft fire, which forced some of the planes to break formation. Paratroopers from both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions missed their landing zones and were scattered over wide areas. For many, the initial struggle of combat was to find their units and approximately 1500 soldiers from the division were killed or captured. Flight commanders gave orders to jump at the wrong time causing some of the paratroopers to come down in the deep waters fatally injuring them. Harrison Summers was spared by a mishap. When his flight commander gave the order for the paratroopers to jump, the cargo that was to go first got lodged in the cargo door. Minutes went by before they got the bundle out. That offset the commander’s error just enough to place Summers in the proper destination to begin the scheduled raid.
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The Paper Clip

Paperclip Author LTC Richard Aamot speaking about his life as a boy in Norway during WWII.
Paperclip Author LTC Richard Aamot speaking about his life as a boy in Norway during WWII.
Olva and Gunhild Crone-Aamot had their only son, Olav, while living in Manhattan, New York, in January 22, 1929. They moved to Norway in 1936. His father was a metallurgical research engineer employed by Guggenheim Brothers. The family came to the United States in 1922, moved back to Norway in 1936 and settled in Ramstad, Baerum, now part of Oslo.

“The Paperclip”, is a book written by Olav Richard Crone-Aamot that is about his experience as a young boy living in Norway while being Nazi occupied. “Oba” became obsessed with making trouble for the Germans who overpowered Rauoey Island when his father was an artillery gunner for the defenders and became captured and imprisoned by the Germans. Nazis enforced laws upon residents that were entrenching and overbearing. They would force their way through their homes to make sure residents were cooperating. Continue reading “The Paper Clip”

May This Keep You Safe from Harm

Asa Davison with a Fairmont Student, Jeremiah.

It wasn’t until 1947 when Asa Davison returned home, he finished his education. In 1943, he left Dunbar High School in Fairmont to join the Army as part of the infantry. He completed basic training in Alabama and then boarded a ship for active duty to the South Pacific. All the white soldiers were on the upper deck of the ship and all the black soldiers were on lower deck. “We didn’t know they were up there and they didn’t know we were down there,” Davison explained. Continue reading “May This Keep You Safe from Harm”

USS Quincy (CA-39)

USS Quincy CA-39
Charles Finley Carpenter was born in Wetzel County WV and moved to Fairview, Marion county as very young child. He graduated at Fairview High School in 1938. Charles (nicknamed “Chuck”) joined the navy in 1938. He was a machinist and petty officer on the USS Quincy CA-39 when the battleship was sunk by the Japanese in the battle of Savo Island off Gaudal Canal on August 8, 1942. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.
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A Tuskegee Airman

Col George "Spanky" Roberts

“Tuskegee Airmen” refers to the men and women, African-Americans and Caucasians, who were involved in the so-called “Tuskegee Experience”, the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air. Col. George S. Roberts one of the first African-Americans selected for pilot training at the Tuskegee Army Airfield. He flew 78 combat missions over Europe as well as commanded a fighter squadron during World War II.

The history of Tuskegee Airmen is one of the most inspiring legacies of the Civil Rights era. In 1941, Congress mandated an all-African-American flying unit within the U.S. Army Air Corps. In June, the 99th Fighter Squadron formed at Tuskegee Institute founded in Alabama 60 years earlier by Booker T. Washington.

The African-American squadrons were deployed the following summer in North African and Italian campaigns, which began the record of combat excellence the units established. Black pilots escorted bombers and flew raids. They were employed to protect cumbersome bombers from attack planes by shooting down the attackers.
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Fairchild R4Q-2 Flying Boxcar

Fairchild R4Q-2 Flying Boxcar

Designed to carry cargo, personnel, mechanical equipment, litter patients, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute, the American military transport aircraft developed in the WWII era from the Fairchild C-82 Packet that became known as the “Flying Boxcar” was… Continue reading “Fairchild R4Q-2 Flying Boxcar”

Not My Best Christmas

Charles M Bunner

After basic training at Ft Jackson SC, MSG E-8 Charles Bunner completed AMMO school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 1955 then served in South Korea as an E-3 and E-4 in two separate ammunition companies of the Eighth Army.  In 1956, he was assigned to an ammunition company at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

It was near Christmas of 1956 that Charles was on his way home from Ft. Knox, Kentucky when he had to stop to have his 1951 Plymouth repaired. He got off Route near Louisville eventually correcting his route but it was late, pushing 3am, and he began to get very drowsy so he asked his passenger who was a fellow West Virginian from Elkins to take over the wheel. So, he drifted off as a passenger in his own vehicle while being taxied.

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