Veterans

May 1, 2012

Honoring the Anzio veterans

by Ensign Chris Collins
USS Mahan

On board guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72), crew members welcomed the Anzio Beachhead Veterans and their families, April 26, commemorating the anniversary of the World War II storming of Anzio Beach in Italy 68 years ago.

On Jan. 22, 1944, the beaches of Anzio, Italy, were assaulted by 40,000 soldiers, over 5,000 vehicles, and more than 250 U.S. Navy vessels, leading into a battle that waged for almost five months.

“I served in the Army from 1941 to 1945 as a .50-caliber machine gunner, 32 months of those years were spent overseas,” said Bryant Huffman. “My wife and I still travel to Italy every year, but we always avoid the Anzio area.”

The ship hosted the 25 veterans and their families who visited Mahan, where they were given a tour of the missile decks and foc’sle, the 5-inch gun, and the main decks spaces such as Central Command Station, the Mess Decks, and Combat Information Center.

Retired Lt. Col. John Ray, who enlisted on July 5, 1942, spent his Anzio days as an enlisted soldier but received a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps commission following the war. He went on to spend 24 years in the Army, retiring before the Vietnam conflict began.

“I finally left in 1966 as a lieutenant colonel,” said Ray, “but I was proud to be a grunt in the 34th Infantry, 2nd Division during the war.”

Morris Snyder talked about his experiences during the war; he spent five campaigns fighting in Africa and Europe, where he was wounded on three separate occasions. His third wound resulted in his capture by the German Army. He spent 228 days in a POW camp where he served as the Barracks Chief and Medical Examiner, despite having no medical experience.

After returning home and being offered a commission, he resigned his duties in the military after just two and a half years of service. He then went on to a 40-year career in the steel industry. He was awarded three Silver Stars and most recently the French Legion of Honor, the highest award the French government can bestow.

Snyder is more proud of raising a family than the awards.

“I’ve got a bunch of shiny stuff they gave me,” Snyder said.

The veterans spoke of their excitement being able to visit a warship and learn something new. Mahan Sailors spoke with the veterans, heard their stories, and said they were reminded of the many reasons they chose to fight for their country.

Mahan is currently home ported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Last year, the ship completed a U.S. 6th Fleet deployment in support of maritime security and will deploy again in 2013.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Remains of U.S. soldier killed in ’53 identified

Lawrence Jock’s surviving relatives in northern New York knew next to nothing about the Army combat veteran who was declared missing in action at the end of the Korean War more than 60 years ago. Now that his remains have been identified and will be brought back to the North Country for burial, his relatives...
 
 
Army photograph by Lisa Ferdinando

President awards Medal of Honor to former Army staff sergeant

Army photograph by Lisa Ferdinando President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts at the White House, July 21, 2014. Pitts received the nation’s highest military honor for his action...
 
 
Army photograph by Lillian Boyd

Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts inducted into Hall of Heroes

Army photograph by Lillian Boyd Former Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts, Medal of Honor recipient, is inducted into the Hall of Heroes during a Pentagon ceremony, July 22, 2014. Former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts was inducted into the Pentag...
 

 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Airman’s remains returned home 62 years after his death

Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner Members of the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard transport the remains of Airman 3rd Class Howard Martin during a dignified arrival July 10, 2014, at the Indianapolis Internationa...
 
 

Acting VA secretary outlines problems, actions taken

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 15, Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to health care and key actions the department has taken to get veterans off waiting lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>