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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Vietnam War veterans honored during ceremony at AF Memorial

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III delivers his remarks during a wreath laying ceremony March 2, 2015, honoring Air Force Vietnam prisoners of war and missing in action at the A...
 
 
Air Force photograph

AF holds 50th anniversary Vietnam War commemoration ceremony

Air Force photograph F-105 crews played a key role in Operation Rolling Thunder. During this three-year Vietnam War campaign, Air Force, Marine and Navy aircraft bombed targets throughout North Vietnam. U.S. and Australian wars...
 

 

Airmen missing from WWII accounted for

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Feb. 23, that the remains of U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors. Army Air Forces 1st Lts. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Mont.; Bryant E. Poulsen of Salt Lake...
 
 

President signs Clay Hunt Act, says ‘Stigma has to end’

President Barack Obama Feb. 12 signed into law the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, or SAV Act. The act is aimed at reducing military and veteran suicides and improving their access to quality mental health care. Hunt was a decorated Marine veteran who struggled with post-traumatic stress. He deployed to Iraq and...
 
 

Survivor of USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor attack dies at 100

YUBA CITY, Calif. – The oldest living crew member of the battleship USS Arizona to have survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has died in Northern California at the age of 100. Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Langdell died Feb. 4 at a nursing home in Yuba City, according to his son, Ted Langdell....
 




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>