I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

June 04, 2009

June 6, 2009: Honoring A Family Hero on D-Day

My family history is not unique. Hero's abound within military families during the course of war. My 99 year old mother's brother was one of ours. He never spoke about the war, until near the end of his fruitful life in 1999. He unit's record, meticulously kept and still filed at an obscure base museum on the California Coast, tells a history of daily violence, courage and carnage. He landed in Normandy, fought through brutal battles in France, the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland Campaign and into Germany and Czechoslovakia as, beginning in July 1944, an integral part of the Third Army of General George Patton. His weapon, the M-12 155mm self-propelled gun, of which only 72 were built. They were the spear of every major advance by Patton and were assigned to many front line units because of their unique ability to destroy practically anything. They were called into close encounter dirty work because of their powerful and mobile firepower. The Unit's record, known as the 558th self propelled artillery battalion, was magnificent. They wreaked havoc on the Germans, but through the unit's citations by Generals within the Third Army and Patton himself, they saved a great many American and Allied force lives.

He returned to the states in August, 1945 fortunately diverted while on the way to Japan to fight in the Pacific Theatre when hostilities ceased. So,1st Sgt. Uncle George, a man who served humbly, given a battlefield promotion to Lieutenant and returned home to become a husband, father, grandfather and battalion leader in the Chicago Fire Department (and treat my children during their early years as a second grandfather), here's the tribute you richly deserve on the 65th anniversary of D-Day. You made a positive impact upon my family-greater than you ever knew.

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