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Meet some of the veterans from the series

Scroll through this section to meet and hear from some of the veterans featured in the series.

Click here to scroll through a Vietnam scrapbook.

Scroll below for WW II Veterans.   Click HERE to scroll through veterans from the Korean War.

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James Cole

/Erie, Pa / USN. (Ret.) 1941 – 1966 / Rank SCPO

Senior chief petty officer: Is the eighth of nine enlisted ranks in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above chief petty officer and below master chief petty officer, and is a noncommissioned officer. They are addressed as "Senior Chief" in most circumstances, or sometimes, less formally, as "Senior".

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Charlie Kizina

Platea, Pa / born: 1925 age 90 / Military Rank Army T-5

Army T-5 or Technician Fifth Grade was a United States Army technician rank during World War II. Those who held this rank were addressed as Corporal. The Technician ranks were removed from the U.S. Army rank system in 1948, although the concept was brought back with the Specialist ranks in 1955.England, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany 1943-1946

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Earl Stubbe

/ Waterford, Pa / NW Field Guam / Army Air Corps. / 207th Air Force 1st LT. / 315th Bomb Wing 1941 -1945

Senior chief petty officer: Is the eighth of nine enlisted ranks in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above chief petty officer and below master chief petty officer, and is a noncommissioned officer. They are addressed as "Senior Chief" in most circumstances, or sometimes, less formally, as "Senior".

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Stanley Buzard

Erie, Pa / born: 1926 age 88 / Military Rank U.S. PFC 25th Infantry Division Philippine Islands 1944-1946

The division landed in the San Fabian area of Luzon, 11 January 1945, to enter the struggle for the liberation of the Philippines. It drove across the Luzon Central Plain, meeting the enemy at Binalonan, 17 January. Moving through the rice paddies, the 25th occupied Umingan, Lupao, and San Jose and destroyed a great part of the Japanese armor on Luzon. On 21 February, the division began operations in the Caraballo Mountains. It fought its way along Highway No. 5, taking Digdig, Putlan, and Kapintalan against fierce enemy counterattacks and took Balete Pass, 13 May, and opened the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, 27 May, with the capture of Santa Fe. Until 30 June, when the division was relieved, it carried out mopping-up activities. On 1 July, the division moved to Tarlac for training, leaving for Japan, 20 September.

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Ed Bernat

  • Ed Bernat Pfc. 1942 – 1945 Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the "Screaming Eagles",
    One of the best-known companies in the United States Army. Their experiences in World War II are the subject of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers based on the book of the same name by historian Stephen Ambrose. In 2009, twenty of the last few remaining survivors from Easy Company recounted their stories in the oral-history book project We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers.
  • Richard D. "Dick" Winters (21 January 1918 – 2 January 2011) was an officer of the United States Army and a decorated war veteran. He is best known for commanding Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, during World War II, eventually being promoted to major rising to command of the entire 2nd Battalion.
  • As first lieutenant, Winters parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, 6 June 1944, and fought across France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and eventually Germany. Following the German surrender, he left the 506th and was then stationed in France, where senior officers were needed to oversee the return home.
    Winters was discharged from the Army and returned to civilian life, working first in New Jersey and later in Pennsylvania, where he set up his own company selling chocolate byproducts from The Hershey Company to producers of animal feed. He was a regular guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy at West Point until his retirement in 1997. He was the last surviving Easy Company commander.
  • Operation Overlord (D-Day)
    For Operation Overlord, Easy Company's mission was to capture the entrances to and clear any obstacles around "Causeway 2", a pre-selected route off Utah Beach for the Allied forces landing from the sea a few hours later. The company departed from Upottery airbase in Devon, England, and dropped over the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy, France in the early hours of the morning of 6 June 1944. After assembling on the ground, the men of Easy Company disabled a battery of four German heavy guns on D-Day that threatened forces coming along Causeway 2.
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Vinnie Calarco

  • Vinnie Calarko: Sargent , U.S. Army 1943 – 1946
    The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany's armored forces on the western front which Germany was largely unable to replace. German personnel, and later Luftwaffe aircraft (in the concluding stages of the engagement), also sustained heavy losses.
  • Hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, planted and trained to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, and of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows.
    Battle of Normandy, Allied forces – particularly the Americans – had bogged down fighting the Germans in the Normandy bocage. This landscape of thick banked hedges proved difficult for tanks to breach. In an effort to restore battlefield mobility, various devices were invented to allow tanks to navigate the terrain. Initially the devices were manufactured in Normandy, largely from German steel-beam beach defensive devices on an ad hoc basis. Manufacture was then shifted to the United Kingdom, and vehicles were modified before being shipped to France.
  • While the devices have been credited with restoring battlefield mobility in the difficult terrain historians have questioned their overall usefulness and tactical significance.
  • Outcome - The 99th Infantry Division as a whole, outnumbered five to one, inflicted casualties in the ratio of eighteen to one. The division lost about 20% of its effective strength, German losses were much higher. In the northern sector opposite the 99th, this included more than 4,000 deaths and the destruction of sixty tanks and big guns.[81] Historian John S.D. Eisenhower wrote, "... the action of the 2nd and 99th Divisions on the northern shoulder could be considered the most decisive of the Ardennes campaign.
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Lester Hauck

  • Lester W. Hauck: Army Air Corp, 1st Lieutenant European Theater
    B-26 Marauder operators - The main user of the Martin B-26 Marauder was the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) (and its predecessor the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), renamed in 1941); it would operate for the USAAF and other US military air arms until the end of World War II. During this period the B-26 Marauder in its many variants was also operated by the Free French Air Force, the South African Air Force and the Royal Air Force; serving with many units and in many different theaters of conflict on several continents.
    Stalag Luft III, a large prisoner of war camp near Sagan, Silesia, Germany (now Zagan, Poland), was the site of a spectacular escape attempt (later filmed as The Great Escape). On March 24, 1944, 76 Allied prisoners escaped through a 110 m (approx 360 feet) long tunnel. 73 were recaptured within two weeks. 50 of them were executed by order of Hitler in the Stalag Luft III murders.
    The largest German World War II prisoner of war camp was Stalag VII-A at Moosburg, Germany. Over 130,000 Allied soldiers were imprisoned there. It was liberated by theU.S. 14th Armored Division following a short battle with SS soldiers of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division on 29 April 1945.[1] Stalag III-C is notable for the escape of US paratrooper Joseph Beyrle, who subsequently joined a Soviet tank battalion commanded by Aleksandra Samusenko, which returned to liberate the camp.
  • Holocaust Trains - were railway transports run by the Deutsche Reichsbahn national railway system on supervison of the German Nazis and their collaborators, for the purpose of forcible deportation of the Jews interned in the ghettos as well as other victims of the Holocaust to the German Nazi concentration, forced labour, and extermination camps.[2]
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Charles Catania

Charles A. Catania, Army T-5 Armored Car Division, Germany 1943-1946
The 3rd Armored Division ("Spearhead") was an armored division of the United States Army. Unofficially nicknamed the "Third Herd", the division was first activated in 1941, and was active in the European Theater of World War II.
Major General Maurice Rose - (November 26, 1899 – March 30, 1945) was a United States Army general during World War II and World War I veteran. The son and grandson of rabbis from Poland,[1] General Rose was at the time the highest ranking Jew in the U.S. Army.
During World War II, Rose served in three armored divisions. In North Africa, he served with the 1st Armored Division. During the campaign in Tunisia, General Rose was the first officer to accept the unconditional surrender of a large German unit.
Battle of Paderborn - was bombed by allied aircraft in 1944 and 1945 (85% destruction, including many of the historic buildings). It was seized by the US 3rd Armored Division during a pitched battle 31 March - 1 April 1945, in which tanks and flamethrowers were used during combined mechanized-infantry assaults against the city's southwestern, southern and southeastern approaches.
Into battle - The first elements of the 3rd Armored in France saw combat on 29 June, with the division as a whole beginning combat operations on 9 July 1944. During this time, it was under the command of VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps for some time, and assigned to the First Army and the 12th Army Group for the duration of its career.
The division "spearheaded" the US First Army through Normandy, taking part in a number of engagements, notably including the Battle of Saint Lô, where it suffered significant casualties. After facing heavy fighting in the hedgerows, and developing methods to overcome the vast thickets of brush and earth that constrained its mobility, the unit broke out at Marigny, alongside the 1st Infantry Division, and swung south to Mayenne. The engineers and maintenance crews took the large I-Beam Invasion barriers from the beaches at Normandy and used the beams to weld large crossing rams on the front of the Sherman tanks. They would then hit the hedgerows at high speed, bursting through them without exposing the vulnerable underbellies of the tanks. Until this happened, they could not get across the hedgerows.