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So far vbcpghadmin has created 201 blog entries.

Howard Pfeifer

. . Howard Pfeifer had never heard of the Merchant Marines when a cousin in the Navy advised him to join in 1943.  “You know you’re going to be drafted, and you’ll go wherever they need you,” he said.  But, in the Merchant Marines, Howard could call his own shots.  Eager

Eugene McShane

. . Eugene M. McShane is a native of Stonington, Connecticut. During WWII he enlisted in the Army in 1943 and trained as a forward artillery observer. During the allied invasion of Normandy, he landed on Omaha Beach (Dog Red zone) as part of the second wave, June 7, 1944 (D+1).

Peter Maurin

. . Peter J. Maurin entered the US Navy on June 30, 1942.  He was aboard a LST 313 that was sunk during the invasion of Sicily.  After returning to the United States, he redeployed to Europe and participated in the invasion of Normandy aboard a hospital ship. 97,

Norman Waldman

. . Norm Waldman has the distinction of being a D-Day paratrooper, a survivor of the Dresden firebombing, and a veteran of the Ukrainian Red Army.  His story began when he joined the army in 1943 at the age of 18.  He volunteered for the airborne for the extra pay. He

Henry Parham

. . Henry Parham served with the 320th Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only all-black unit to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.  Henry served in a segregated army, where African Americans were treated as second-class citizens.  But to this native of Greenville, Virginia, segregation in the military

George Tita

. . George Tita of Koppel, PA was drafted soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor and, along with his childhood friend, Pete, served with the 691st Tank Destroyer outfit. After a stint in Bowie, TX, the outfit moved to Louisiana to finish their training.  In March of 1944, the cadre

Joe Zimbicki

. . Joe Zimbicki grew up in Heidelberg, Pennsylvania.  During the Great Depression his dad was a moonshiner and spent time in prison.  As soon as he could, Joe began working to support his nine brothers and sisters.  Shipping off to a CCC camp in the northern woods near Williamsport was

Vittorio Zippi

. . Vittorio Zippi grew up the son of Italian immigrants in Crabtree, Pennsylvania, learning to speak English in first grade.  Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was drafted into the Army—serving as a cook, musician, medic, and barber. “Would you shoot the Italians?” asked the Army.  “Hell

Michael Vernillo

. . Michael T. Vernillo was born on April 6, 1919 in Burgettstown, PA. He was the oldest of three sons born to Dominic and Julia Muscato Vernillo. Both of his parents immigrated to the United States from Italy. His father worked for most of his adult life as a crossing

Greg Kobasa

. . Greg Kobasa Greg Kobasa volunteered for the Navy in 1968 and served in Vietnam as a Navy corpsman attached to the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force that patrolled in I Corps. Greg served as corpsman in a combined action platoon, which included both US Marines and South Vietnamese soldiers.

Stephen Kisio

. . Stephen Kisio Originally from Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, Steve Kisio enlisted in the Air Force and worked as an air traffic controller through the Korean Conflict, Cold War, and Vietnam era.  He served in Okinawa and Da Nang.  In Da Nang he worked with a Vietnamese controller and had to

Harry Kirsch

. . Harry Kirsch Harry Kirsch served with the Marine Corps during WWII. missing video/audio

David Kennedy

. . David Kennedy David Kennedy entered the US Navy on February 19, 1944 after working in a shipyard in Ambridge, PA for 10 months. He served as an engineer aboard an LST in the Pacific and left the Navy on July 14, 1946. missing video/audio

Ed Kelly

. . Ed Kelly Ed Kelly was drafted into the Navy after completing his medical internship at Mercy Hospital in 1968.  He shipped to Vietnam and served as a field medical officer with the 3rd Marine Division, a job that required him to go out on patrols and order medivac

Charles Kelley

. . Charles Kelley Charles E. Kelley–“Chuck”–grew up as a devout Catholic kid in the small, hilly community of Elliot in Pittsburgh’s West End area. He was a junior in high school when he heard news on a neighbor’s radio about Pearl Harbor.  Chuck knew that it was a matter of

Henry Karbowski

. . Henry Karbowski Henry Karbowski was born in the United States in 1929 but after his mother passed away when he was just 4, his father took him to Poland. After the start of WWII, he enlisted into the military in the Soviet Union but transferred to the RAF

Norman Kanel

. . Norman Kanel Norman T. Kanel was one of the first veterans to join our breakfasts in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in 2009.  An amateur actor after the war, Norm knew how to tell a story and hold a room captive, but he didn’t need to infuse any

John Justi

. . John Justi John J. Justi left his hometown of New Brighton, Pennsylvania to serve as an infantryman in the US Army during WWII. Previously as a high school senior working weekends at the Jones & Laughlin steel mill along the Ohio River, John routinely watched newly-built war-bound LSTs

Tom Jones

. . Tom Jones During WWII Tom Jones was drafted into the Navy in 1944 and served as a part of the original crew of the USS Rankin (AKA-103), an amphibious cargo attack ship in the South Pacific.  His ship delivered cargo to many islands including Okinawa during the famed