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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: A place of service

  • Carrington Place held a special picnic and reception Friday to honor residents and a staff member who all served their country in the military.

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    Carrington Place held a special picnic and reception Friday to honor residents and a staff member who all served their country in the military.

    The event was held in honor of Armed Forces Day, which is observed annually on the third Saturday in May.

    “We have 11 people here who served in the armed forces, and we’re very proud of all of them,” said Linda Coleman, Carrington Place activities director.

    She put together a bulletin board with a photo of each veteran and information on his military service.

    “It has been a lot fun doing that, getting people together and talking to families,” Coleman said. “I think we have people here who served in about every branch of the military and they served everywhere.”

    That includes from near the North Pole to Mould Bay, 800 miles from the North Pole for Jim Kirby, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1952. 

    “I preferred North Africa,” the World War II veteran said. “I was on a B-24 and we flew one combat mission. I think a lot of us fell asleep.”

    However, there was some cause for concern at Mould Bay.

    “There were polar bears there, and we were deathly afraid of them,” Kirby said.

    Several World War II veterans served in Europe, and two of those were in the Battle of the Bulge.

    “That was a hell of a deal,” said Shedrick Ross, who served in the U.S. Army in the Medical Corps from 1941 to 1945 in France, Germany and England.

    “What was interesting to me was that Mr. Ross said that they didn’t issue rifles at first to the men serving in the black units,” Coleman said. “He said it didn’t take him long to find one.”

    Clyde Loveland was also in the Battle of the Bulge, at Metz. 

    “What did I feel about it?” he asked. “Nothing good. It was pretty rough.”

    Frank Ferraro, who served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, can say something that not many men can say.

    Page 2 of 3 - “I slept in Hitler’s bed,” he said. 

    No, Hitler wasn’t there.

    “I started in Italy, then France, then Germany and after that Austria,” Ferraro said. “I hit them all. We’d made a push to Austria and the first place we did was go to Hitler’s house. We stayed there nine days, and I slept in Hitler’s bed. It was the biggest bed I ever saw.”

    Forrest Coltharp, who served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, was in Germany, said he felt a little embarrassed after hearing the accounts of those who fought in World War II battles.

    “I served with the Occupation Forces in Germany and those were very civil times  there,” he said.

    Clyde Duncan served in the U.S. Navyfrom 1943 to 1946 as a radio man second class in Idaho, Washington State and the Aleutian Islands. He was a code cracker, handling communications from the Japanese and Russians.

    “They told us there was a woman behind every tree on the Aleutian Islands, but there weren’t any trees,” he said.

    Other veterans served on the home front. Bill Carson spent most of his time, from 1942 to 1946 in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Paul Shields served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1944 as a B-25 pilot.

    “I was mostly in Texas, and Texas was not bombed one time,” Shields said.Charles Sievert was in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1960 with the 339 Bomb Squad. He was based in Abilene, Texas, and there was a different war going on then, the Cold War.

    “I was a co-pilot on a B-47 jet bomber and we did carry the H-bomb,” Sievert said. “If they had ever dropped the H-bomb, the world would have ended.”

    Serving most recently was Doug Brisendine, Carrington Place maintenance staff member, who is a Vietnam veteran. 

    “We were mostly in the Da Nang area,” Brisendine said. “They said, ‘The monsoon is coming’ and it rained 24 hours a day for the next three months. The Vietnamese had adapted to it, and were out wading in their rice patties in sandals.”

    Page 3 of 3 - Despite the horrors that they saw during wartime, at least one of the veterans would have enjoyed visiting overseas following his war service.

    I would have liked returning to Germany on vacation after the war,” Ross said. “It really is a beautiful country and they have a lot of beautiful women there.” 

    Residents who are veterans are Bill “Wild Bill” Carson, who served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 46, as an X-ray technician in the Medical Corps; Forrest Coltharp, who served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 as a radar operator with the Occupation Forces in Germany; Clyde Duncan, U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946 in Washington State, Idaho and the Aleutian Islands as a code cracker for Japanese and Russian messages; Clyde Loveland, U.S. Army, 1942-1944, served with the 95th Division all over Europe; Charles Sievert, U.S. Air Force, 1956-1960, 339 Bomb Squad, Abilene, Texas; Paul Shields, U.S. Army Air Corps, 1942-1944, B-25 pilot, served mostly in Texas; Doug Brisendine, Carrington Place maintenance staff, U.S. Marine Corps, served in Vietnam; Wayne Martin, U.S. Army, 1943-46, X-ray technician fifth grade, 61st General Hospital, England; Jim Myres, U.S. Army 1949-1952, enlisted at 17, Japan and Korea, serving on the front line; Frank Ferraro, U.S. Army 1943 to 1946, Third Division, 10th Engineering, served in Italy, France, Germany and Austria; Jim Kirby, U.S. Army Air Corps, 1943 to 1952, served on a B-24, North Africa, Italy and Mould Bay, 800 miles from the North Pole; and Shedrick Ross, U.S. Army, 1941-1945, served in France, Germany and England.

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