James Richard Hoel
James Richard Hoel enlisted as a cadet in the Army Air Corps in February 1942 and soon found himself navigating a B-26 Marauder with the help of his Gallet Chronograph. The watch was a gift he received from his employer before he left for the war.
On May 17th, 1943, Hoel's plane, along with nine others, was shot down while on a mission to destroy an Axis held power plant. Hoel's bomber crashed into the Maas River in German occupied Holland. He and three other survivors swam to shore and were captured by the Germans... Read More
Fred W. Gerretson
Fred, like many young men his age, joined the armed forces amidst the patriotic fervor sweeping the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. During his training as a naval lieutenant, Gerreston was assigned to lead the Navy's Combat Photography Unit #8. Before he left for the United Kingdom, his wife gave him a Gallet MultiChron Clamshell as a parting gift, which he wore throughout the war. ... Read More
Freida Margaret Holbein, coming from an extended family that included a pediatrician, cardiologist, general practitioner, physical therapist, X-ray lab technician, and three registered nurses, was surrounded by medical professionals. After becoming a registered nurse in 1943, she enlisted in the Army and had her basic training at Fort Meade.
On her way to Epinol, France, where she was stationed, she volunteered to serve on a hospital train that transported wounded men from the front lines to hospitals. She worked twelve hour shifts taking care of up to 132 men at a time... Read More
Jesse C. Willard
Jesse C. Willard entered into service on October 9th, 1942 at Fort Meade. From there he was assigned to the 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division where he served as a light truck driver transporting personnel and equipment. Jesse and his regiment saw more combat action than any other in the 1st Armored Division, spending 550 days in firing positions... Read More
Sgt. Israel S. Gockley
Sargent Israel 'Issy' Gockley, an Ephrata, Pennsylvania native, entered into service in 1944 and by November of that same year was fighting in France with the 334th Infantry Regiment in the 84th Infantry Division. This division participated in the Battle of the Bulge from December of 1944 through January of 1945.
Israel and the 84th Infantry Division were stationed on the northern shoulder of the bulge and experienced heavy fighting for several days. One day that Issy recalls was Christmas Day 1944 when the German Army attempted to advance using tanks and armored vehicles. Fortunately... Read More
At the age of 16, Joseph Hartmann, like so many boys his age with a thirst for adventure, signed up for the Navy and showed up for basic training only to be turned away because of his age. One year later, two days after his 17th birthday, Hartmann was called to duty and, after training, was assigned to the British ship, HMS Capetown. The ship, recently repaired after being torpedoed in early April, 1941, was stationed off Omaha beach on D-day with Hartmann on board. According to Joseph, the ships role on the day of the invasion was that of ìa traffic copî and it directed other naval traffic along the beach... Read More
Warren H. Greenawalt, Jr.
Warren H. Greenawalt, Jr., following in the footsteps of his father, enlisted in the Navy in May of 1943. he was trained at the Navy Training Station in Sampson, New York and went on to aviation machinist school.
Greenawalt was stationed on the small Pacific Island of Tinian where he was a 'Plane Captain' of a JRB-4 twin Engine Beechcraft. His duties consisted of both maintaining and piloting the craft. He frequently flew officers from Tinian to the island of Guam for meetings with Admiral Nimitz... Read More