Local residents recall World War II

Five Humboldt County veterans from the World War II era recently participated in a Veterans History Project through the National Court Reporters Foundation. The five veterans consented to a recent interview with The Humboldt Independent. Pictured from left to right are: Gene Ruby of Humboldt, Allan Wehrspann of Ottosen, Bob Molitor of Humboldt, Madalyn Swearingen of Humboldt and Lawrence Davis of Gilmore City. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Ordinary people thrust in extraordinary circumstances.
That was the summation of what transpired during World War II, our nation’s largest global conflict, which lasted from the beginning of September 1939 to the beginning of September in 1945.
Few remain of what broadcaster and author Tom Brokaw termed “The Greatest Generation,” the title of his 1998 book describing some of the exploits of the group of citizens who grew up during the Great Depression and came to adulthood fighting in battles throughout six continents and the world’s oceans.
Of the 16,112,566 members of the U.S. Armed Forces involved during World War II, only around 620,000 were estimated to still be alive in 2016, according to Department of Veterans Affairs, and the ranks are shrinking quickly. As many as 400 U.S. World War II veterans die each day.
Five Humboldt County veterans, Allan Wehrspann of Ottosen, Madalyn Swearingen of Humboldt, Gene Ruby of Humboldt, R.C. “Bob” Molitor of Humboldt and Lawrence Davis of Gilmore City, recently told stories of their service to local volunteer interviewers and court reporters. They also consented to be interviewed by The Humboldt Independent, and their stories are featured in this week's Memorial Day week issue. Read their exploits by subscribing to the print or digital editions by clicking on the link at the top of this page. See more Memorial Day news and photos inside this week's issue.

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