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A flight to honor WWII veterans

Dorothy LeClair, an Army Nurse during World War II, holding a photo of herself, left, and her husband, Carl LeClair, who served in the Army during World War II.

Dorothy LeClair, an Army Nurse during World War II, holding a photo of herself, left, and her husband, Carl LeClair, who served in the Army during World War II. Photo by Shaun Kittle.

— They are the kind of memories that don’t fade over time.

Merwin Cowles, Second Marine Division, described the noise—the roar of the planes overhead, the rattling of the machine guns—as if he had just been there.

To learn more:

North Country Honor Flights covers Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

The Saturday, May 18 flight is almost full, but there are still plenty of seats open on the Saturday, June 15 flight. Volunteer guardians are needed for both outings. North Country Honor Flights will fly again in September and October.

To volunteer, donate money, or for more information, visit northcountryhonor..., or contact Director Danny Kaifetz by phone at 834-9901 or by email at honorflight@chart.... North County Honor Flight's Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/...

Cowles was stationed in Saipan during World War II with the Amphibious Corp. He fought in the Battle of Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa Island in 1945.

“I often still dream about the war, situations where my buddies were killed in combat,” Cowles said. “When your buddy gets killed right beside you, you just sigh and keep on going.”

You have to keep on going, because for every soldier lost there are many more who are relying on you.

There’s no time to grieve.

“The first trip in, you’re not afraid because you don’t know what to expect,” Cowles said. “From the second trip on, you’re a little more careful. You realize you might not come back.”

It was Cowles’ job to transport squads of men from a ship to land in an amphibious tractor.

The tractor was also armed—it had two machine guns in the back and one in the front that were used for defense, or to take out machine gun nests.

It also transported fresh water and food to the battlefield.

After dropping the soldiers off, Cowles would pick up wounded men and take them back to the hospital ship.

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