Buck Shelton & Walt Morris
At Trinity Christian School (TCS) Buck Shelton age 92 (Army Infantryman, 29th Infantry, 99th Infantry Division; Awarded Combat Infantry Badge & Bronze Star) and Walt Morris age 93 (Army Air Corps, 453rd Bomber Group, 733rd Bomb Squadron, B-24 Co-Pilot; Awarded the Air Medal) told their WWII Stories to the students at TCS taking the WWII History class. Both were awarded the Europe-Africa-Middle-East (EAME) Theater Medal.
Walt Morris: Walt brought a B-24 Cockpit diagram & explained how to fly, take off, and form-up in a B-24 for bombing runs. He showed a chart/map he’d used in a Germany bomb run. He explained 2 incidences where his plane was hit by Anti-Aircraft fire – One where two crew members were wounded & a second where flak flew up between his legs barely missing him. He said the planes usually came back full of holes. His largest bomb run had 1,000 aircraft!
Buck Shelton: Buck fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the watershed battle of WWII in Europe. His unit was in enemy territory when the battle started. Buck talked of living and surviving in foxholes full of snow & the constant ‘fireworks’ of bombs and bullets flying in both directions. He highlighted ‘Screaming Mimi’s” German rocket weapons. Buck told of soldiers being killed in the foxholes to the left and right of him, either killed instantly or bleeding out before they could be helped. When asked if he was afraid – he said NO and recalled “Fear not for the Lord is with you”.
John Swart told his World War II story to the students taking a World War II history class at Trinity Christian School . John was part of the second wave to land on Normandy. He earned the Bronze Star providing communications during that battle. Afterwards, he became a forward observer in the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion where he earned the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster as a result of being wounded on two occasions. He talked for 25 mins about his personal WWII story then responded to some tough questions for 20 mins from the students. The end of class was filled by chatting and many pictures.
John was asked if he had any friends killed while in Europe … John ticked off quite a few names in a saddened voice. He was asked how he felt when both times he was wounded, and when his replacements were killed, including his Captain. When asked if he had seen soldiers killed … he related several stories; one included seeing the gliders pilots crashing while dodging the poles erected by the Germans. Near the end, he told a story of how he learned to follow orders … his commander told him to cross some open ground to set up and fire the mortars. John said “that looks dangerous”, but then his commander pulled out his 45 caliber pistol and said “go or else”!
Bill Boleyn at Trinity Christian School
Bill did a great job today at Trinity Christian School (TCS) speaking to the class taking WWII History. He talked about 15 to 20 mins about his WWII story then smoothly answered questions for 15 mins.
He had the students mesmerized telling them his rationale for supporting the use of Atomic Bombs to end the war in the Pacific. He went on to explain that most of the Japanese and civilians on Saipan died (~ 29K soldiers) and related mentioned how 3k committed suicide by jumping off a mountain rather than be captured. He got very serious when he explained how the Marines were ‘juiced up’ to hate the Japanese Soldiers; but when they had captured a town of women and children and had them in a barbed wire enclave, he had compassion for these innocents.
OoooRaa and Semper Fi to Bill.
On March 11, 2015, at Trinity Christian School (TCS), Bill Hilbrink told his personal WWII story to the WWII History class. Bill was a member of the US Army Ground Forces Band and Orchestra. He was part of 19 concerts that were performed over a period of 1½ years in support of Military soldiers, veterans and their families. Bill also discussed the importance of music to the morale of personnel, supporting funerals, change of commands, and other military ceremonies. Each branch of the service has bands, choral groups, and orchestras that support and entertain personal at home and abroad. Bill is an accomplished violinist and has performed at the highest levels in the Military and in his civilian career. He spoke about his WWII story for approximately 20 minutes, then answered some hard questions for another 15 mins.
In closing, Bill played a bit of classical violin music for the students which resulted in a standing ovation! The end of class was filled by chatting and many pictures.