Column: WWII vet stories sought

2013-11-12T23:00:00Z Column: WWII vet stories soughtBy BOB FALLSTROM - H&R Community News Editor Herald-Review.com

This is for World War II veterans.

Have you talked with Patrick Sullivan? The 20-year-old Millikin University senior wants to contact you and you, all Decatur and Macon County World War II veterans.

He’s compiling information about your experiences to be published in a book. Proceeds from the book sales will go to preserving the World War II memorial.

He’s collecting stories by contacting veterans from lists I supplied last year. He has about 40 stories in hand from the lists and from visiting Imboden Creek and Eagle Ridge retirement homes. He also has sent letters to a number of veterans.

Yes, we have the World War II Memorial in front of the Decatur Civic Center with your name on it. The book would add more documentation of your service, preserving information your children your grandchildren and their children will want to know in years to come.

So far as I know, there is no comprehensive book of this kind. E.E. “Pete” Nicholls, who proposed the World War II Memorial and worked diligently for it, compiled a 1991 book “Heroes in Our Midst,” 330 pages, which listed the names of Macon County veterans from World War I through the Persian Gulf War and included some photos and articles.

When Nicholls and Gordon Brenner began research for the World War II Memorial, they found many more names. Sullivan knows he needs many more stories to finish a book with enormous historical importance.

He considers a talk with Art Jacoby Sr. most interesting. Jacoby, in his mid-90s, talked about his Navy days on the LST (landing ship tank) he served on in the South Pacific and about the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

“Another interesting conversation, about six hours, was with Harold Johnson and the Battle of the Bulge in Europe in 1944-45,” Sullivan said.

“Talking with the veterans gives me a new perspective about World War II,” Sullivan kn0ws. “My curiosity perhaps dates from the time James Bradley, the author of ‘Flags of our Fathers,’ gave a talk at Millikin about the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. And my grandfather, Leonard Koslofski of Maroa, served in the Navy.

“The problem is that I need information quickly. I’ll take the stories and weave them into a narrative. My deadline is the week of Martin Luther King’s birthday in mid-January.

“I’m going to law school at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, next fall, and I want this book to be as complete as possible.”

Contact Patrick Sullivan at (217) 963-2656 or email: pcsullivan30@gmail.com.

bfallstrom@herald-review.com|(217) 421-7981

Copyright 2015 Herald-Review.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Deals & Offers

More Offers
Get weekly ads via e-mail