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September 2006

Two Korean War Vets Finally Get Their Medals

Bob Rinehart was recently present by U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Urbana) the following medals earned from his service during the Korean War: Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and United Nations Service Medal. [Herald & Review]

And George McCaffery was recently presented with his missing Bronze Star for valor by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Brighton).  The article notes that "McCaffery won the medal by rescuing three wounded soldiers from an ambush."  He was also part of the Chosin Reservoir battle. [Press & Argus]


Missing World War II Airmen Identified

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) recently announced three airmen missing in action from World War II have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors --

They are 2nd Lt. David J. Nelson, Chicago, Ill.; Tech. Sgt. Henry F. Kortebein, Maspeth, N.Y.; and Tech. Sgt. Blake A. Treece Jr., Marshall, Ark., all U.S. Army Air Forces.These men are to be buried along with group remains of their aircrew at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

On August 8, 1944, Nelson, Kortebein and Treece departed an allied air base in England in their B-17G Flying Fortress with six other crewmen aboard.Their mission was to bomb enemy targets near Caen, France. The aircraft was seen to explode and crash after being struck by enemy flak near the village of Lonlay l'Abbaye, south of Caen. The other six members of the crew were 1st Lt. Jack R. Thompson; 2nd Lts. Charles Bacigalupa and Charles Sherrill; and Sgts. Richard R. Collins, Gerald F. Gillies and Warren D. Godsey. The hometowns of these six are not available.

German forces and French villagers living near the crash site recovered some of the remains of the crew and buried them nearby. Advancing U.S. forces found additional remains. Six of the nine crewmen ultimately were identified, but Nelson, Kortebein and Treece remained unaccounted for.

In August 2002, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) operating in Luxembourg was informed that a local French aircraft wreckage hunting group (Association Normande du Souvenir Aerien 39/45) had located a crash site near Lonlay l'Abbaye. The JPAC team surveyed the site, excavated it in July 2004 and recovered human remains, personal effects and crew-related materials from amid the wreckage. Also found were six unexploded 250-pound bombs.

Later that year, a French explosive ordnance disposal team turned over a bone fragment to the U. S. Defense Attache in Paris. It was found by French technicians working to secure the site where the bombs had been found.

Among other forensic identification tools, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains of the three, matching DNA sequences from maternal relatives.


Vision & Goals of VeteranStories.us

My name is Steve Holden and I am the founder of this site.

The very basic vision of VeteranStories.us is to "explore the rich history of those who have served" the United States of America in military service.  Specifically but not exclusively as members of the United States Armed Forces.

I have been podcasting since 2004 at TechNewsRadio.com (a member of FriendsInTech.com), and at JerseyBoysPodcast.com since 2005.  Podcasting and blogging - the new media of the Internet - means a lot of things to me, but one of key ones is historical record.  A secondary and amplifying reason to historical record, is the ability to publicize ideas, thoughts, opinions, experiences and values without a filter.

Since December 2005 I noted an abundance of new media focused on veterans and their stories, and I have a large circle of family, friends, and acquaintances who have served but never had their stories told (including my father who served in WWII who passed away in 1993 nor my uncle's who served in WII, Korea, and Vietnam). 

So the goals (as of August 2006) for VeteranStories.us have materialized as:

  • Timely capture and report interesting veteran historical news in the form of blog posts
  • Highlight audio and video veteran stories independently produced and posted on the Internet via timely blog posts
  • Professional report all media in a transparent and truthful manner
  • Produce, record, and publish VeteranStories.us audio programming (ie. podcasts) via Creative Commons license
  • Provide a community for other podcasters to capture and share other veteran stories for a richer historical record

This is starting out as a one person effort, but to be truly successful many will have to contribute as readers, bloggers, and podcasters.  If you are interested in helping, please contact me at: sholden@pobox.com or call 619-631-4433.

If you are a veteran ... thank you for your service.  My freedoms that I enjoy everyday are because of sacrifices like yours.  Please join me in sharing your story.

- s/n Steve Holden