Three area World War II veterans joined approximately 75 other veterans from Northeast Indiana to visit the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Women’s War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and other memorials in Washington, D.C., recently. The trip was sponsored by Honor Flight Northeast Indiana.
Veterans from the area making the trip were WWII veteran Trueman Bell, veteran Pat Johnson and WWII veteran Al Koontz.
Trueman Bell, a Barbee Lake resident and member of North Webster American Legion Post 253, was escorted by Guardian Bob Harding, also a member of North Webster American Legion Post 253.
Trueman enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 and spent 22 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve. He served in the Pacific Theater of the war and participated in operations on Tarawa, Saipan, Okinawa, and the occupation of Japan after their surrender.
Pat Johnson, a Syracuse resident and member of Nappanee American Legion Post 154 was escorted by Guardian Nellie Keltner. Pat joined the U.S. Navy in 1945 at the age of 17 right after he graduated from high school in Frankfort. Pat said the war ended before he completed his basic training, and he was released from active duty in 1946.
Al Koontz, a Fort Wayne resident, was escorted by Guardian Jeff Spickelmier, member of North Webster American Legion Post 253. Al is a Navy veteran of the Pacific.