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Tag Archives: WWII

“Kassel” A Movie

Writer  /  Leia Barker The movie “Kassel” explores the internal struggle of a Germany soldier returning to his home at the end of WWII. The main character was the pillar of his community, and at the same time, he lost everything including his family. The film was produced and directed by Greenwood resident Earl Crabtree II. Crabtree wrote the screenplay, which was inspired by his father, an Army veteran, who was stationed in Germany for over a decade during the 1970s. “He never disclosed what he was doing in the military. I only know he flew helicopters and built them,” ...

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War in Focus: Bob Albright, Indiana’s First & Only WWII Photographer

Writer  /  Kara Reibel  .  Photographer  /  Brenda Staples According to the Indiana Historical Society, Army Sergeant Robert “Bob” Albright is Indiana’s first and only combat photographer from WWII. He’s the recipient of two Bronze Stars, a Bronze Star Medal and a Victory Medal. “All I wanted was to fly,” says Bob, who will celebrate his 92nd birthday on July 9. Due to an over-abundance of pilots, Bob joined the Army. Immediately after basic training, his entire unit was shipped into infantry – except him. The military was prepping for the D-Day invasion on Normandy. “Someone was looking out for me,” ...

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Lt. Col. John Brill: Korean & Cold War Fighter Pilot

Writer  /  Kara Reibel  .  Photographer  /  Brian Brosmer “You know you’re getting old when planes you’ve flown are in the USAF museum at Wright Patt,” says Korean and Cold War fighter pilot Lt. Col. John Brill. “In fact, between my brother, my dad and I, we’ve flown 25 planes in the museum at Dayton.” Brill’s dad was a WWI fighter pilot who died in a war plane accident in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1940 when John was 10 years old. His father was part of the Reserves at that time. Their family moved to Indianapolis after his dad passed. “My ...

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WWII Veteran Alex Rearick

Writer & Photographer  /  Kara Reibel At a recent WWII Roundtable meeting, Alex Rearick shared his WWII experience with an audience of some 500 people, recounting one of the last missions flown before V-J day. As part of the 505th Bomb Group, Rearick was assigned as a radar operator. He worked in the back of a B-29, named Lassy Too, near the gunners. The island of Tinian in the Marianas was the home base for the Lassy Too during their time in the Pacific. On that last mission, General Davies accompanied the crew of the Lassy Too. “He asked us ...

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Stukas Over Indianapolis

Writer / Dan Wakefield “The Stuka was the premiere dive-bomber of the Luftwaffe…and became one of the symbols of the Blitzkrieg.” – The Warbirds Resource Group It began on the roof of the porch at the side of our house at 6129 Winthrop. That’s the perch where I sat to scan the skies for enemy airplanes during World War II. I was a Cub Scout – and later Boy Scout – patriot during the war, collecting scrap paper, scrap metal and tinfoil, raising a Victory Garden in the backyard, buying War Stamps (later called Defense Stamps) in my dime stamp ...

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Zionsville Meadows WWII Vets Honored with Indy Honor Flight

Writer  /  Ray Compton  .  Photographer  /  JJ Kaplan If you combine the ages of these three World War II veterans, you arrive at a staggering number. They have piled up an inspiring 284 years of life. Or maybe we should hike the total years of life to 284.5 years. The eldest member of the distinguished trio, Warren Englehardt, 102, proudly insists that he has eclipsed the 102 and one-half age plateau. Either number impressively stands out for the threesome of Englehardt, Charles Hallagan, 92, and Frank Bertalon, 90, who are now battling another challenge in their lives: aging. Indeed, ...

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WWII Combat Medic Andy Anderson

Writer / Kara Reibel Seventy years after serving in Patton’s 3rd Army, U.S. Army Medic Andy Anderson is taking a historic trip back to Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. Andy Anderson began his high school education at Cathedral, but after flunking his Latin course, he transferred to Broad Ripple High School. “Cathedral was very strict about its athletes passing classes, Latin was not my strong suit and I played basketball and baseball,” said Anderson. “Instead of sitting out from athletics my junior year at Cathedral, I spent the last part of my ...

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WWII Roundtable: Preserving Indiana’s Military History

Writer  /  Kara Reibel The Ernie Pyle Chapter of the World War II Roundtable was founded in 1987 by Bob Currie and Wilbert Watson. Currie and Watson were members of The Civil War RoundTable, comprised of history buffs and historians that met to discuss the Civil War. Being 122 years after the event, all information was written history. Both men were interested in World War II and decided that they should start a new round table to “continue the oral history and legacy of the WWII veterans.” Since that time, the Indianapolis chapter of the Ernie Pyle WWII RoundTable has ...

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Local IFD, WWII Vets Honored with Flight

Writer  /  Kara Reibel  .  Photos  /  Provided Every Honor Flight is amazing, and the October 18 flight was unique in that of the 70 guardians, 58 were Indianapolis Fire Department personnel. The idea was pitched by IFD firefighter David Harman who went on an Honor Flight last April as a Guardian. He loved the experience and discovered when he volunteered at a Burn Camp for Kids that other major city fire departments provide guardians regularly for Honor Flights. The response from IFD was overwhelmingly positive. An Honor Flight is a special day trip for World War II, Korean War ...

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Operation Homecoming

70 WWII Veterans to be Welcomed Home after Free Flight to DC “We can’t all be heroes, some of us need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”  -A quote by Will Rogers On Saturday, September 6th, Indy Honor Flight is again inviting the public to take part in Operation Homecoming! Having filled the airport there has been a need to move the operation to the Plainfield High School which has plenty of room and seating for people as they await the heroes to come home. Upon returning from their sixth trip (the first of three ...

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