Lt Col George J. Laben

2017-12-02 Laben

In seventeen months stationed in India and Burma during World War II, George Laben flew 245 missions in a C-47 transport plane, an aircraft he still praises for its maneuverability and general ease of flying. He dodged Japanese planes by flying low enough to the ground to be mistaken for ground cover, and never lost a plane or a crew member, even though the overall losses in his squadron were enormous. Occasionally, he flew night missions undercover for the OSS, dropping off men (in parachutes) and supplies, and on one memorable flight, a half-dozen unauthorized bombs. Laben readily admits he never took off without feeling some discomfort, though he always believed he would make it back home from every flight.

We honor you, George Laben.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

PO2 James Nappier Jr.

2017-11-10 Nappier

James Nappier’s persistence and devotion to serving his country resulted in the improbable scenario of a man in his 40s with a grown child enlisting in–and being accepted by–the Navy’s Seabees. By virtue of his six years in the Marines beginning when he had dropped out of high school, Nappier’s real age was knocked down to just under the upper limit for eligibility. This was in 2000, when no one had any idea of military deployments to a war in the Middle East. In Iraq, Nappier kept volunteering for the most dangerous missions, figuring he was saving one younger man with young children from harm’s way.

We honor you, James Nappier Jr.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

CAPT Edward H. Mortimer

2017-11-1 Mortimer

Annapolis graduate Edward Mortimer’s career spanned the central years of the Cold War, 1954-1977, during which he served on five submarines with increasingly sophisticated technology. He worked his way up from communications officer to captain of the USS John Adams, a third-generation Polaris submarine. Patrolling both major oceans and several of the seven seas, Mortimer was exquisitely aware of what firing one of his sub’s missiles would mean.

We honor you, Edward Mortimer.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

Maj Clara C. Johnson

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In 1950, Clara “Chris” Johnson was a theatrical designer with limited prospects when she decided that the Air Force would provide her with a steady income. Her initial impression of her female colleagues confirmed that she was going to be judged solely on her abilities and not on the color of her skin. “I was always impressed with my female colleagues in that I was the only person of color and they were readily accepting of me.”

She survived a rigorous stint at Officers Candidate School and a year in Vietnam, and got to retire at an age young enough to have a second career in academia.

We honor you, Clara Johnson.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

CDR William Archer Glenn

2017-10-22 Glenn

After a brief stint working counter-intelligence in the Army in mid-1950s Vienna, William Glenn took a job with the Office of Naval Intelligence. In 1962, he was working at NASA shortly after the Berlin Wall was erected, and he was called to active duty in the Navy. Glenn went on to become an intelligence officer as well as a test pilot, doing two tours of duty in Vietnam plus assignments along the DMZ in Korea and stateside, where he was involved in, among other cases, investigating the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst.

We honor you, William Glenn.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

GySgt Henry “SKI” W. Andrasovsky

2017-9-26 Andrasovsky

“SKI” as he was always known, grew up in Ohio and joined the Marines, six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor at the age of 17. During WWII he participated in action against the enemy at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942; New Guinea Operation in 1943; Cape Gloucester, New Britain in 1943 & 44; and Peleliu Island, Palau Islands in 1944. During the Korean War, he participated in the assault and seizure of Inchon, Korea and the “Chosen” (frozen) Campaign in Northern Korea in 1950. He retired from the Marines in 1961 and retired again from the Post Office in 1982. Everyone who knew him loved his stories, great ‘one-liners’ and jokes.

We honor you, Henry Andrasovsky.

(#Repost @Russon Mortuary)

COL Jesse G. Ugalde

2017-8-27 Ugalde

Colonel Ugalde was most well known for his dedication and service to the U.S. Army and support for veterans from all branches of the military. He devoted 33 years of his life protecting and serving this country and continued to give his service to many related organizations even after he retired. During World War II, he fought in Africa, Sicily and Italy. In Sicily at age 21, he personally received an on-the-spot promotion to Captain from General Patton. He later served in the Korean conflict and on the Joint Staff of the Pacific Command during the Cold War. He was Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. He was one of the original Green Beret officers and an Army aviator qualified to fly both planes and helicopters. He was appointed as the Director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs in 1985. As director, he helped aid many veterans and their dependents, including a $3 billion home loan program, as well as, a 1,500-bed veterans home and hospital. Jesse’s most memorable motto was “You can always get the job done, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

We honor you, Jesse Ugalde.

(#Repost @The San Diego Union-Tribune)