After the war, many veterans rushed back to America to resume their civilian lives and never inquired about receiving any medals. Most of these medallists named below are unwilling to tell their war story. They said, “they were just doing their job”. They never refer to themselves as heroes. I guess they are just representatives of that generation-a generation that acted with great valor, but didn’t make much ado about it. Their deeds are known to very few.
On November 8, 2003 WWII veterans that have received the Army’s Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) or the Combat Medical Badge (CMB) will be honored at the Fort Wayne War Memorial Coliseum, Coliseum Expo Hall #1. These CIB and CMB medals will be upgraded to the Bronze Star after the Veterans Day parade that starts at 11:00am on Parnell Avenue and concludes at the Coliseum.
The Bronze Star is awarded to those persons exhibiting courage under fire, or meritorious service. The Indiana Veteran’s Service Officers’ Association will also award medals posthumously to surviving family members of veterans who have qualified for these medals but have passed on. Recipients who earned the Bronze Star Medal during WWII include:
Richard Joseph Doak, Glenn Walter Adair, Max E. Spangle, Alfred John Turner, Harold Henry Helmke, William E. Watson, Richard L. Mills (deceased), Benjamin E. GiaQuinta, Paul B Winget, Roy Kilby Jr., Edward J. Miller, Francis M. Armstrong, Doyle Smith, Clyde O. Smith, Peter J. D’Archangel, Merton M. Nesbitt, Raymond C. Zell, Melvin W. Myers, Karl N. Kline, Edward L. Flinn, Lavon E. Furnish, Paul A. Ramos Sr. (deceased), Marion Hine, Robert J. Wiltshire, Frederick J. Poeppel, Nathan L. Tagmeyer, Loren W. Smith (deceased), Marion D. Smith (deceased), Donald J. Smith (deceased), Donald L. Parker (deceased), Frank W. Knight, William A. Brase, Quentin J. Freiburger, Robert A. Batchhelder, John R. Emrah, Thomas D. Bireley, Richard E. Wisnewski (deceased), James E. Loser, Kenneth L. Luegring, Frederick W. Domrow, Isadore A. Kaluza (deceased), John E. Larsen, Leo R. Marx (deceased), Leo H. Estabrook, Robert Demetre, Ted J. Bollier, Homer W. Mertz, Roy G. Bender, Gilbert C. Hoeppner, John R. Oswald (deceased), Paul E. Smith, Wayne F. Smith (deceased), William E. Brandt, Arthur F. Langston (deceased), Joe II Yater, Frank E. Boyle, Augustus R. Nagy, and Harold H. Heine.