HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Six North Alabama World War II veterans returned home from a trip of honor.
Family and friends welcomed the heroes home at the Huntsville International Airport Saturday evening. The veterans visited areas in Europe where they had served including Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
The trip was made possible by the organization, Forever Young Senior Veterans.
“If it wasn’t for Forever Young, none of us could afford these trips,” said veteran Sherwin Callander.
The trip served as an opportunity to reflect and remember. Jim Feezel drove the tank that tore down the gas chamber door at a concentration camp. He said he was able to put memories to rest during the trip.
“Jim put your tank through that fence wire gate and of course, as soon as we did, we saw dead bodies,” said Feezel.
Veteran Earl Miller recalls their visit to Luxembourg.
“I knew one of those crosses at Luxembourg was for me because it came that close that we were expendable,” Miller said.
George Mills was taken as a prisoner of war. The trip to Luxembourg also hit home with him.
“I was standing in the graveyard in Luxembourg, 63 members of my battalion were buried in that graveyard,” said Mills.
Charles Henry guarded prisoners of war here in the states. When he volunteered to be a paratrooper, he was told that they didn’t train African Americans. Henry said he’s thankful to have seen changes in his lifetime and to be treated like the hero he is while overseas.
“Actually we were treated like royalty in Germany, Belgium, Austria. All the nations that we went to, we were royalty,” said Henry.
Charles Henry, 93 years old, U.S. Army, Quartermaster, Guarded POWs here in the states because when he went to volunteer to be a paratrooper, he was told that “they didn’t train negroes”. He has always lived vicariously through his veteran “brothers”, but FYSV wanted to show Charles appreciation for his contribution and sacrifice.
Harold McMurran, 95 years old, WWII and Korea, 3rd Army, 546 Ord. HM Field Artlilery. Infantryman, Instrument repairman, and truck driver. Normandy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Rank: Army: T/5 Army, Air Force: Tech Sgt.
Earl Miller, 96 years old, WWII and Korea, Army Air Corps, 364th Fighter Group, 384 Fighter Squadron, Normandy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany Fighter Escort, close air support, transportation interdiction, Distinguished Flying Cross. Rank: Lt. Col.
George Mills, 97 years old, U.S. Army, 109th Infantry Btn. Infantryman attached to the 28th Infantry Division, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and French Legion of Honor Medal. Captured as POW on December 18, 1944. Rank: Sgt.
Major Wooten, 102 years old, 764th Railway Shop Btn. Worked in military repair, working on hospital and freight cars. Rank: PFC