With The Men In Service: June 22, 1945
With The Men In Service
Seaman, 1/C, Alex “Snap” Wares, Navy gunner, and Pfc. Joe Rodriguez, USMCR, are at home on short leaves, talking over old times with their pals— especially Seamen, 1/C, Duane Boman and Glenn Buckles who are also vacationing from life on the briney deep.
Joe Rodriguez who has recently acquired the nickname “Shine” because of his mirror-like shoes, is home on a convalescent leave from Great Lakes hospital, having been wounded on Iwo Jima. He still carries Jap shrapnel, which will have to be removed, in his leg.
With the second wave to hit the beach, Joe helped secure one end of the island after four days of continuous fighting. He was wounded later when his unit was transferred to another section of Iwo.
He counted among his buddies the marines who were shown in the now famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Surabachi. Two of the fellows, Ray Gagnon and Iris Hayes were members of his own squad.
Overseas 14 months the 21-year-old Marine served as a “fire bug,” or flame thrower. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Rodriguez, 213 Glen Ave., and has three brothers in the service, two in the Army and one in the Navy. Joe wears the Purple Heart, the American and Asiatic theater ribbons with several battle stars, and two Presidential Unit citations.
Seaman Wares, a 20 mm gunner and armed guard on merchant ships, has been in all theaters of war, and has seen the seven seas and the Suez and Panama canals during his 20 months active duty.
“Snap” has been in the hottest spot on earth, he says—Iran, where it is 135 degrees in the shade and never rains. As for his coldest experience— he was stuck In the ice for two days 25 miles out of Halifax when his ship got caught there in a storm.
Before the invasion of Southern France, Snap helped “down” a Jerry which he saw explode when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire during a two-day attack in the Mediterranean.
He is the 32-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Wares, 1026 Green St., and a brother of Cpl. John Wares who was killed on Iwo Jima during the invasion.
In Red Cross At Hawaii
Edward C. Echols, 917 Greenwood Ave., has arrived in Hawaii for further assignment in the Pacific area as an American Red Cross assistant field director, according to National Red Cross headquarters, Washington, D. C.
Until his appointment to the organization, Echols was an instructor in the Consolidated school at Northport. He is a graduate of Lane E C. High school, Charlottesville, Va., and received his A.B. arid M.A. degrees from the University of Virginia in 1940 and 1942. He also attended the University of Michigan.
E. C. Echols
Purple Heart From Germany
Mrs. Mae Prescott of Gregory, has received the Purple Heart from her husband, Pfc. Merton W. Prescott, which he sent from Bayruth, Germany, after he had been wounded in the left arm while crossing the Danube river.
Pfc. Prescott went into the Army a year ago and after training in this country shipped overseas in December. After landing at Liverpool he went to South Hampton by train where he took a boat to Le Havre. From there he was loaded into a box car and Pfc. Prescott went to about 35 miles from Paris and travelled by truck up to Belgium where he joined the firing line with the 99th Infantry division, Jan. 5.
Before being injured Prescott had fought in the big push against the Germans at the Rhine and continued across Germany to the Danube.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Prescott and has a son seven months old.
In a letter to his wife, Pfc. Prescott says that he expects to rejoin his outfit soon and since he does not have very many points, he thinks he may be going to the China-India-Burma theater of war.
Seaman Graduated Here
Although he has been at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Chicago, since April, and has completed his boot training, Seaman, 2/C, Eugene W. DeVine received his diploma last week at Ann Arbor High shool’s commencent exercises, arriving in town just an hour before his classmates met at Hill auditorium.
Before he left for training, Seaman DeVine was active in football, track, and swimming, and was co-captain of this year’s swimming team.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. DeVine, 607 Spring St., he is to return to Great Lakes this week for advance training.
With Tokyo Express
Battling with the 27th, "Tokyo Express" division on Okinawa is Pvt. Harold W. Wackenhut of Saline. The division landed on the Pacific island, early in April, and were quickly moved to the front lines.
The troops are at the present time engaged in blasting out the stiff pockets of Japanese resistance, which includes blasting and sealing caves, and burning the Nips out of pillboxes with flame throwers.
The 18-year-old soldier entered the service in August, 1944, and left for overseas last February. A graduate of Saline High school, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Wackenhut, 8075 Warren Rd. Prior to entering the service he was employed at Graft’s Service station.