If you watched The Morning Scramble on AZTV last week on August 15, when two WWII veterans were being honored and thanked for their service to our country, you will have noticed that each one of them only had about seven minutes to answer questions and tell their stories. In hindsight, Guy Willis wished that he had said things differently and had talked about other, more important things.
Guy Willis, who served in the US Navy at the end of WWII and in Korea, is now an active volunteer with the Volunteer Services of the Veterans Administration in Prescott, Arizona. This is what he would have wanted to add during the interview if he would have had more time.
“For over sixty years I have frequently visited the Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawai’i on the island of Oahu. Those visits gave me an opportunity to think about all who suffered through the trials of World War Two in the Pacific and especially to remember those I knew personally, the ones who didn’t come home. All of their names are engraved on the Punchbowl walls.
Two childhood friends did not come home. Joe Bagley went down with his A-26 bomber in the Solomon Islands. He was twenty-two. Johnny Parsons was killed by a kamikaze while aboard USS Drexler at Okinawa; he was only eighteen. George Davis, the captain of USS Walke (my ship in the Korean War) was also killed by a kamikaze at Leyte Gulf. He was thirty-three and a post-humous recipient of the Medal Of Honor.
Then, during the Korean War, 26 of my USS Walke shipmates did not come home and 46 were wounded. We, the crew of the Walke, will always be shipmates. We especially honor those who were wounded or gave their lives for our beloved country.”
Until next time,