June 21, 2020

This week’s one hour radio broadcast with host Dale Throneberry is a collection of personal stories about our fathers who have served in the military.

Below are the summaries of those shared today.

Our Fathers’ stories of service

Our live program will be broadcast on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 5:00pm ET.

4pm CT – 3pm MT – 2pm PT


Stories will also be accepted via email at dale@veteransradio.net.

William Clifton Throneberry, Coast Guard, Chief Petty Officer E-7

My Dad, William Clifton Throneberry, enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1943 at the age of 38.  He didn’t want to be drafted because they had raised the draft age to 40. He was a Chief Petty Officer E-7.

He was assigned to LST (Landing Ship Tank) 884 and sailed it from New Orleans through the Panama Canal to Hawaii and then on to Iwo Jima, in February 1945, where his LST unloaded troops and supplies shortly after the invasion.

LST 884From Iwo Jima they went to Okinawa to participate in that landing when their ship was hit by a Kamakazi on April 8, 1945 and had to abandon ship when it caught fire. He and a number of other crew return to the ship to fight the fire and try to save the lives of the Marines trapped in the hull. They were unsuccessful and it haunted him the rest of his life. That was the end of the war for him.  LST884 was towed back to Pearl Harbor and by the time it was repaired WW II was over.

Shared by Dale Throneberry

PFC Reginald Charles Williams, Army WWII

My father, Reginald Charles Williams, was drafted in the Army during WWII. He was deployed to India and was a locomotive engineer moving supplies across India to the Allies during the war. He was discharged from the Army as a Private First Class in May 1946, after 2-years of enlistment. That military experience lead to his career working for the railroad. I learned much later that he never got the medals he qualified for while in the service. To rectify that I got a copy of his honorable discharge, ordered the medals and ribbons, put them in a shadow box, obtained a certificate from President George Bush, and did a small award ceremony at the assisted living facility where he and my mother lived in their last few years. I put on my Navy uniform, had him come forward and salute me. I told the audience of about 50 people that was the first time my Father had to salute me! The ceremony corrected a wrong and he beamed with pride, displayed and treasured that shadow box. He truly represented the “greatest generation.”

Shared by CAPT (ret) Reg Arthur Williams

Joseph Garon, 3rd Army, Chief Warrant Officer

My Dad, Joseph Garon, enlisted in the Navy. However he was so sea sick he was discharged. Then Dad enlisted in the Army. He served from April 1943 to January 1946. He was assigned to the 120th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion as a supply sargeant for the military vehicles – jeeps and trucks. His unit was assigned to the 3rd Army with General Patton.

Listen to Michele tell of her father’s service during WWII. 

Shared by Michele Kolis

Victor H. Kimmons, Navy, Seabee

My Dad, Victor H. Kimmons, spent 30 years in the U.S.Navy. He was a Seabee during WWII and the Korean War. He obtained his commission and served as a Civil Engineer Corps officer during Vietnam.  He rose in rank from an E-1 to and O-5. At that time an LDO (Limited Duty Officer) could not go above O-5 or he would have gone higher.

He made sure that we were taken care of especially my younger sister Karen that had Down’s Syndrome. He swore me into the USAF in 1974. He also swore my oldest brother into the USN and did his reenlistment oaths. I love him and miss him very much. He did not talk about his time at war just like so many other combat veterans.

Shared by Kenneth Kimmons   

Frank Vance III, Army Aircorp

My Dad, Frank VAnce III, was a WWII Glider Pilot. He was in the Army/Aircorp 9th Corp, 442nd TCG, 306th TCS. He flew CG-4A Gliders and C-47’s in Holland, France, Belgium and Germany. His main mission was Operation Market Garden. Many British and American men died in that battle. He received the Air Combat Medal for his Service. He was my HERO and my BEST FRIEND. He always said the HERO’S were the ones that gave their lives during the war. He said he was not a HERO. I always thought he and all men like him were HERO’S.

I’d like to share a poem I wrote a few weeks after he died. It’s called “Soldiers Pain”. Dedicated to Frank L. Vance III and all soldiers

Soldier’s Pain

He is my eternal flame,
Many have come before and after, but they are all the same
Young boys protecting the world and always taking the blame.
They didn’t ask to be in this situation, but do their job because they love their nation.
They never have time to cry or be afraid, something we take for granted every day.
I owe a great amount of appreciation because my father was part of the Greatest Generation. There’s a place in my heart for all the families that are mentally and physically so far apart.
Many lose their life and some come home to their wife.
The ones that are sane settle back in society and sustain, but the ones that gave and saw pain will never be the same.
If they make it back sane I think they wonder why we all complain.
So, if you see a soldier give them a hand shake and a hug because freedom is not free and they sacrifice everything for you and me.
We will never know a Soldiers Pain because they risk and give their lives for our gain.

Written By: Frank L. Vance IV, January 2014

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