Tag Archives: WWII

Park Place veteran remembers D-Day on anniversary

ELMHURST (June 2016) — During World War II, Marion Bell parachuted onto the beaches of Normandy, France, on what would become known as D-Day — June 6, 1944. Seventy-two years later, the veteran and Park Place of Elmhurst resident shared his story and memories of the event with fellow residents and local students from a Timothy Christian High School summer government class. Marion was only 19 when he landed in Normandy as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. Their plane was hit and was on fire when they jumped. During his service, he received the purple heart twice, bronze and silver stars, and the Good Conduct Medal. On Monday, June 6, Park Place invited all of the WWII veterans in assisted living to share their memories from their service. Marion was able to show and tell, as he still has the many medals he earned, as well as part of the parachute. WGN was there to cover Marion’s story — click here to see the segment from their news broadcast.   Read more about other residents who experienced WWII: Veterans honored on trip to capital Civilian memories of WWII Park Place residents recall honor flights

Veterans honored on trip to capital

ZEELAND, Mich., and HOMER GLEN, Ill. (July 2015) — Two Providence Life Services residents recently traveled on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that flies veterans to see the war memorials built in their honor. Read about the veterans’ experiences below. Elmer Witte Elmer Witte, a 92-year old resident of Victorian Village in Homer Glen, Ill., was a B-29 bomber in World War II. His daughter first mentioned the honor flight to him, and encouraged him to go on the one-day visit to the nation’s capital. But for Elmer, the highlight of the trip didn’t come in Washington, D.C., — it was in nearby Chantilly, Virginia. That’s where he saw the Enola Gay, which is on display at the World War II Aviation exhibition station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Elmer had seen the aircraft before — on Tinian in August of 1945. He was driving a gunner around the island in a Jeep when they came upon the Enola Gay — and something mysterious near it, covered and guarded by military police. “I joked to the gunner that they must have gotten a shipment of booze,” Elmer said. “I had no idea they had the atom bomb — it was the day before they dropped it.” […]