Last Saturday, members of Sunbury’s American Legion Post 457 held a bean soup and corn bread lunch as a fundraiser, but members of the post also used the occasion to recognize three post members who are also World War II veterans – Bob Morris, Jim Krebs and Minor McGraw.
On board for the occasion was American Legion District 6 Commander Bart Arndt, who presented the veterans with certificates of recognition as Post 457 Commander Roy Terry introduced them.
Morris, a U.S. Navy veteran, served from 1943 to 1952. He attended Pre-Midshipmen’s School in Norfolk, Virginia, with additional training at Northwestern University and North Carolina University before being commissioned as a deck and engineering officer at age 22.
Following additional training at the Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, Virginia, Morris was assigned to the U.S.S. LSM-115 “Super Mouse.” He was a lieutenant junior grade at age 23, and with his commander’s retirement became the LSM-115 commanding officer.
While serving, Morris traveled through the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, to Manila, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa, and participated in the occupation of Taku under Task Force 78, Operation Beleaguer.
Morris separated from active duty in 1946, and separated from the voluntary reserves as a lieutenant in 1952.
Krebs graduated from high school in 1943 and enlisted at 17 years old with his twin brother, Jack. They had basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas, and maneuvers at Camp McCain in Mississippi, then traveled to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where they joined Patton’s 3rd Army, 346 Regiment, 87th Infantry, Company C.
After shipping out on the Queen Elizabeth, there was more training in England, before shipping out to Le Havre, France. After traveling 400 miles in 30 days as foot soldiers, Jim and Jack Krebs found themselves in the Battle of the Bulge.
While serving as a bazooka team, they earned Silver Stars. In Belgium Jack was mortally wounded and died in Jim’s arms. Jim was wounded helping his brother.
After his wounds healed, Jim was sent to the 1135th Combat Engineers to help put the first bridges across the Rhine River, allowing Patton’s 3rd Army to advance into Germany.
Krebs was discharged in January 1946 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
McGraw entered the U.S. Army on Oct. 23, 1943, and served in the medical corps.
McGraw had 17 weeks of basic training at Camp Grant in Illinois, and served at Billings General Hospital, Fort Benjamin Harrison, in Indiana.
The bulk of McGraw’s service was with the 167th General Hospital in France, where he was a surgical technician. He returned stateside in late 1945 and was discharged from the Army in 1946.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093