.....Russell Skinner lived on a farm north west of Fennville and graduated in 1931. Russell was a WWII army soldier and his coming home created quite a story. He was on patrol with a buddy and when he returned to where his company was encamped, they discovered that the whole company had been wiped out by the Germans. Russ and his buddy immediately looked for a place to hide. The Germans searched for then, day and night and could not locate him. Nomadic goat herders had hidden them in their tents, under rugs. His family was then advised that Russell was “Missing In Action”. Russell found his way back to the American lines. A reporter found out about him and sent word to a
Friends and relatives words of remembrance.
Skinner, Russell’s brother, was younger and
class of 1941, the same class as my uncle Linn Sheckler Jr. graduated
from, that would make Norm about 80 now.
Because he needed to work on the farm to help with the fruit, Norm took
from school. When the war came along he was drafted so did not
graduate. At the
time of this writing he was living in
.....Norman was wounded in
.....At the time of this
writing, Norm has to walk with a cane. Norm's doctoring
with the VA started at Chicago, waiting many hours in line. When he did
get to a doctor he only checked his scars on his shoulders received
from explosions, and then he could not find a ruler long enough to
measure the scares, they being over six inches long. Norm asked
if he was going to check his feet and the doctor siad it was not on his
record, you Indiana farm boys want everything. Yup! the doc
was used to only city vets. Now Norm goes to the Indiana
hospitals that recognizes his feet problems. Norm is
also hard of hearing from shell shock.
Norm told of an
interesting experience he had in 1980 in the area where Vern lives, the
state of Washington. Norm was visiting his mother-in-law in
Rochester, WA, a small town just south of Olympia, the state
capital. Returning home on a flight out of Sea-Tac, the day St.
Helen's blew, his plane took off in an unusual direction, north then
WEST. The pilot advised them of the eruption and said he was
going to fly in a path so all could see the action. The plane was
not full so all passengers went to the right side windows to get a
view. Norm said he saw three different fingers of ash coming up
and coming too close. The pilot quickly siad to all fasten
yourselves town tight. The plane began a steep clinb with engines
whining. They were in the wrong place. At 45,000 ft. they
leveled out in clear sky but still they could see the bomb like plumb
going higher yet. They had to change planes in Denver while the
plane was being checked for damage.
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