Veterans Stories
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Flying unfriendly skies

History | WWII pilot Bill Patten faced perils of combat and turned to God
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 11/19/20, 02:44 pm

Fifth in a series on war veterans

Over Regensburg, Germany, flak not only hit the plane, but tore into a crew member and the chief pilot’s thigh. As the pilot tried to stanch bleeding, co-pilot Bill Patten took over the controls.

Patten, 26, was a pilot with the 15th Air Force. He had a wife and daughter back home in Kansas City, Mo. Once in a while he’d read a Bible someone had sent to him, but as a not-too-religious military man, he took little comfort in it.

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Vera Lundquist

Home-front duties

History | While her husband fought German forces, Barbara Larson built airplane parts back home
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 10/21/20, 11:16 pm

Fourth in a series on war veterans

She had been married four days when her husband left for war in 1944. She didn’t know where he was going, and when—or if—she’d ever see him again. Barbara Larson, 94, shrugs and smiles: “That’s just the way it was back then.”

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A veteran adjusts to bigger plans

History | From Texas to Japan, Bernie Holritz served God and country in ways he didn’t expect
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 10/08/20, 03:46 pm

Third in a series on war veterans

Bernie Holritz, 99, loves to tell how God directed every aspect of his life, though never in a straight line. As America battled Japan during World War II, the Navy recruit didn’t expect he’d one day evangelize the Japanese.

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