World War II dog tags found in Saipan may solve 70-year-old mystery

Bernard Gavrin's dog tags were found in Saipan last year. Photo provided by David Rogers (Sun Sentinel / April 15, 2014)

Bernard Gavrin’s dog tags were found in Saipan last year. Photo provided by David Rogers (Sun Sentinel / April 15, 2014)

World War II dog tags found in Saipan may solve

a70-year-old mystery

Advertisements

The face of courage: President Obama awards 24 Medals of Honor

The face of courage: President Obama awards 24 Medals of Honor

Staff Sgt. Felix Conde-Falcon (l.) was a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division; Spec. Ardie Copas was a machinegunner in the 25th Infantry Division and Spec. Jesus Duran a machinegunner in the 1st Cavalry Division. All served in the Vietnam War.

Staff Sgt. Felix Conde-Falcon (l.) was a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division; Spec. Ardie Copas was a machinegunner in the 25th Infantry Division and Spec. Jesus Duran a machinegunner in the 1st Cavalry Division. All served in the Vietnam War.

MH4

Master Sgt. Mike Pena (l.) served in the 1st Cavalry Division during the Korean War; Master Sgt. Juan Negron (c.) in the infantry in Korea and Pfc. Leonard Kravitz (r.) was an assistant machinegunner in the 24th Infantry Division in Korea.

MH3

Sgt. William Leonard (l.) was a Squad Leader in the 3d Infantry Division, serving in France Nov. 7, 1944. Staff Sg Manuel Mendoza (c.), a platoon sergeant in the 88th Infantry Division, fought in Italy on Oct. 4, 1944. 1st Lt. Donald Schwab was a company commander in the 3d Infantry Division in France on Sept. 17, 1944.

Pvt. Pedro Cano, (l.), will be honored for heroism while serving with the 4th Infantry Division in Schevenhutte, Germany, Dec. 3, 1944. Pvt. Joe Gandara (c.) fought with the 17th Airborne Division in France on June 9, 1944. Pfc. Salvador Lara served as Squad Leader of a infantry rifle squad in Italy on May 27 and 28, 1944.

Pvt. Pedro Cano, (l.), will be honored for heroism while serving with the 4th Infantry Division in Schevenhutte, Germany, Dec. 3, 1944. Pvt. Joe Gandara (c.) fought with the 17th Airborne Division in France on June 9, 1944. Pfc. Salvador Lara served as Squad Leader of a infantry rifle squad in Italy on May 27 and 28, 1944.

nly three of the Medal of Honor winners being awarded today, all veterans of the Vietnam War, are alive. From left: Spc. Santiago Erevia, Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris and Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela. ((All photos courtesy U.S. Army)

Only three of the Medal of Honor winners being awarded today, all veterans of the Vietnam War, are alive. From left: Spc. Santiago Erevia, Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris and Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela. ((All photos courtesy U.S. Army)

8th of November 1965

8 Nov 19658th of November

I wanted to share this story on November 8th but tracking down the back-story about the event delayed my posting until now.

I’ll admit that if it wasn’t for local radio DJ, Bear O’Brian at Kissin 99.3, I wouldn’t have known about the day myself. He took just enough time to educate listeners about what happened on that day for members of the 173rd Airborne and share the story behind country music duo Big & Rich’s song, 8th of November. I knew then that I wanted to learn more so I could share with you.

On November 8th, 1965, the 173rd Airborne Brigade on Operation Hump, War Zone D in Vietnam were ambushed by over 1200 V.C. Forty-eight American soldiers lost their lives that day. Severely wounded and risking his own life, Lawrence Joll, a medic, was the first living black man since the Spanish-American War to receive the United States Medal of Honor for saving so many lives in the midst of battle that day. Our friend, Nialls Harris, retired 25 years, United States Army (the guy who gave Big Kenny his top hat) was one of the wounded who lived. This song is his story. Caught in the action of ‘kill or be killed’ – ‘greater love hath no man to lay down his life for a friend.’

Big & Rich – 8th of November Documentary: A True Story of Pain & Honor (50:18) (PG)

Big & Rich – 8th Of November [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (6:03)

Visit my page History in a Song for the lyrics to 8th of November.

173rd Airborne Brigade Association – Sky Soldiers