Local veterans recount their service in World War II

By Lynn R. Parks | Photographs by Scott Nathan
From the Holiday 2019 issue


Time is growing short for Americans to collect the stories of those who lived through World War II. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the war, and soldiers, sailors and Marines who were sent overseas to fight the Axis powers — even those who were just out of high school when they enlisted or got their draft notices — are well into their 90s.

The men often have inspiring stories to tell. And at the end of the second decade of the 21st century, there’s much to be said for hearing tales of bravery and conviction, of loyalty to country and of faith in a better future.




As the nation marks another Veterans Day this month, Delaware Beach Life spotlights the stories of two area World War II veterans, both of whom were drafted into the Army after graduating from high school and both of whom saw combat in Europe. Tank gunner Dan Durso was hit by shrapnel, some of which is still lodged in his leg, and saw the war out from a hospital bed. Cary Williams, a gunner on a B-17 bomber, was in Italy for V-E Day and went on to have a career in the Air Force.

Although Williams has difficulty speaking, he and Durso are both happy to reminisce about their war experiences. Durso believes that his time in the Army made him who he is today. And Williams enjoys sharing a book about the bom-bardment group in which he served, and pointing out a photo of his flight crew.



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