September 10, 2009

Remembering war times, old friends

By Alyssa Schafer

Even though most of them are in their late 80s, the pilots and radio men of Bombing Squadron 19 are still full of zip. Eight retired members of the Navy squadron came together last month in Medora to swap stories and talk about how things were. This year marks the 66th anniversary of the date the squadron formed in July of 1943, after it was commissioned to fight in the Second World War. The Medora trip was their 19th reunion, said Ray Wicklander of Washburn. "I’ve gotten to know all of them just like one of the family," Wicklander said. All who were able to come made it to Medora for the reunion, but there are a number of members who are in nursing homes, Wicklander said. Most of the Bombing 19 members are in their late 80s now, but they became friends when they were ambitious 20-somethings, he said.

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