Monday, August 1, 2011

We've Lost An American Hero-A Tribute To My Great Uncle

I found out yesterday that my Great Uncle, Bill Kirschbaum, passed away at the end of June. He fought in World War 2 and Korea.Bill was a Marine, ending his career as a Master Sergeant. He was a quiet man, and he never really spoke of the things he saw during the war, and out of respect for Bill, no one really asked. But there a few things I want people to know, because I don't think we should ever forget what took place during World War 2.

We know that he was stationed at Pearl Harbor. On the day of the attack, he had been given a day or R&R, and his best friend took over his duties. His best friend was one of many that did not make it out alive that day.

For  a while after Pearl Harbor, no one knew where Bill was due to communication issues. However, we do know that he was involved in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and based on the Lexington during the Battle of Midway (the only U.S. carrier that sunk during this battle). He was a gunner, so apparently he sat in the back of the planes. He once mentioned a couple things he could not forget, but I don't think I should post them out of respect to everyone, including Bill.

This video talks about the Battle of Midway at about 3 minutes in.

RIP Bill Kirschbaum. You will be missed and never forgotten. I only had the opportunity to meet him a few times, as he lived in another state. However, I have always had a great respect and admiration for him.  We've lost one of the "good guys."

I would also like to mention his wife, Geraldine. She was such a sweetheart, and she passed away in Feb. She was a nurse in the Armed Forces; I believe in the Marines. This is another post that does not deal with the Gerke line, but my mom's side, the Kirschbaums.