During World War II, Martin H. Best joined the U.S. Coast Guard, and he got to see a lot more than the U.S. coast. “I saw the Coast Guard as an opportunity,” said Best, who will turn 85 the day after Memorial Day.
You might say Don Gilbertson had about every kind of experience possible as a blue water sailor in World War II. “I was on 11 ships, seven for duty and four as passenger,” Gilbertson, 83, said during a recent conversation.
The Allied victory over Japan that brought an end to World War II holds special significance to Dave “Swanee” Swanson of North Hudson. Swanson’s father, Raymond O. Swanson, was serving aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania when Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that he had accepted the terms of surrender.
A significant namesake of the Badger state lies alongside a pier in Norfolk, Va. She is the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), one of those great ships of World War II that was called back into service in later wars and now is preserved at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and Nauticus, the national maritime center, in downtown Norfolk.
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