It’s interesting that the purpose of capturing Iwo Jima was to secure an emergency landing strip for the returning B-29s that were bombing Japan, and that Art’s future brother-in-law, Gus Bubenzer, was an airman.
Sgt. Bubenzer was in the European air war. He had established a strong relationship with Art’s sister. Gus would often walk the 15 miles from Rome to Cannelton to see LaVera. While Gus was overseas, LaVera wrote him a letter every night. One can only imagine the shock when she received the news that Gus was missing.
Gus’s A-20 was shot down over France just 10 days before the Normandy invasion. Two crewmen were rescued from the English Channel. Another spent 14 months in a German P.O.W. camp. Gus landed in an orchard and was found by two Frenchmen. One was going to turn Gus in for the reward. The other said he’d killed him if he did. For four months Gus was hidden and moved to avoid capture. Finally our troops advanced and Gus was rescued.
Two fine boys from the tip of Indiana became the tip of the sword and used it to write quite a story.
Don McAllister directs the National Veteran’s Historical Archive. His column appears the second Sunday of each month. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.nvharchive.org.