Robert H. Diehl Jr., Bethlehem
Army Air Forces, World War II

In the early 1930s, when I was a little boy growing up in Bethlehem, every Armistice Day there was a large parade honoring all veterans of World War I who gave their time or lives to keep America free. At 11 a.m., all the churches and factories throughout the town rang their bells and blew their whistles. Freedom was taught in the schools, and we all appreciated it.

I am a veteran of World War II and came to understand the hell and discomfort World War I veterans experienced. They were not as well protected from the elements of the weather and enemy as we were. We were better equipped and still it was hell at times.

I respect all men and women who gave up time and their lives for this cause and also the home-front support they received. I served in the Air Corps of the 7th Air Force, 30th Bomb Group and the 819th Bomb Squadron. I was stationed on Saipan. I was a B-24 flight engineer, a gunner on a B-24 bomber.

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