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WW II Veteran reflects on Army Air Corps days

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Updated: 11/12/2012 7:00 pm
Yesterday was Veterans Day although today is the official holiday. On this day to remember all those who served, we meet a local man whose service will never be forgotten but he, along with his comrades, are fading quickly into history. It is said that 1,000 World War II vets die each day in the United States. While that war, and its warriors, fades for one Henderson man, it's a fight still vivid, and valuable. Here's News 3's Sandra Gonzalez his one veteran's story.

LAS VEGAS (KSVN & MyNews3) -- We are losing precious World War II Veterans every year. Some estimate about 1,000 every year. In Henderson, 88-year-old Glen Margerum proudly remembers the days he served in the Army Air Corps overseas.

“This is the A36 that carried bombs and six 50-caliber machine guns are on this plane. The plane is the predecessor to the B51,” Margerum says as he points to pictures in a glossy history book.

Margerum served with the 86th Fighter Bomber Group, and knows all the details about the A36 because he was an engineering officer during WWII, and says it was his responsibility to be in charge of these planes. He even gave one a special name because it was frequently shot at during missions.

“My first plane I had I named it Patches 'cause it was loaded with patches all over it,” Margerum said.

Margerum joined the army when he was 18. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was enough to spark him up.
While planes were his passion, he was involved in ground combat mission, earning several bronze and silver stars for combat. He also travelled across several countries as a soldier.

“Our job mainly was don't let any supplies get down the road to the Germans, strip them, bomb them, do whatever else and night and day. We were just in a mix. And Patton finally had to agree those guys with airplanes are really important,” Margerum said.

Two presidents also thought they were important. Margerum treasure letters signed by both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, honoring the 86th.

“I’m proud. I really am proud,” Margerum said.

While he’s proud of what he’s accomplished, he also harbors sadness on Veterans’ Day. His older brother Billy Lee died in 1945 during flight training.

And as Margerum reflects on the future, he has advice for young troops headed into war.

“’You're not an individual soldier, you're not worth a hoot if you don't protect your teammate, join him and go do the job whatever is necessary; get it done, but don't try to do it yourself,” Margerum said.
He says to troops and to all Americans, it’s all about the teamwork.
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