My Grandpa enlisted in 1942 at the age of 35 because he was a true passionate American and wanted to serve his country. Before enlisting he managed a gas station in East Springfield PA and also took care of the farm his family lived on. He started his venture into the Miltitary at Camp Wheeler (located in West VA). In letters he wrote that he had famous baseball players that came and played during the days off. I have a photo of the men playing at camp wheeler, which will be attached.
After Camp Wheeler, he was sent off to Camp Toccoa GA in April of 1942 where he was told he would be a paratrooper. To him that was a big suprise since he was 5 foot 11, 275 pounds of pure strength. Since he was familar and one hell of a mechanic they put him in the service company of the 506th PIR. Two months into his time at Toccoa he was promoted to 1/SGT and managed the men inside the service company. Many letters described a famous plane crash he was part of that General Strayer was also in that caused my Grandpa to be hospitlatized for over 3 weeks.
Other historical events he was part of was the 100 mile march from Atlanta GA to Toccoa and he wrote detail letters explaining the conditions. After Toccoa they traveled to Camp Mackall where the men practiced there paratrooping. From there they went over to England where they were preparing for the invasion and inside the letters during the war were vauge on details because they weren't allowed to describe details on location (for obvious reasons).
After the war ended my grandfather was in Austria at a Polish dance (his parents orginated from poland and he could speak it fluitnly) at this dance he met a lady in May of 1944 and on July 17th 1945 they were married at Zell am See with a huge ceremony which included Col Sink who also lent his personal vehicle for there honeymoon.
My grandmother was in a prison camp prior to there meeting and in 1947 they moved back to the states where he and my grandma had four children in Ohio and ran a gas station for 30 years after the war. Attached to this email is an article from the paradise press which explains the wedding and details about how they met.
Before coming back to America they had one child (my uncle) and his godfather turned out to be Col Sink. My grandfather is a man that I love to death, and although i never was fortunate to meet him I feel that his courage and heart felt love to this country is something I will never forget.
If you happen to have more information about Walter Neton please contact this website.
David Keckan, your grandson