Sergeant | Marine Corps


Accepting the terms of his discharge in 1952 was an easy decision for Howard after seeing hard service in two wars.  He was more than willing to complete his time in the reserves and return to normal life and focus on his family.  He was drafted in May 1943 and in England the next year with the 4th Armored Division, training for the invasion of Europe.  One month after the June invasion, the 4th Armored landed at Utah beach and stormed through Normandy and Northern France through the end of summer and autumn.  Perhaps their greatest moment in the war was their performance during the Ardennes Offensive, for which they were well commended.  With A Company, 126th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion, Howard spent many frigid days working against the cold steel of the Division's vehicles.

Though it was an experience he was not interested in reliving, he was fortunate to have gained so much from his time in the European winter.  Five years later, Howard was a truck driver with M Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines during the Chosin reservoir campaign.  Even Marines with World War II experience had not been in any similar environment, and in a way Howard was thankful that he knew how to handle vehicles in dropping temperatures.  Anything mechanical was just as likely to become a casualty from the cold as was the human body.  Such maintenance was crucial in successfully withdrawing from the hellish reservoir.


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