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Stories tagged with: world war ii

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  • Twin brothers, WWII veterans, joined for eternity

    by Mike Schueler, posted Friday, November 10, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo courtesy of Hannah Hanzel/Baptist Messenger
    MCALESTER, Okla. (BP) -- Claude Stokes guessed he had about 15 seconds to decide how he was going to die.

    It was 1944, and the 20-year-old tank commander was lying face-down in a ditch in the middle of a firefight in central Italy when he heard something sizzling. Claude looked up to see a German artillery shell sticking out of the mud about six inches from his head. Since the shell didn't explode on impact, he had a choice: stay put to hope for a dud or run for it through a cloud of German machine gun and mortar fire. Read More

  • WWII ship's discovery prompts survivor to 'praise the Lord'

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, August 24, 2017 (one year ago) screen capture
    CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- When Edgar Harrell learned about the recovery of the U.S. Navy cruiser whose sinking he survived 72 years ago, his first reaction was "praise the Lord!"

    "I'm so excited," Harrell, 92, told Baptist Press. "It kind of brings closure."

    The U.S.S. Indianapolis' discovery was announced Aug. 19 by Paul Allen, an entrepreneur whose research ship located the wreckage 3.5 miles below the surface of the Philippines Sea. The Indianapolis was sunk by Japanese torpedoes July 30 ... Read More

  • Frank Gillespie remembered by Clemson's Dabo Swinney

    by Gerald Harris, posted Wednesday, March 22, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photos courtesy of
    VILLA RICA, Ga. (BP) -- Frank Irvin Gillespie's last year playing football at Clemson was 1949 -- 20 years before Dabo Swinney, coach of the university's national championship football team, was born.

    However, Coach Swinney called Gillespie's son Frank the day after his dad died to offer his condolences -- a call evidencing that Frank Irvin Gillespie's influence at Clemson is legendary and still being felt nearly 70 years after his last football game. Read More

  • Pearl Harbor attack cited as evangelism catalyst

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, December 07, 2016 (one year ago)

    Photo from Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
    HONOLULU (BP) -- As Americans commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some Christians also are remembering a series of evangelistic harvests that emerged from the death and destruction.

    Among those to find a saving relationship with Jesus in the aftermath of Dec. 7, 1941, were the commander of the Japanese air fleet that carried out the attack, Japanese Buddhists in Hawaii and other Hawaii residents who heard the preaching of missionaries recalled from East Asia. Read More

  • Southern Baptists honor Pearl Harbor survivor

    by Todd Deaton, posted Thursday, June 16, 2016 (2 years ago)

    ST. LOUIS (BP) -- World War II veteran Bill McAnany, one of 2,000 living survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was introduced to the Southern Baptist Convention as messengers honored America and recognized military veterans June 14 at the SBC's annual meeting in St. Louis.

    Calling it an "awesome privilege," SBC President Ronnie Floyd observed that a memory of WWII disappears from American culture every three minutes as those who fought in the global conflict pass into eternity. Read More

  • MEMORIAL DAY: Jimmy Connelly's greatest honor

    by Jim Burton, posted Friday, May 27, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Submitted photo
    ST. GEORGE, S.C. (BP) -- An estimated 3.6 million Americans fought in the Pacific Theatre in World War II, overcoming brutal encounters on island after island against Japanese soldiers burrowed into the hillsides.

    The late Jimmy Connelly was one of those Americans.

    The Navy made Connelly chief of a troop-landing Higgins Craft during the massive amphibious assaults at the outset of the Allies' first major Pacific offensive against the Japanese -- Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

    Each craft could ferry up to 36 Marines, and when they stormed the beaches, Connelly operated a 7.62mm belt-fed machine gun to provide cover. On his 10th trip to transport troops into the Solomon Islands battle zone, he also was carrying several hundred five-gallon cans of gasoline. When a mortar round struck their craft, shrapnel pierced his neck and arm, and his pants were set afire, propelling him into the ocean. Read More

  • VETERANS DAY: Iwo Jima: young Marine's faith endured

    by Neisha Roberts/The Alabama Baptist, posted Wednesday, November 11, 2015 (2 years ago)

    Photo by Neisha Roberts
    BLOUNT SPRINGS, Ala. (BP) -- Horace Lee was 12 when he "gave my heart to the Lord" at a Baptist church in Alabama; 17 when he entered the Marine Corps in 1940; and 21 when he was wounded in Iwo Jima as the U.S. wrested the strategic island from the Japanese.

    "God taught me a great deal" in the military, Lee, now 91, said. "The Marine Corps complemented God's work by their fellowship … because it's teamwork and fellowship, and if you don't have that then you cannot depend on that fellow behind you.... Read More

  • Veterans befriend pastor after losing his father

    by Jim Burton, posted Thursday, July 02, 2015 (3 years ago)

    When Tommy Kelly was 23, his life was turned upside down when his father died from a heart attack.

    A faithful Christian, his father had been a deacon and church treasurer and was the local magistrate. Kelly got a kick from hearing local lawyers, who had far more education than his father, refer to him as “judge.”

    And Thomas H. Kelly Sr. was patriotic, having served in the Army right after the Korean War. Read More

  • WWII POW's pitch opens K.C. Royals' season

    by Brian Koonce, posted Thursday, July 02, 2015 (3 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of KC Royals
    Dale Mitchell took the mound in front of 40,085 roaring fans for the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals' home opener against the Chicago White Sox. His cap pulled low, Mitchell cocked his arm and let his pitch fly.

    At age 90, Mitchell had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

    A former high school second baseman, Mitchell and a grandson practiced the pitch on Easter and the next day it was Royals' star third baseman Mike Moustakas on the receiving end. Read More

  • World War II, 70 years after

    by Erich Bridges, posted Tuesday, May 26, 2015 (3 years ago)

    RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe came and went in May with relatively little fanfare.

    Perhaps the milestone passed quietly because fewer people personally remember the largest armed conflict in human history. The last U.S. president to serve in the military during World War II, George H.W. Bush, now 90, left office more than 20 years ago. Barack Obama wasn't born until 16 years after the war ended. Read More