Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Veteran Finds the Identity of Soldier Killed Next to Him in the Philippines-- Part 1

From the August 14, 2014, Suburban Life (Lake County, Illinois) "Antioch veteran finds closure" by Angela Sykora.

"After more than 69 years, a World War II veteran from Antioch (Ill.) Township finally found the closure he so longed for in meeting the family of the soldier who died in his arms.

"Former Army Staff Sgt. John Trinca had known Pvt. Thomas Bateman for mere minutes before Bateman was killed in action June 3, 1945, during the Battle of Mindanao in the Philippines.  The two had just enough time to realize they were both from Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood."

Trinca said he nicknamed Bateman "Chicago" and that Bateman had told him his name, but, under their battle conditions, he never remembered it.  But, he does remember Bateman asking him that if anything happened to him, to notify his family.  Trinca figured they'd have time to exchange names and contact information once they were back in their foxhole.

--GreGen

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