Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Veteran Finds Identity of Soldier Killed Next to Him in Philippines-- Part 2

As their unit moved out, John Trinca checked Thomas Bateman's ammunition, gave him two hand grenades and told him to "Stay to my left."

Then the Japanese opened fire, "I heard the impact of the bullet go through Thomas and he was killed.  Trinca was shortly afterwards shot in the leg.  The medic deemed him able to go on so Trinca zigzagged to safety and continued to fight while "Chicago" was "tagged and bagged."

Trinca says he has lived for decades knowing that he was unable to carry out Bateman's last request.

Trinca told the story to his neighbor, Army Colonel Paul J. Hettich and his parents who spent years trying to discover Bateman's identity.

They finally did in 2011.

--GreGen

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