The Few, The Proud — The Veterans

Posted June 2, 2004 at 3:24pm

The past few weeks have been a time of remembrance, as the nation celebrated Memorial Day and the World War II memorial opened in Washington, D.C. This has been an especially poignant time for the dozen Members of Congress who served in that war. But where did they all serve, when, and in what branches of the armed forces? Roll Call honors these men by sharing their military history.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
Age at Enlistment: 20
Branch/unit: Army, Army Corps of Engineers
Dates of Service: 1945-47
Theater: Asia (Saipan and Tinian; on duty in the Marianas, he witnessed the Enola Gay take off)
Highest Rank Achieved: Corporal
Honors: Asiatic-Pacific Service Award, World War II Victory Medal

Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.)
Age at Enlistment: 17
Branch/unit: Naval Air Corps
Dates of Service: 1944-45
Theater: United States
Highest Rank Achieved: Aviation Cadet

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)
Age at Enlistment: 18
Branch/unit: Army Infantry
Dates of Service: 1944-46
Theater: Central America
Highest Rank Achieved: 2nd Lieutenant
Honors: Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Medal

Rep. Ralph Hall (D-Texas)
Age at Enlistment: 19
Branch/unit: Navy, aircraft carrier pilot
Dates of Service: 1942-45
Theater: Pacific
Highest Rank Achieved: Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.)
Age at Enlistment: 20
Branch/unit: Army, 36th Division
Theater: North Africa and Europe (southern France)
Dates of Service: 1942-45
Highest Rank Achieved: Captain
Honors: Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons

Rep. Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.)
Age at Enlistment: 18
Branch/unit: Marine Corps, served in the Marine detachment aboard the cruiser USS Macon    
Dates of Service: 1944-45
Theater: Atlantic
Highest Rank Achieved: Private First Class

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.)
Age at Enlistment: 18
Branch/unit: Navy, Officer in Charge of the LCT 1148, attached to the 7th Amphibious Fleet
Theater: Asia (South Pacific, New Guinea and the Philippines); took part in the invasion of Luzon
Dates of Service: 1942-46, served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1974
Highest Rank Achieved: Retired from U.S. Naval Reserve as Commander
Honors: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two stars, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Age at Enlistment: 18
Branch/unit: Army, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Theater: Europe (France and Italy)
Dates of Service: 1943-47; spent 20 months in Army hospitals after losing his right arm during battle in Italy
Highest Rank Achieved: Captain
Honors: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross (upgraded to the Medal of Honor), Bronze Star, Purple Heart with cluster, 12 other medals and citations

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
Age at Enlistment: 18
Branch/unit: Army, B-3185 Signal Service Battalion
Dates of Service: 1942-46
Theater: Europe (France, England and Belgium)
Highest Rank Achieved: Corporal
Honors: Medals for good conduct, a marksmanship badge and a citation for his contribution to the European combat theater

Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio)
Age at Enlistment: 19
Branch/unit: Navy
Dates of Service: 1944-46
Theater: War ended before he received a commission

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
Age at Enlistment: 19
Branch/unit: Army Air Corps, supporting the Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force in China as part of the 3-22nd Squadron
Dates of Service: 1943-46
Theater: Asia (primarily stationed out of Kunming, China, and flew missions throughout China, Burma and India)
Highest Rank Achieved: 2nd Lieutenant
Honors: Two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Air Medals and the Yuan Hai Medal, awarded by the Republic of China

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.)
Age at Enlistment: 17
Branch/unit: Navy
Theater: United States
Dates of Service: 1945-46, later served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War
Highest Rank Achieved: Captain in the Marine Corps Reserve
Honors: World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Medal