WWII veterans share darkest moments in Battle of Okinawa – WKRG News 5

FAIRHOPE, Alabama (WKRG) — Bob Hasewinkle describes the darkest hours he faced while fighting the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. They were trying to occupy a ridge with a Japanese machine gun nest.

“A machine gun is firing at me and there are two men nearby. I took some rocks and built a wall. I knew it wouldn’t last long,” Hasewinkle said. “I looked down on this side of the hill about 15 yards down and saw an American made helmet sticking out. Machine gun bullets were flying and I said I had to get out of there – I ran and jumped into the hole, and a man named Lieutenant Bell was shot in the head. I sat on his lap, and another man near me shouted at me, and I said, ‘Yeah! So he jumped up and ran, and a machine-gun bullet caught him, and he fell upon me, and this was in the daytime, I was sitting on the lap of a man and his body was on top of me for 12 hours, because he was getting to the point where he could shoot anything on the ground.”

During that battle, he took a mortar shrapnel (a million-dollar wound as they called it), underwent surgery, and eventually returned home. Hasewinkle also believes that the first medic to contact him was Desmond Doss. Desmond Doss was a conscientious objector and a medic who was the subject of the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

he said. I can’t prove it otherwise, but it fits. “

Hasewinkle saw the film and said it was difficult to watch. In fact, he could not tell his story for a long time.

“Well, every day. And when I first got home, I was dreaming, but I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t go to the fireworks display. I was reacting to sounds.” I did,” said Hasewinkle.

In 1984, work sent him back to Japan, back on the same ridge as Okinawa. On his return he was able to write down his story off his chest and was able to tell his wife Jeanne for the first time.

he said. When I first met Jeanne, she knew I was serving, but she didn’t know about my experience.

He shares his story with us, not for himself, but for everyone else who fought and died during World War II.

“I don’t want to make anyone special, but as you know, 16 million people served in World War II, and I think there are only about 160,000 left…”

And that’s why Hasewinkle is our Serving People Who Serve hero.

“Well, I accept this out of respect for all the others who have served,” he said.

https://www.wkrg.com/news/wwii-veteran-shares-his-darkest-hours-in-the-battle-of-okinawa/ WWII veterans share darkest moments in Battle of Okinawa – WKRG News 5

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