We are losing World War II veterans at a staggering pace, and with that, we are losing their stories, but Joe Blanks, an engineer and 40 year WTOK veteran, was in the Navy during World War II, and he shared his story Wednesday.
Blanks served overseas in the Philippines starting in September of 1945, that's the same month that a formal surrender was signed in Japan.
"In Manila Bay I saw a lot of sunken ships that had not been cleared out of the bay," recalls Blanks, "ships that were sunk by [US] submarines."
Joe saw the effects of war up close and personal, he served on a ship that transported 5,000 Japanese POWs to Guam.
A few years later Blanks was in the National Guard in New York and was deployed to serve in the Korean War.
"I was deployed to Korea for 14 months, and saw a lot of the battles in Korea," says Blanks, "but I had a good job I was in the telephone equipment operations in Korea."
"One of the greatest things that I can think of that's happened as a result of the wars is that we've taken Christianity to Japan and South Korea and most any of the other places."
Joe remembers clearly two wars that have shaped the history of the world, and he serves as a vital resource to all of us who may not know all they need to know about The Greatest Generation.
Happy Birthday Joe.
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