Friday, November 27, 2009
A Soldier Returns to the Phillippines
Wayne Shroyer, third from left in the cowboy hat, poses with some of his buddies from the 32nd Division, who made a return trip to the Phillippines, fifty years after fighting there in World War II. Wayne operated an armored bulldozer clearing the jungle in the building of the Villa Verdi Trail, a supply road. Wayne was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in the campaign.
their division was called the Red Arrow Division in 1944-5. The local townspeople remembered them carving a road out of the Phillipino jungle.
"Welcome back American Liberators," read signs and banners dotting the town of San Nicolas. Wayne said it all came flooding back, the memories of 962 men who were killed while trying to take the heights between San Nicolas and Sante Fe. "There wasn't a dry eye among us," Wayne said.
the men marched along the same trail they had traveled 50 years earlier, and stood next to monument the local people had put up in their honor.
The local citizens named their school after the 32nd division & presented the men with medals, dances, & military reviews. It was a remarkable experience, said Wayne, and also a heartwarming one. Thanks for sharing this story with us Wayne, and thank you for helping people you didn't know 50 years ago. I'm very proud to know you.
Wayne & his wife Carolyn live in rural Mercer County.
appeared in The Mirror, written by Bob Lee Martin.