On December 11, 1941, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States due to the “Tripartite Pact, a pact of mutual alliance, that the three countries had signed on September 27, 1940. This pact stated that Japan, Germany, and Italy would support one another in their land takeovers as well as not encroach on either country’s land stealing. Hence, when the United States declared war on Japan, Germany & Italy had no choice to but to declare back. The United States issued another declaration of war against Germany and Italy and this is how, two years after the war began, the United States marked its entry into the “war to end all wars”. So today we pay our respects to those that fought in World War II both on the battlefields, in the air, supported our troops and their armament, and the civilians that lept into action to produce the much-needed materials for war.  Both of my grandfathers served in World War II, my paternal grandfather, George Stapleton (Big G), was an Army MP stationed in Italy and later put on a troop transport ship to head to Japan. My maternal grandfather, William Bova (Grandad), was in the Army Air Force, where he was giving specialized training in the maintenance and repair of all types of aircraft. It was during Big G’s transfer to Japan in August 1945, that the United States dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nakasaki quickly ending their part of the war and Big G’s ship was immediately deployed home. My grandfather returned to the United States, wired my grandmother and she drove straight to the base in Upstate New York to pick him up. They were married on September 7, 1945, a few short weeks after he had been in the war. [gallery ids="1201,1202" type="rectangular"]

Here is the very elated couple, Florence & George Stapleton, on their wedding day.

Grandad enlisted in November of 1940 and was trained at the Boston Ground Crew School, where he received top marks. He served as a ground crew member in both England and France repairing and maintaining the vital aircraft used to fight the Axis powers. He also spent time in Hanau, Germany in 1945. American servicemen were in many cities and towns immediately after the war helping to clear the rubble and begin the rebuilding process. Hanau, Germany was one critical city destroyed by the RAF in the effort to take out the factories supplying the Axis forces. [gallery ids="1203,1204,1205" type="rectangular"] So today, please take a moment to honor and recognize the sacrifice and courage of those we lost in Pearl Harbor and those that fought in their memory, both home and abroad, against the Axis’ plans for territorial expansion.]]>

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