Pilot in Training: Briefs from Local Veteran Wildrick Hart’s Book, “The War Years”

“For whatever reason — patriotism, loneliness, whatever — I decided that it was time for me to sign up.” At just 22 years old, Wildrick Hart had made up his mind — he was going to fight in the second World War. Hart, who moved to Bradford after the war, told his story of service in his book “The War Years.” He took steps to enlist in the Army’s Aviation Cadet Program, and in late April of 1943, he was on his way to Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Ala., for pre-flight training. “I was amazed at how poor my physical condition was the first time we hit PT,” Hart said. “But after two mont...
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Eldred World War II Museum to Host Veterans Day Program

In honor of Veterans Day on Saturday, November 11, the Eldred World War II Museum will host a program and take a collection for care packages to be sent to military men and women and their families. Starting at 6 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to write letters of appreciation to members of the military. They will also be able to make survival bracelets to be used by troops in emergency situations. At 7 p.m., there will be a Veterans Day presentation by museum director Steve Appleby. In addition to the presentation and activities, attendees are invited to bring items to d...
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Cultural Icon ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Graces Library Wall in Eldred

Eldred has a familiar face that will now be welcoming people into its town. “Rosie the Riveter” took up permanent residence on the side of the Eldred Area Free Library and Historical Society Tuesday thanks to the efforts of many individuals. The mural project was suggested by Linda Devlin from the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau. From there many organizations in town and the community helped make the mural a reality. The painting event was funded in part by a grant provided by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Behr, and the Home Depot through the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Fresh ...
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Stories of Seven Local Heroes Remembered Decades Later

World War II was an incredible series of crossroads in which U.S. military personnel were brought together in almost infinite circumstances around the globe. Circumstances would indeed bring seven men from McKean County together in the fact that they each lost their lives during the war — each of them in famous actions far, far away from home. It must be noted that the retelling of the following stories were made possible by Joel Gilfert of Portville, N.Y., formerly of Eldred, who has compiled an extensive website covering McKean County’s service personnel who died in the wars throughout...
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Erie Paratrooper, Now 92, a “True American Hero”

In the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, Erie resident Joseph Morettini, a 19-year-old paratrooper with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, jumped from a Douglas C-47 Skytrain over France's Normandy coast. German anti-aircraft tracer fire filled the nighttime sky, and Morettini's first thoughts were that his life was about to end before he reached the ground. "When my parachute opened up, I thought I would be dead," said Morettini, a 92-year-old veteran who lives in the 1400 block of West 32nd Street in Erie. "I never saw so many tracers." Morettini landed about 16 miles i...
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World War II Museum to Hold Program on KA-BAR

At 2 p.m. Monday, May 29, Eldred World War II Museum board chairman Joseph Bradley will present a Memorial Day program on the involvement of KA-BAR in the war. Bradley is the sales and digital content manager at KA-BAR Knives, an Olean, N.Y.-based company that manufactured the iconic USMC Fighting/Utility Knife during World War II. Today, the KA-BAR continues to be a favored knife brand around the globe. Bradley is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Norwich University with a specialty in military history. In addition to World War II weaponry, his area of expertise includes the ...
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Made in America Comes to Eldred Museum

Visitors to the Eldred World War II Museum recently may have noticed a little more Americana than usual, at least in the museum’s store. The Made in America Store, headquartered in Elma, N.Y., has opened a “store in store” at the Eldred museum. Mark Andol, founder and chief executive officer of the Made in America Store, said he had visited the museum at the invitation of board member Evan Evans. Read more from The Bradford Era  
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Combat veteran: Smethport man Dille served during World War II, Korea

Smethport veteran Garvin Dille served in both World War II and the Korean War. A U.S. Navy veteran, Dille, 89, is one of the 65,704 American servicemen — government figures — to see active duty in both wars. Both times, Dille, a technical specialist, was assigned to repair ships, auxiliary vessels, staffed by capable crews of qualified repairmen and designed to provide maintenance support to warships that had suffered equipment failures or battle damage. Without his parents' immediate knowledge and against their objections, Dille still 16, quit Emlenton High School in 1944, while World W...
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WWII Museum Holds Inaugural Golf Benefit

The inaugural Eldred WWII Museum Golf Benefit was held July 9 at the Bolivar Golf and Country Club. Twenty-six teams competed in the four-person scramble with all proceeds benefiting the Eldred WWII Museum in Eldred. The tournament raised over $12,000 to benefit the museum, which will use the money to update infrastructure issues, as well as continue its programs for students and adults. Read more from The Bradford Era  
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Making History: Eldred World War II Museum Fundraiser Slated for Saturday

Officials at the Eldred World War II Museum hope a new fundraiser will make history. The first-ever Eldred World War II Museum Benefit Golf Tournament and Dinner will be held Saturday, July 9, 2016 at the Bolivar (N.Y.) Country Club. While no more golfers are needed, there are still ways to help the museum, which houses a vast collection of World War II memorabilia. Read more from The Bradford Era  
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