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Who Would You Like to Honor this Veteran’s Day?

Today is Veterans Day. Here in New Jersey, we honor those men and women who serve and continue to serve in the military with events planned throughout the state.

Simon Russell, Getty Images

Who are the veterans you’d like to honor? My father Albert was a torpedo man 3rd class in World War II on the USS Ronquil. He spent the war first in Pearl Harbor then after preparatory training, he sailed on his first war patrol (July 31st –  September 8th, 1944) in the northeastern FormosaSakishima Gunto area. On August 24th, the submarine sank two attack cargo ships: Yoshida Maru No. 3 (4,646 tons) and Fukurei Maru (5,969 tons). Ronquil’s second war patrol, from September 30th, to November 28th,1944, was carried out in two phases. The Ronquil first operated with a coordinated submarine attack group in the Bungo Suido area, and then joined six other submarines to carry out an antipatrol ship sweep off the Bonin Islands.

On her third war patrol, from January 1st to February 14th, 1945, Ronquil patrolled the Bonins and did lifeguard duty in that area for Army bombers hitting the Japanese home islands. Her fourth war patrol from March 11th to April 23rd, 1945, brought her no worthwhile enemy targets, but resulted in the rescue of 10 Army aviators from a B-29 bomber downed between the Bonins and Japan. The submarine’s fifth and last patrol from May 19th to July 26th 1945, took her into the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Every year the crews of the Ronquil hold a reunion in a different part of the country. There were 343 crew members on the Ronquil, and my Dad is 1 out of the 4 crew members that are still alive today. When he goes to the reunion, he holds court and tells the stories to the crews that came after of what it was like in his time.

When I was growing up in the 70’s, it seemed that everyone had a parent who served. Those days are here again. For all who have served and continue to serve this country, my sincerest thanks. Who would you like to honor this Veterans Day?

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