WWII vets who served in same battalion meet 70 years later
KULPMONT - More than 180 years of combined living history met for the first time at Serenity Gardens Assisted Living Community Friday morning.
Resident Ralph Long, 92, welcomed Maynard Boop, 93, of Mifflinburg. Both are World War II veterans who were sergeants in the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in the U.S. Army. Long served in Company C while Boop served in Company D.
The two spent their visit sharing their experiences of the war.
Long, formerly of Shamokin, saw action in Italy and southern France and was in six combat zones. He also survived the sinking of the ship LST-422, which claimed the lives of 454 American soldiers and 29 British sailors when it drifted into a German mine field in bad weather during the landings at Anzio, Italy.
Boop saw an article about Long in a Sept. 15 edition of The Daily-Item and called him to arrange the visit.
Boop was in North Africa, Southern France, Italy and Germany, including at the Battle of the Bulge.
"It's wonderful," the pair agreed about their meeting.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 16 million Americans served in the military during World War II. As of November, there were 1,711,000 WWII veterans still living.