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NEWS | May 19, 2015

Anzio Beachhead WWII Vets visit JB Charleston

By Staff Sgt. Anthony Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

More than 80 Anzio Beachhead Veterans of World War II and family members shared their last reunion tour, May 15, 2015 at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.

During their tour, the veterans were able to see demonstrations of today's operations of the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 628th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Environmental Flight and the 437th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment.

"This is the last reunion for these veterans," said Perri Kunofsky, coordinator for the Anzio Beachhead Veterans Reunion tour.

Most of the veterans are in their nineties.

"Last year, 18 of the veterans were able to make it [to the reunion tour]. We wanted to make this 'the best in show' for them," said Kunofsky.

In addition to the demos, the vets and their family members were able to board a 437th Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III.

"I can't believe this plane can get off the ground," said John Boller, 3rd Infantry Division. "I have a new perspective and appreciation for those who fly these big airplanes."

After their tour of the C-17, the veterans were able to share their stories with Airmen and Sailors.

"After being rescued as a prisoner of war during WWII, I wish they would have flown me home on a C-17," said Kenneth Muston, B Company 3rd Division. "The trip would have been much shorter and I probably wouldn't have gotten sea sick."

Their tour at JB Charleston concluded with a National Police Week retreat ceremony.  

The Battle of Anzio occurred on the beaches of Anzio, Italy in 1944. This battle was the Allied attempt to draw German troops off the Gustav Line during Operation Shingle.