Grassley to present medals to WWII vets

US NavyBy Bob Eschliman


John Hart and Robert Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the height of World War II in 1944. They went to boot camp together in Idaho, where they became very good friends.

But, after boot camp, the men were sent off in different directions. Hart served on a landing craft support ship and witnessed the Japanese surrender when his ship was anchored alongside USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Taylor served in several theaters of operation during the war, including the antisubmarine campaign to protect vital U.S. shipping interests.

And while this year marks the 70th anniversary since the end of the war, the two men haven’t seen each other in almost 65 years. That despite the fact they live in the same county, less than 25 miles apart; Hart in Le Mars and Taylor in Westfield.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) planned a surprise reunion in conjunction with his Le Mars town hall this afternoon when he presented the World War II victory medal to both men at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.