Illinois WWII Memorial

Illinois WWII Memorial The Memorial was constructed to honor the 987,000 men and women from the Illinois who served our coun Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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The World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Association was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit Corporation on February 22, 2000, followed by registrations with the County Recorder of Deeds, Illinois Attorney General, IRS Employer ID number and the 501(C) (3) tax exemption. We have completed the necessary legal requirements to solicit and accept donations. An Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation - Off

icial Tax ID: 37-139624. This group not only funded the construction of the Illinois WWII Veterans Memorial at Oakridge Cemetery, but they monetarily support other activities that honor Illinois Veterans -Illinois Veterans & Community Classroom Project (IVCCP), fund scholarships, maintain the Illinois WWII Veterans Memorial and grounds, Lincoln Land Honor Flight, and other military functions. Funds are raised through memorial brick purchases, private and corporate donations. See Photos for donation and brick purchase forms. These forms along with a check can be mailed to:
World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Association
Kathy Smith, Treasurer
IVCC Project
P.O. Box 5652
Springfield, IL 62794

11/02/2022
09/12/2022

(SEPT 12, 2022) FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS – With a heavy heart, the legendary World War II veteran Paratrooper, Jim ‘P*e Wee’ Martin, dies at 101.

Martin served in the 101st Airborne Division and was a member of the “Screaming Eagles.”

Jim Martin parachuted into Normandy (landing near Saint-Côme-du-Mont behind Utah Beach) at 12:30 AM on June 6, 1944. "P*e Wee" Martin fought in the Normandy campaign for thirty-three days until the 101st Airborne was relieved and returned to England in July.

On September 17, 1944, the 101st Airborne Division jumped into Holland in the leading wave of "Operation Market Garden." Jim Martin landed near the town of Son. G Company fought to secure "Hell's Highway" during this ill-fated operation. The 506th PIR was sent to Mourmelon, France, in November after more than sixty days of fighting in Holland.

On December 16, 1944, Germany launched its last major offensive in the West, The Ardennes Offensive, soon known as the "Battle of the Bulge." The 101st Airborne Division was trucked over 100 miles to the Belgian crossroads town of Bastogne. The 3rd Battalion established defensive positions on the northern perimeter, where they endured bitter cold and some of the most challenging fighting on the Western Front.

After participating in operations in Germany early in 1945, the 101st Airborne Division ended their war by occupying Adolph Hitler's mountain home in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, in April 1945. Being a "high point man," Jim Martin shipped home out of Marseilles in September 1945.

After the war, Jim married Donna Veverka of Newton, Iowa. They built their own home in Sugarcreek Township and had five children. After nearly 73 years of marriage, Donna passed away in 2019. Jim continues to live in their home in Sugarcreek Township.

Before his passing , Jim “P*e Wee” Martin was one of the last remaining “Toccoa Originals” of 1942 (made famous by the HBO mini-series, “Band of Brothers”) who was still meeting the public and carrying forward an eyewitness account of his unit’s experiences. He does so as a representative of the veterans of the 101st Airborne Division who are no longer here and to promote and preserve the legacy and lessons of the Second World War.

RIP Jim ‘P*e Wee’ Martin.

“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
Web: www.TGGF.org

We are updating our https://ww2il.com/ website.  It now contains interviews from our ILVETS Classroom project.  Take a m...
07/29/2022

We are updating our https://ww2il.com/ website. It now contains interviews from our ILVETS Classroom project. Take a minute and peruse the new site and let us know what you think. Keep in mind we are still working on it, but just about done.

The World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial was constructed to honor the 987,000 men and women from the State of Illinois. Learn more.

06/29/2022

(JUNE 28, 2022) FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS — Last remaining survivor of British WWII warship that was sunk by German U-boat - who spent 16 hours in the water singing 'There'll Always Be An England' before he was plucked to safety - dies, aged 99

Reg Bishop was among 568 sailors who were rescued after HMS Hecla was sunk by German torpedoes in an attack near Morocco which killed 281 of their crewmates on November 11, 1942.

He slid down a rope off the ship and clung to a liferaft when 'out of the darkness' he heard a voice sing the patriotic tune popularised by Vera Lynn.

After 16 hours Mr Bishop and his crewmates were saved by HMS Venomous, whose crew lowered a scrambling net over the side of the ship.

After climbing on board they then offered him a cup of tea and a tot of rum.
The father-of-three - described as a 'tower of strength' by his family - lived nearly 80 more years before he died earlier this month at his home in Cawston, Norfolk.

He remained an active person well into his 90s Covid restrictions eventually slowing him down by stopping his regular visits to the Mecca Bingo hall in Norwich.

Mr Bishop recalled how he was asleep in his hammock when the 11,000 ton destroyer tender HMS Hecla was struck by the first of three torpedoes off the coast of Morocco in North Africa.

He quickly got dressed up and rushed to man one of the ship's in pitch black darkness.

Mr Bishop remembered: 'My pal, Herbert Barker, had been sleeping on the upper deck when we got hit.

Norfolk-born Mr Bishop worked on a poultry farm and in the building trade before enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1942.

He trained at HMS Ganges in Shotley, Suffolk, and then in Chatham, Kent, before joining HMS Hecla.

Mr Bishop later served on HMS Bonaventure, a midget submarine depot ship which sailed from Scotland to the southwest Pacific Ocean.

“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
Web: www.TGGF.org

05/29/2022

MAY 27, 2022: FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS -- With a heavy heart, we learn the news that USS Hornet legend Albert Montella has died. He was 101.

Albert served as a gunner on the USS Hornet in the Seas outside Japan. He suffered minor hearing loss while serving his country but lived his life to the fullest. Albert will leave a void too large to fill.

“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
Web: www.TGGF.org

05/29/2022

(MAY 28, 2022) FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS – World War II veteran Harold Billow, 99, the last known survivor of a POW Malmedy Massacre during the Battle of the Bulge, has died.

Billow was attached to the Army's 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion when his unit surrendered. He was taken prisoner by Waffen SS soldiers as German forces launched an offensive in Belgium to change the war's tide in December 1944.

According to various accounts, the Germans opened fire on the unarmed prisoners in a field, killing more than 80 in what came to be known as the Malmedy Massacre.

"As soon as the machine gun started firing, I went face down in the snow," Billow recalls.

"I played dead as the Germans checked for survivors."

"Anybody that showed signs of life, they would point-blank shoot them in the head to finish them off," Billow said.

Billow said he stayed there for several hours before he and other survivors bolted. He made his way through hedgerows before reaching the safety of American lines.

After the war, he was called to testify at a war crimes trial in which 43 German soldiers were sentenced to death for the Malmedy Massacre. However, they were eventually released after investigators determined U.S. guards had coerced confessions.

"Every Day is Memorial Day"
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
Web: www.TGGF.org

Two of my favorite people, John Carrigan, President of the Illinois WWII Memorial Board and John Goetz, the architect, w...
05/14/2022

Two of my favorite people, John Carrigan, President of the Illinois WWII Memorial Board and John Goetz, the architect, who was responsible for building of the Illinois WWII Memorial. It was 20 years ago when they met and got involved with a group of WWII veterans to bring this memorial to life. I consider these two men the "keepers" and caretakers of our Illinois WWII Veterans memories. Thanks to these two men the the Illinois WWII Veterans are remembered and respected by this beautiful memorial at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.

05/11/2022
D-day is Sunday.  Please honor those who hit those bloody beaches to secure the freedoms we enjoy today.  GBA our men an...
06/03/2021

D-day is Sunday. Please honor those who hit those bloody beaches to secure the freedoms we enjoy today. GBA our men and women who serve.

12/01/2020

Charles 'Chick' Bruns was in the European Theater for three Christmas during World War II. Hear his letters home and diary entries from North Africa, Italy ...

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operatio...
03/21/2019

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later Europe) from N**i control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

US Rangers on D-Day....REMEMBER!!!
03/15/2019

US Rangers on D-Day....REMEMBER!!!

06/06/2017

Today we commemorate the brave soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy and began the historic invasion 73 years ago. 🇺🇲️

11/24/2016
10/06/2016

Since 2008 over 32 Illinois schools have accepted the challenge to assist the Illinois World War II Veterans’ Memorial Board in preserving an important piece...

09/12/2016
Semper Fi, glad this Marine is making his way home after 72 years on foreign soil.  May he rest in peace as his family f...
08/09/2016

Semper Fi, glad this Marine is making his way home after 72 years on foreign soil. May he rest in peace as his family finally is allowed to honor him and lay him to rest. Never forget their sacrifices.

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RIP ..... thank you for sharing your story with us.
07/05/2016

RIP ..... thank you for sharing your story with us.

05/11/2016

The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was formed in the United States shortly after World War I to provide support for mothers who lost sons or daughters in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes. The Service...

RIP Sir!  Thank you for your service!
05/09/2016

RIP Sir! Thank you for your service!

Brother Jimmy James Brown and I stayed on the Queen Mary where she is moored in Long Beach, CA in 1984 with Grandma Good...
05/05/2016

Brother Jimmy James Brown and I stayed on the Queen Mary where she is moored in Long Beach, CA in 1984 with Grandma Goodnight. We were attending a wedding for one of our Goodnight cousins - Paris Goodnight. (As aside, it was July 4th weekend and 100s of Pearl Harbor survivors were having a reunion there.)

During WWII they painted the QM gray and used her to transport as many as 15,000 troops back and forth to the Pacific Theatre. She was the fastest ship a float at that time. She had a big bounty placed on her by the N**is, but noone even got close to catching her. I am imagining this picture was taken at the end of WWII as troops were being shipped home by the 1000s.

Wow and Wow!

The liner "Queen Elizabeth" bringing American troops into NY Harbor at the end of WW II, 1945.

We are so excited about this partnership.  Thank you to Stewarts.  We'll be in touch soon to let our supporters know how...
04/27/2016

We are so excited about this partnership. Thank you to Stewarts. We'll be in touch soon to let our supporters know how they can help support the Classroom Project.

Stewarts Coffee is looking forward to helping this organization.

The Greatest Generation is disappearing before our very eyes.  Thank you for your service sir.  RIP
04/26/2016

The Greatest Generation is disappearing before our very eyes. Thank you for your service sir. RIP

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Springfield, IL
62749

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(217) 646-0222

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The World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Association was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit Corporation on February 22, 2000, followed by registrations with the County Recorder of Deeds, Illinois Attorney General, IRS Employer ID number and the 501(C) (3) tax exemption. We have completed the necessary legal requirements to solicit and accept donations. An Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation - Official Tax ID: 37-139624. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. This group not only funded the construction of the Illinois WWII Veterans Memorial at Oakridge Cemetery, but they monetarily support other activities that honor Illinois Veterans -Illinois Veterans & Community Classroom Project (IVCCP), fund scholarships, maintain the Illinois WWII Veterans Memorial and grounds, Lincoln Land Honor Flight, and other military functions. Funds are raised through memorial brick purchases, private and corporate donations. See Photos for donation and brick purchase forms. These forms along with a check can be mailed to: World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Association Anne Powers, Treasurer IVCC Project P.O. Box 5652 Springfield, IL 62794


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Save-The-Date Sunday, June 6.
Thank you to all of Our Veterans & their families.
Anyone can attend and thank you to those that do.
Illinois WWII Memorial
The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs