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Contact: Ahna Wilson, 717-338-9114 x 4411UPDATE, September 10, 2018: Due to poor conditions at the site and the future forecast of additional wet weather, the 2018 WWII Weekend living history camp and USO Dance have been canceled. The speakers, including veterans and authors, have been moved to the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.
Guest speakers for the event include World War II veterans and authors of books on World War II. This schedule of speakers is subject to change, so please check the Eisenhower National Historic Site website and Facebook page for the most recent information.
Saturday, September 15
1:00 a.m. – Ed Bearss is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a recipient of the Purple Heart, and the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service. Mr. Bearss is widely renowned as a historian and author who leads tours of battlefields across the United States. During World War II, he served with the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal and New Britain, where he was severely wounded in January 1944. He will be sharing his experiences from the war. Mr. Bearss is also the author of numerous books, including “Fields of Honor.”
2:00 p.m. – Kenneth H. Fidler is a veteran of the United States Navy during World War II. He was a Sonarman Third Class from 1943 to 1945, and served on the USS Loy DE 160. The Loy served as an escort ship for 6 convoys in the Atlantic before it became an Auxiliary Personnel Destroyer in the Pacific, taking part in the invasion of Okinawa. Ken also served in the Navy during the Korean War, and would later write “Memoirs of a Ping Jockey” on his wartime experiences.
Author Jim Rada will be signing books in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center bookstore on Saturday, September 15. He is the author of numerous titles about the American Civil War and World War II.
Sunday, September 16
11:00 a.m. – Ben Jenkins served on the crew of a B-29 “Superfortress” during World War II, taking part in bombing runs on Japan. The B-29 “Superfortress” was a four engine heavy bomber, and was one of the most important planes of the war. Ben will be sharing his stories of operating the weapons control on his B-29, as well as recounting a supply drop to American POWs in August 1945 following the Japanese surrender.
12:00 p.m. – Steven Bosan served as an engineer with General George S. Patton’s Third Army during World War II. After training in the United States, he arrived overseas in the fall of 1944, and took part in the push into Germany, building bridges, clearing mines, and repairing roads. He was injured in a vehicle accident in early 1945, but recovered and went on to serve in the Korean and Vietnam wars as well, commanding aviation units in both. He ultimately reached the rank of Colonel.
1:00 p.m. – Ken Weiler is an author and historian who has written and lectured on the Second World War, focusing on the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. He is a member of the Hanover Area Historical Society, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society, and is a National Park Service volunteer at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. He will be speaking about the War on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945, which is the subject of his book “Why Normandy Was Won: Operation Bagration and the War in the East, 1941-1945.”
2:00 p.m. – A two-time national bestselling author, Larry Alexander is a lifelong native of Ephrata, Pa. He is a retired reporter and columnist for Lancaster Newspapers, and the author of the New York Times Bestselling “Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man who Led the Band of Brothers”. He is also the author of several other books on the Second World War. Alexander will be speaking on the life of Major Dick Winters, the leader of the famous “Band of Brothers.”
3:00 p.m. – Richard “Dick” Donald is a veteran of the United States Navy. During World War II, he was stationed, among many places, on the USS Melvin R. Nawman, a destroyer escort. He served as a “ping jockey”, using sonar to search out enemy submarines. In February 1945, he witnessed the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima. He took part in seven invasions during the war in the Pacific, and he also served on a destroyer during the Korean War.
The site will continue to offer tours of the Eisenhower Home throughout the weekend following our regular summer season schedule. Admission to the Eisenhower National Historic Site is by shuttle bus. Buses depart from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center located at 1195 Baltimore Pike. For reservations, call 1-877-874-2478. Cost of shuttle bus tickets are: Adults, $9.00; Children 6-12, $5.00; Children age 6 and under are admitted free.
Last updated: September 12, 2018