World War II Veteran Celebrates 100th at Barnegat VFW

One particular CENTURY FULFILLED: (From remaining) Barnegat Township Committeeman Joseph Marte, Dorothy Radcliffe and Mayor Albert Bille honor the existence and company of Walter Radcliffe (appropriate). (Equipped Photo)
Walter Radcliffe was a sailor aboard the USS Isherwood when it acquired strike by Japanese kamikaze pilots all through an Okinawa invasion in March 1945. On that day, Radcliffe was assigned to a gun turret, a thing he did not count on since as a machinist’s mate, he generally worked in the engine rooms.
“But when the ship obtained attacked, the engine rooms were being hit the most difficult,” he recalled. “In fact, all of the men who have been in the engine room I ordinarily labored in were killed. I’m fortunate to be alive.”
Radcliffe shared that tale with a packed property at Barnegat VFW Post 10092 on July 10, which was the Navy veteran’s 100th birthday.
“He has led a incredibly impressive lifestyle and we can not overlook his technology,” explained Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, one particular of a handful of presenters.
Mayor Albert Bille and Committeeman Joseph Marte gave Radcliffe an formal proclamation from the township.
“I sense like I’m standing among the giants, males who gave so significantly for our place,” reported Bille.
A Manahawkin resident, Radcliffe served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, primarily with the Pacific fleet at Okinawa and Philippines campaigns. Just after graduating from Trenton High School, he went to function for De Laval Turbines, at the time a primary manufacturer of steam and gasoline engines. Although it was numerous yrs right before he joined the Navy, Radcliffe was currently collaborating in the war energy.
“Because of the war, there was a large demand for equipment as ships were being getting designed,” he mentioned.
A person of his sons, Robert Radcliffe, said his father enlisted simply because he “felt a little self-aware.” “It appeared like a he was the only young individual in his neighborhood who was not in the provider,” he explained. “So quite a few youngsters were finding drafted, he felt a tiny social stress to enlist.”
Radcliffe mentioned that when he returned property in 1946, he did not want to go again to De Laval. “Some of us have been functioning 70, 80 several hours a 7 days,” he recalled. “I did not want to do the job evenings anymore.”
Radcliffe then went into the insurance policies business enterprise, but remaining following 10 years as “there was not considerably space for development.” He located a niche with the Yardville National Bank (now a PNC financial institution), where by he worked his way up to vice president, ahead of retiring in 1982.
At the VFW celebration, his 2nd spouse, Dorothy Radcliffe, stated she rekindled a romance with him at that time. “He took me to my senior promenade,” she claimed. “After substantial faculty, we went our separate techniques and lost keep track of of every other. But then my spouse died and his spouse died, so we wound up reconnecting.”
Radcliffe’s other son, Dennis, explained as a father, he “was extremely supportive and was always there for us.”
“He stressed the significance of education and learning,” claimed Dennis, 78. “So I became a dentist and my brother obtained two master’s degrees.” Robert Radcliffe, 74, is a retired pc computer software engineer and taught laptop or computer science at Penn Condition.
“Through my father I uncovered how to resolve matters all-around the residence,” he explained. “He was incredibly handy with tools, which is why he went to function with De Laval. He was incredibly encouraging, supporting us alongside and currently being there for us when we needed him.”
Robert reported that many a long time ago, his father endured numerous wellness complications, requiring prolonged hospitalizations. “Sometimes when you get more mature, its really hard to appear back from really serious illnesses,” he stated. “But my father arrived out of it much better. No make any difference what gets thrown his way, he always bounces again. Which is in all probability why he created it to 100.”
Robert explained there could be another 100th birthday celebration down the street. “Dorothy is 98 and she’s undertaking really well,” he mentioned.
Leonard Hemmerle, post commander, explained aspect of the festivities was meant to be a shock for Radcliffe. “We instructed him to come to the article house since we were heading to have a cake for him,” claimed Hemmerle. “But we did not inform him about all the shows. We experienced past VFW commanders and some VFW leaders on the state level.”
Hemmerle added, “What I admire most about Walter was that he did not have to go into service, but he felt it was his obligation to enlist. He survived 5 important battles. He even now consistently will come to our conferences and allows out. Walter is anyone you can really look up to and admire.”
— Eric Englund

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