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Clarence Hilner with wife, Beverly and Roger Uthoff; recently received his official WWII discharge.

Vinton World War 2 veteran Clarence Hilner waited 70 years to receive his official US Military discharge and DD214.

Clarence was too young to join the regular military when the war began, so at age 16 he joined the Merchant Marines and was sent to the South Pacific to deliver much needed supplies to US Troops.

Clarence wanted to do his part in the war effort and can recall how scared he was during some of his trips overseas. "Washing Machine Charlie" was a constant reminder of the enemy close at hand. "Washing Machine Charlie" was so named because his plane sounded like a washing machine and that sound of his aircraft overhead was a constant reminder their position was noted for a possible submarine or air attack.

Clarence served aboard the SS Capulpa and the SS McKittrck Hills during WWII and had many close encounters with the enemy.

Now with official discharge and DD214 in hand Clarence is eligible for Veterans Benefits he has not had since WWII. The Merchant Marines did not become eligible for benefits until nearly 40 years after the end of the war; each veteran had to apply individually to receive veteran's status and benefits.

Clarence is one of The Greatest Generation and a true American Hero and has been invited to be on the September 23 Eastern Iowa Honor Flight. How fitting to receive his Discharge on the 4th of July week-end.

Pictured with Clarence is Roger Uthoff of the American Legion who assisted with the paper work, and Clarence's wife, Beverly.

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Comments (10)

So well-deserving and way over due! Glad to hear that you finally got the recognition, and the much needed benefits, you deserve!
By: Wanda Dusenberry on July 7th 7:00pm
Well deserved, Clarence, and long overdue! Thank you for your service.
By: Thomas Ramsey on July 7th 7:52pm
One of the kindest people I have ever met. Thank you for your service. Finally have closure.
By: John Leonard on July 7th 8:22pm
Well deserved. Am honored to be you and Bev's friend and almost relative :-)
By: Gretchen Kopecky on July 8th 1:39pm
Congratulations and sorry it took so long for you to receive the honor you so richly deserve. God bless you both.
Dale and Karen Hagen
By: Karen & Dale Hagen on July 8th 2:36pm
Thanks for your service to our country Clarence! Blessings to both of you for lives well lived.
By: Scott & Julie Hansen on July 8th 2:54pm
Well deserved the honor. Thank You for your Service.
By: Cam Wood on July 8th 9:28pm
Congratulations Clarence so well deserved!
By: Susie Johnson-O'Reilly on July 8th 11:05pm
So proud of my Grandpa. He still is my hero.
By: Jan Jablonski on July 9th 9:23am
My Grandpa has and will always be a Hero! Thank you to the American Legion for your help and support.
By: Brian Holtz on July 9th 12:53pm

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