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News :: Vinton veteran Hilner finally receives WWII discharge
· 8:45am July 7th, 2014
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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