Bob Ware, Verald Blandford

Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer

Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.

Bob Ware

Date of birth: May 4, 1928

Dates of service: October 1946 to March 1948

Hometown: Clovis

Lives in: Clovis

Theater and location of service: Pacific

Branch: Army

Rank: Corporal

Unit and specialty: 8104 Service Department
In his own words: By the time Ware volunteered for the army, the war was over. Serving on Okinowa as part of the occupation forces there, Ware said his timing was lucky because he missed combat in Japan and he was out of active service before the Korean War. However, Ware made lifelong friends in the service.

His most vivid memory was of the destruction that the war caused in Japan. “I got the chance to go to Tokyo for my R and R. South of the city there was nothing but rubble for miles,” he said.

Ware had his regrets about his decision to volunteer but, looking back, the experience was good for him, he said.

Verald “Buck” Blandford

Date of birth: Aug. 16, 1922

Dates of service: 1942 to 1945

Hometown: Between Shamrock and Wellington, Texas

Lives in: Conchas Lake

Theater and location of service: North Pacific

Branch: Navy

Rank: Radioman 2nd class

Unit and specialty: USS Puget Sound, communications
In his words: He spent 16 months on Adak Island in Alaska. “The biggest battle we had up there was weather — wind and cold.” He said he only saw the sun two days while he was there.

In addition to serving in Adak, Blandford spent time at sea as an air traffic control, directing bombers and fighter planes on an aircraft carrier.

Sent back to Seattle, Blandford spent nine months waiting for an assignment before being sent to Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter, he was sent home.

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com