World War II veterans wonders how he survived

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 14:53 PM.

“We loaded up on a troop ship and it took us 35 days to get to Gibraltar,” Kellum said. “We didn’t lose a ship ’til there. That’s when the Germans launched their torpedo planes. I finally made it to Italy. We got involved in the war a little bit while we were in Italy. Everyone wanted to get into the war before we got there. Once we got there we wondered why the hell we wanted to be there in the first place.”

War is indescribable, Kellum said.

“It’s a living nightmare mostly,” he said. “You were scared every time you moved. People who weren’t scared just ain’t right. When the bullets and artillery are hitting right around you — that was the worst time of my life.”

Later Kellum would parachute into France with the 550th Airborne Infantry.

“I landed in a grape vineyard in southern France,” Kellum said. “When you’re with an airborne unit you don’t fight from the front — the front is all around you.”

It was during the fighting in France that Kellum would be awarded the Bronze Star for valorous acts.

“They were passing them out like candy,” Kellum said. “I guess they figured they’d give me one too.”



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