A Veterans Day Salute to the Kuhn Brothers By: Paula Green

      The United States officially entered World War II in December of 1941 following the malicious attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor.  During that time, our country was in a state of turmoil, and we decided to fight back.  Because of the mayhem, thousands of men were enlisted in the armed services to defend our country.

     The Kuhn family resided on the North Side of Pittsburgh.  This “band of brothers” had seven boys. Six out of the seven were recruited into the military, older brother Ben remained a civilian.

      Lee served as a Celestial Navigator in the Marine Corps, where he was guided by the stars.  During his training, he finished at the top of his class.  He performed dangerous operations that were conducted at night.  The missions in the Asian-Pacific Theater where Lee was assigned required him to pick up the wounded, equipment and military personnel.

     Mertin enlisted in the U.S. Army where he dutifully served for 13 years.  His bombardier skills against the Japanese earned him an Air Medal award.  This recognition granted him the opportunity to become a pilot.  Tragically, he was killed in a training plane crash in Marfa, Texas.

     Glenn followed in Mertin’s footsteps and served in the Army.  He took part in the famous “Battle of the Bulge.”

      Twin brothers Ray and Frank were recruited by the Army as well.  Ray served as a paratrooper and was stationed in Europe.  During one of his missions over Italy, he was shot in the ankle as he jumped from the plane.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery.

      Frank was stationed in the South Pacific where he saw action in the Philippines.

      Dale was called to serve by the Navy and was inducted on Aug. 20, 1945.  Upon his arrival at Great Lakes Training Camp, it was deemed that his eyesight was not acceptable for the Navy. 

     “I was given an Honorable Discharge on Sept. 8, 1945.  I often joke and tell people that Japan surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945, because they knew I was coming,” Dale said.

       Dale was drafted once again by the Army on May 29, 1952.  “I informed them of my naval experience and how I was discharged for my vision.  The Army said my eyes were good enough for them.  If you did not serve 90 days or more, you were subjected to be drafted again if another war came along,” Dale said.

        He then went on to serve in the Korean War in Germany for two year in the Signal Corp as a Corporal until May 6, 1954.  Dale is the only remaining Kuhn brother.  He resides in Avonworth.

       Northern Connection magazine salutes veterans Lee, Mertin, Glenn, Ray, Frank and Dale Kuhn for their years of dedication and commitment in serving in the United States military.