Area veterans honored for contributing their history

January 15, 2012
  • From left, Robert W. Patrick, director of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress; Kathleen Rittler, daughter of veteran Clarence "Bill" Moore; U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett; Josef Bikle in wheelchair with his two sons behind him (names not provided); Sgt. Peter McMillin, his wife, Amy, and their three sons; and veteran Arthur Bauman. Other veterans from Washington County who provided their history for the project did not attend the ceremony.
Submitted photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., formally presented the books with the personal histories of nine constituents into the collection of the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.

Robert W. Patrick, director of the project, accepted the submissions during a ceremony with the veterans and their family members Dec. 15 in the Members Room of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  

This is the third ceremony at the library that Bartlett has organized on behalf of his constituents who are contributors to the project.

 The following men are from Washington County:

• Signalman 2nd Class George Lott served in the Navy during World War II from 1943 to 1946 in the European and Pacific theaters. He was part of the amphibious invasion force of France in 1944. He was in the English Channel before H Hour. He then transited through the Panama Canal. He fought during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Lott is a resident of the Village at Robinwood in Hagerstown.

• Cpl. Josef Bikle served in the Army during WWII from 1942 to 1945. He fought during the D-Day invasion of France. He brought German propaganda and other items from Germany back to Hagerstown, where he showed off the items that he collected. Bikle is a resident of the Village at Robinwood in Hagerstown.

• Master Sgt. Robert Thomas Winters served in the Army Air Corps (the precursor to the Air Force) during WWII from 1940 to 1946. He was stationed at airfields including Langley Field, Va., Mitchell Field, Long Island, N.Y., and in North Carolina. He worked as an engineer on B18s. He fought during the Battle of Iwo Jima. His brother-in-law William H. Thomas was a POW in Germany. Winters is a resident of the Village at Robinwood in Hagerstown.

• Coxswain Gleen Leslie Bowman served in the Navy during WWII from 1944 to 1946. He served in the Pacific theater aboard the USS George Ingram. He witnessed American bombing in Japan and drove boats underwater to deliver soldiers to beach shores in Japan. Bowman is a resident of the Village at Robinwood in Hagerstown.

• Sgt. Peter McMillin served in the Marine Corps from 1998 to 2004, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. He worked at Camp David during the presidencies of President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He helped with the invasion of Saddam Hussein's birthday palace and fought in Baghdad. McMillin is a resident of Boonsboro.

 The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.  

In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are invited to share their valuable stories.

Bartlett supported the creation of the project and voted for the legislation that established it (Public Law 106-380).

It received unanimous support and was signed into law by President Clinton on Oct. 27, 2000.

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