Heartland Heroes - WWII vets discuss service - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland Heroes - WWII vets discuss service

Posted: Updated:
World War II veterans are dying at an alarming rate. Some reports say about 1,000 per day. World War II veterans are dying at an alarming rate. Some reports say about 1,000 per day.
Now, fast forward to present day, these men say the ones who did survive the war aren't around to share their stories. Now, fast forward to present day, these men say the ones who did survive the war aren't around to share their stories.
And soon Evans, like Dragoni, will be united with some of those men on an Honor Tour later this week. And soon Evans, like Dragoni, will be united with some of those men on an Honor Tour later this week.
(KFVS) -

World War II veterans are dying at an alarming rate. Some reports say about 1,000 per day.

"We are running out of changes to learn about history through the eyes of the men who lived it."

John Dragoni says his job was to watch the radar and drop bombs when the orders came his way.

Dragoni says it's taken him awhile to talk about moments that he thought he would never be able to share in person.

"There were several missions where I figured this was the end," Dragoni said.

And that's when John Dragoni says his training kicked in.

"And then later on, they said this is going to be a dog tag only mission which in our terms was a suicide mission," Dragoni said.

One mission that still haunts Dragoni is the bombing of Tokyo.

"We burned Tokyo," Dragoni said. "We were the third wave of airplanes in and the city was already a flame. I said to the pilot how many more people do we have to incinerate. He said John orders are orders…bombs away."

Historians estimate about 16 square miles of the city was destroyed, killing an estimated 100,000 people in the process.

When World war II veteran Ronald Evans thinks back on the war, the first thing that comes to his mind is the men that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"I often think of the glider pilots we trained," Evans said. "There's was a one way flight there was no way for them to come back."

Evans says those glider planes were designed just to go down.

"And when you landed that was it, you were stuck there," Evans said.

Evans says they were told not to get too close to their fellow soldiers because they didn't know who if any would be coming home.

"You had acquaintances but not close friends," Evans said. "You didn't make a close friend because you didn't know when he would be there."

Now, fast forward to present day, these men say the ones who did survive the war aren't around to share their stories.

"Last time I checked only three of us were still alive," Dragoni said.

"Well there were 14 of us in the flight crew and there is only two of us left," Evans said.

And soon Evans, like Dragoni, will be united with some of those men on an Honor Tour later this week.

"Well it will at least recognize what they did or what they gave," Evans said.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.