Biography of Don Bewley

Major, 3rd Armd. Fld. Art. Bn., U.S.A.R.

     The movie, "Saving Pvt. Ryan," was of great interest to me. My father, my brother, and I were all in the service during WW II. My mother was left at home alone with her kitty to keep her company. She and that cat walked two blocks everyday to mail a letter to my Dad over the years from 1942 to 1945. The story of Pvt Ryan might very well have been our story but for the hand of God. Let me share a poem that that wonderful woman wrote to me in 1944:

Little star, away up there so bright;

Lit by the hand of God tonight.

Watch over my family, three.

Wherever they may be.

Guide them, protect them, keep them well.

Thanks little star, that will be swell.

     So you can see that women suffered and worried too, especially when their entire family was in the service. Pvt Ryan made me think of my Mom again.

     My father entered the army in the Spring of 1942. My brother entered the army in the fall of 1943 and I entered in the fall of 1944. My brother landed on Omaha Beach with the 2nd Infantry Division three days after the initial wave and my Dad landed with the Twelth Corps Artillery there about three weeks later. I saw no combat, but was in the German army of occupation with the 3rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion as Battalion Adjutant in 1945 and 1946.

     My father was decorated twice for bravery, getting the Bronze Star and the Silver Star. He left active duty in 1945 but stayed in the Reserve for many years afterward, retiring as a full Colonel. My brother served with the Second Infantry Division in Europe and was in the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home as a staff sgt in 1945.

     I was commissioned as a 2d Lt at the tender age of 18 in 1945 at Ft Knox, Ky. At the time, I was the youngest officer in the USArmy. I left the service in the fall of 1946 and remained in the Reserve for 20 years, retiring as a major.

--- Don Bewley, Maj. U.S.A.R. (ret.)



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James F. Justin, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

Justin Museum of Military History

James F. Justin Museum

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