SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “Sharing Stories of the Crossroads” is a new radio program created by The History Museum on the Square on 92.3 FM.
This week, host John Sellars spoke with 100-year-old World War II veteran Jack Hamlin.
“It was a hoot…It’s very seldom that you have the opportunity to have a conversation with somebody that’s a hundred years old. And when you do it, because of their advanced age, a lot of times… you have to work very hard to elicit a response from them,” says Sellars. “[Hamlin] can just talk about anything, has a great memory for his life.”
Hamlin was tasked with being tethered to a boat with a rope around his body while jumping in and pulling bodies out of the water for two and a half days.
“Their rationale was he was the smallest guy on the boat and so they wanted the bigger guys in the boat to lift the body… to lift the people out. So he would drag them back to the boat and then they would lift him out,” said Sellars. He explained when Hamlin’s boat was full of rescued soldiers, they would meet a hospital ship out of range of German artillery, drop off the patients, and go back to find more people.
Today, Hamlin goes to events to talk to troops and frequently revisits Normandy.
Next week, Sharing Stories of the Crossroads will be speaking with Lynn Sanders. Sanders’ family ran the service station, the Standard Station, at the corner of Saint Louis and Glenstone right at the curve on Route 66 for years. They also had a station across the street from the shrine mosque.
Previous episodes of Sharing Stories of the Crossroads can be found here.
For more information about the History Museum on the Square visit https://historymuseumonthesquare.org/.