HEART OF UTAH
St. George WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday on Valentine’s Day
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Spencer Truman, member of the 876th Airborne Aviation Battalion turns 100 years old today. And the city of St. George wants to make sure more people know about this veteran’s life.
In a Facebook posting, city officials said that Spencer Truman was trained to enter combat in gliders. And though he was scheduled to arrive in a glider with the invasion forces of both Operation Overlord (invasion of Normandy) and Operation Market Garden (seizing bridges in the Netherlands), Truman and his unit instead arrived via boat and truck respectively.
“We ended up just behind the front lines, and did that all the way across France into Belgium, making new airstrips and rebuilding the existing airfields,” Truman wrote in 2012, according to St. George officials.
He also served during the Battle of the Bulge, where, he wrote, the concern was more about freezing or starving than the Germans.
“We didn’t worry as much about the Germans, as we did about freezing — and starving,” he wrote. “There was over a foot of snow and the temperature was around zero. All we had was summer clothing and very little food. I don’t know how, but we survived.”
The city reports that Truman may be the last surviving WWII veteran in St. George who entered military service pre-Pearl Harbor.
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