Over There: World War II vet one of the generation’s heroes
By Jean Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org March 27, 2013 7:02PM
Updated: April 29, 2013 9:52AM
Clarence Hambrick is a well-loved combat veteran who served in the Army during World War II in the China-Burma Theater. Hambrick enlisted July 8, 1944, and he entered cavalry basic training as a private.
Excelling in his training and marksmanship, he received advanced training to become a rifleman instructor. With additional training, he became a military policeman and private first class.
After completing the required training, he served overseas for 17 months in China, India and Burma as a part of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 475th Infantry. During his time in India, he was assigned to guard the U.S. Embassy in Calcutta. While in Burma, he helped to guard the Burma Road.
While serving, Hambrick was also responsible for training the Chinese battalions in the use of the .30-caliber rifle, hand weapons, rocket launchers, rifle grenade launchers and hand grenades.
He marched through the jungles of Burma for nine months with Gen. Joseph Stilwell and his men, the “Merrills Marauders,” the 5307th composite unit, which lost many men along the way to frostbite, starvation and malaria. After marching through the jungles of Burma, they were denied access into China by then ruler Chiang Kai-shek, as chronicled in American history books. He also flew “The Hump,” as the passage from India to China over the Himalayan Mountains was known, not only once, but twice.
After the war, he returned to Tennessee for only a few years and then made the trip up north looking for work. He landed a job at a new Caterpillar plant. After working there for 32 years, he retired in 1984. Hambrick was married for 59 years until God called his wife home.
“I think my father is a long lost local hero. There are not many of these heroes left. Dad turned 87 on Feb. 6. He is in good condition but aging quickly. He has always been an honorable man, a great father figure and an awesome grandfather. He showed all his children love and affection. More importantly he showed me how to be a father and a grandfather. I will always be grateful. He will always be our hero,” said his son Troy Hambrick.
Work assessment for veterans
Joliet Junior College Workforce Development is offering the National Career Readiness Certificate assessment free for Will County veterans.
Many of our veterans are looking for work, and taking this assessment and earning the certificate can help make a veteran job candidate look even more marketable to many area employers.
WorkKeys is a job-skills assessment system that measures “real-world” skills employers believe are critical to job success. The WorkKeys assessments can lead to earning the National Career Readiness Certificate, which is now recognized as the most effective strategy for certifying workplace skills and predicting workplace success. More than 1 million certificates have been issued.
Thanks to generous funding from the Will County Community Foundation, veterans may take the WorkKeys assessments and earn the National Career Readiness Certificate at no charge.
For more information, call Paige Vanderhyden at 815-280-1313 or email email@example.com.
Dave Culyat of Dignity Memorial has scheduled military honors for Norval G. Turner, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road in Elwood.
Honors will be conducted by the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Squad, which will provide pallbearers and a burial flag acceptor for this veteran.
In observance of Memorial Day, veterans who have fallen during combat will be remembered throughout the month of May. If you have a loved you like to be included, submit their name, branch of service, hometown and one paragraph to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 25. For more information, call 312-321-2356.