Area resident Paul Fields visits the World War II memorial in the nation’s capitol.

Courtesy photo

World War II Veteran Paul Fields visited the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. with the Southern Arizona Honor Flight program, thanks to the generosity of Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge #2815 and American Legion Post 132. 

Fields, a 52-year member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, was one of 27 WWII veterans to participate in the three-day, two-night trip in October. 

Lodge member Robert Hurt, a Vietnam veteran, volunteered as Paul’s guardian at his own expense. Both veterans agreed that it was an experience of a lifetime.

Fields was in the Navy for 20 years and spent most of his duty on the battleship USS Tennessee. Although severely injured at Pearl Harbor on December 7, he led a team to the main turret deck and manned the anti-aircraft guns until the battle was over. During the war, the USS Tennessee, along with three other battleships, destroyed four Japanese battleship convoys in the Philippine Surigao Straights. 

This was the last real battle in modern naval warfare. Americans are fortunate to have men and women like Paul Fields who fought so courageously to defend our freedom. Thank you, Paul, for your service to our country and for representing our surviving and fallen heroes on your trip to the World War II Memorial.

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