Local Veteran, 100, Enthralls With Adventure Tales

Photo by Mary Emily Myers / OUTLOOK
Joe Giocomarra (center), a World War II veteran of the Merchant Marine who turned 100 on Monday, rode in this year’s Fiesta Days parade after introducing himself at the Memorial Ceremony in the park beforehand.

For the past couple decades, over glasses of wine or the occasional margarita, Joe Giocomarra has regaled his pal Tom Caulfield with tales of his fascinating, improbable life.
Giocomarra, one of only about 558,000 World War II veterans still living, turned 100 on Memorial Day.
“I have the privilege of reaching 100,” Giocomarra said. “That’s a privilege a lot of people don’t [have]. And, I don’t know, I really shouldn’t be here.”
Giocomarra retains vivid memories of the war, when he served with the U.S. Merchant Marine, a collection of ships populated by civilian volunteers transporting materials, supplies, equipment and troops to help fight and win World War II. Continue reading “Local Veteran, 100, Enthralls With Adventure Tales”

LCF WWII Veteran Honored

Photo courtesy Maureen Bond
Robert Martin, who fought in World War II, has been a Kiwanis Club member for 25 years.

La Cañada Flintridge’s Robert Akers Martin, a 91-year-old World War II veteran, was among those honored last weekend by Honor Flight Southland, a nonprofit volunteer organization that arranged a trip to Washington, D.C., for him and 34 other military veterans from the Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.
For three months at the age of 19, Martin was a Marine machine gunner during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He published a book about the experience, “Remembering Okinawa,” which he dedicated to “my buddies who never came back.” The memoir, published in 2015, is based on a small booklet in which he recorded coded notes during the campaign. Continue reading “LCF WWII Veteran Honored”