but not Forgotten!
This page is to honor members who have passed on.
Ted Van Doorn
moment to think, what would you do if you heard the words, "you have 2
to 5 weeks left to Live". The reality is Ted and Heather Van Doorn just heard those words on
December 14, 2015. Ted has been courageously fighting a very aggressive case of
bladder cancer but doctors are telling him that the cancer has taken over his
days on hearing those words, Ted Van Doorn lost his courageous battle with
cancer on December 15, 2015. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how it
felt to go home and tell their three children, ages 13, 11 and 8 the devastating
being a child of a parent who lost their battle with cancer. Imagine hearing
that your father, who has always been there for you, will not be able to see
your first boyfriend or girlfriend, see you off to college, be able to see you
grow into a successful young adult, be able to walk you down the aisle and will
not be able to be there just to support, listen, laugh and cry with you.
This is Max,
Fiona and Phoebe's reality. This is something no child should ever have to
Thursday, June 6, 2019 4:20 PM EST
By RAF CASERT and JOHN
…Donning clothes from another
era sometimes means discomfort.
Matt Ferdock, 56, felt it
with the darn reproduction war boots he's lumbered with for another two weeks
during his travels along battle routes in France and Belgium.
"Quite frankly, they're
terrible," he said, coming back from an unsuccessful shopping mission to
find comfier insoles in La Cambe, a Normandy village where thousands of Germans
are buried and where he attended a ceremony on Wednesday.
After pondering the purpose
of his appearance for a moment, Ferdock said that looking the part "just
feels like I may get a better sense of who these people were. I don't know what
it felt like to walk in these boots. "He knows now.
Just across the village
square, named after the 29th U.S. Infantry Division that liberated La Cambe on
June 8, 1944, stood Heather Van Doorn.
When her late husband Ted was
in Normandy for the 60th D-Day anniversary, he "didn't have the jeep,
didn't have the dress and felt like he was not a participant."
"He vowed to come
back, bring his children, and try and teach them."
Following his death 3 years
ago, 49-year-old Heather has taken it upon herself and is hanging out in their
restored jeeps with her children Phoebe, Fiona and Max, all dressed as
though wartime heartbreak, sacrifice, suffering and rationing were still
Heather's drab maintenance
coverall more than served its purpose. "You just blend better," she
said. "You are part of it." Adding to the motivation was that her dad
was for a quarter-century in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. She said her
great-grandfather was a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot flying out of England.
"There's always a
connection," said Gary Hurwitz, traveling in the same party as Van Doorn.
"We're all family." Yet, they are looking for different things.
Van Doorn, who lives in
Eugene, Oregon, is convinced something wholesome was lost over time, something
she feels is in the story of the soldiers storming beaches against the odds in
a foreign land. "This generation was amazing," she said. "Where
are these people now? Where did it go?" "It seems people thought more
about others. Now we are all wrapped up in our own lives. "Asked what was
lost, she said "the sacrifice."…
will always be in our mind, heart and soul.
WWII pilot, Sebastopol resident
Darrel Shumard dies at 97
Darrel Shumard of Sebastopol flew P47's during WWII and relived
some flying memories as he took a ride on a B-17 Flying Fortress that flew from
Reno to the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, Wednesday June 5, 2013 as
part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013
74 years after his fighter-bomber tumbled from the sky over war-plagued Europe
and he was seized by German soldiers, Darrel Shumard just four weeks ago took
off from Sonoma County’s airport in a Cessna with a pilot a generation younger
At age 97, the taciturn and
modest Shumard, long one of the region’s most revered veterans of World War II,
took the controls of the sporty, six-seat plane and headed off for Amador
“He flew the thing all the way
over and all the way back,” marveled his pal, Lynn Hunt, a pilot and restorer
of the sorts of warplanes that Shumard flew as a young U.S. Army Corps captain.
Hunt added about Shumard, “He
never lost his touch.”
A Sebastopol resident who for
decades was regarded as a living treasure by fellow members of the Santa
Rosa-based Pacific Coast Air Museum, Shumard died at home Sunday evening. He’d
gotten along as a widower since the death of his wife of 56 years, Madeline
Hood Shumard, in 2010.
Darrel Shumard was a quiet
celebrity among the region’s military veterans. For decades, he delighted in
driving his vintage Army jeep in parades and he was sought out at gatherings of
vets and members of the air museum, located at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma
“He was kind of a rock star to
us, though he never would have used those words,” said Hunt, a leader of the
museum. “He might be the humblest person I’ve ever known.”
Hunt added, “You didn’t dare call
him a hero.” He said Shumard was adamant that the true war heroes were all
those who didn’t make it home.
Shumard was born Dec. 2, 1921, in
Galesburg, Illinois. He wasn’t yet school-aged when hard times pushed his
parents to California in search of work.
When he was 10 and 11 years old
and the Great Depression was on, Shumard and his folks became “fruit tramps,”
granddaughter Michelle Grady of Rohnert Park recalls. They moved from orchard
to orchard in the Monterey-Salinas area, picking produce.
Shumard graduated from high
school in Turlock. He had studied at Modesto Junior College for a year and
worked briefly at Lockheed Aircraft Co.’s factory in Burbank when, not long
after the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, he went
Sergeant Don Rummel, United States Army
Sergeant Don Rummel is one of our WWII veterans that was present
along with his family at Camp Gridley 16 September 2017. Don was a long-time
California resident, from Oroville, California.
Don joined the Army Air Corps in San Francisco, California in
1942. He wanted to fly airplanes for the war effort and passed his first Army
flight physical. The second flight physical he did not pass and was transferred
to support the Army Air Corps reporting statistics to the commanding general of
the 5th Air Forces in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Don reported to the commanding general at 0400 hours each morning
the aircraft losses and crew losses. He used the teletype machine to gain
statistics control and reached the rank of sergeant as a clerk typist. His
reports were covering all of the aircraft of the 5th Air Force which
included the B-24s, A-20s, B-25s, C-47s, and C-54s. He really enjoyed flying in
the B-25 to each of his deployed islands. He did say the B-24 had problems with
the weak landing gear…
After World War II Don began his civilian life and spent his saved
money from the war to start his very own business. He was the very first TV
repair business in Northern California. He then went on to work for the Plumas
National Forest from 1961 to 1983. For the last couple of years Don had enjoyed
meeting our Northern Recon Group members while on a convoy to Lake Oroville at
a past Camp Gridley. He also had ridden with our vehicles at the Marysville
Veterans Day Parades.
Don also had never been honored like this at Camp
Gridley before, so it was a very important day for him. Thank you all for helping
us in honoring him. Thank you for taking a moment to say “Thank You For Your Service” as it meant more than you will ever
know to him.
In November 2017, Bruce Hrabak was diagnosed with stage 4
pancreatic and liver cancer. Unfortunately, Bruce fell gravely ill Tuesday
morning, April 10th. He was transported to Kaiser Emergency on Morse and
was at death's door. He was given 2 to 24 hours to live on multiple occasions. During
this time, his wife Shari had been at his side, sleeping at nights in the
hospital bed next to his. She herself has battled cancer.
Bruce was a perfectionist in everything he did. He was truly a
professional. Bruce was a long-time member of the numerous military
organizations. He supported the Military Vehicle Preservation Association
(MVPA) and recently displayed a large D-Day display at the MVPA Convention in
Pleasanton, CA. He even coordinated a real-life landing craft or LCVP to be on
display to add to his living history display. Many photos were taken of troops
and a jeep or two landing on the “beach” at the convention.
was also recognized numerous times for his “mobile museum” at Northern Recon
Group Camp Gridley’s. His passion for collecting and preserving history rubbed
off on others around him. His knowledge of all of his items in his collection
could be quickly learned as he would explain the uses and history of each item
on his display. Bruce you will be missed!