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Corporal Lillian Clonts served in the Women’s Army Corps

Colonel Loy L. Julius, USAF, Retired, was born on a farm near

from June 1943 until October 1945. Today at age 92, her

Cherokee, Iowa in 1920. His parents were German-Scottish

memories of serving in World War II are as vivid as the

immigrants and he was the third of seven children. He probably

day they actually took place. As a corporal stationed in

thought at a young age that he may have been in line for a

Normandy, it was not unusual for her to see and hear German

fairly uneventful life on the farm. Instead, the farm was lost

bombs falling in the area near her base. As a member of

during the Great Depression of the 1930s, so the family moved

the Chemical Warfare Service, her duties included following

to Cherokee, where Loy’s father went to work for the WPA

the male troops and making sure they had everything they

(Works Progress Administration) building roads.

needed to effectively fight the enemy. This was a break for Loy, as he now had the opportunity to One of Lillian’s most vivid memories is from when her outfit

complete his high school and college educations. In December

was being flown from England to France. As they looked down

1942, at age 22 and one year after the bombing of Pearl

they could see the gigantic craters in the ground that were

Harbor, he received his induction letter into the military and

left after our bombs had been dropped. During that time, she

was sent to San Antonio, Texas for flight training with the

and her fellow troopers lived in everything from Quonset huts

Army Air Corps. He became a B-29 Bomber pilot and compiled

to tents. One night she was in a tent with five other girls

a distinguished war record that included 65 missions and the

when all of a sudden she came face to face with a live goat!

awarding of the Distinguished Flying Cross and twelve Oak

She says they never did figure out how the goat missed the

Leaf Clusters, among other awards. He considers himself

bombings.

lucky because he never had any injuries while at the same time he knew several guys who were badly injured or killed

When asked why she joined the Army at a time when women

in combat. As far as his toughest mission, Colonel Julius

weren’t required to serve, she said that she had gone to

said that it would have to be the Battle of the Bulge, which

the post office one day to buy stamps and while there,

took place in December and January of 1944-1945 on the

saw a sign on the wall with Uncle Sam pointing his finger

Western Front.

outward saying “I want you!” It inspired her so much that she decided to join, even though she had to wait until her 21st

It was during this era that he also met and married the

birthday. She did basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia,

love of his life, Anne, and started a family. He later went on

then shipped out to Europe.

to dental school and eventually became director of the Air Force dental hospitals in the Pacific. In the early 1970s, at

When asked what other inspiration she had besides Uncle

age 54, he decided that enough was enough, so he retired

Sam’s poster to join the military, Lillian replied that “she was

as a full bird colonel in 1974, thus completing his 32-year

ready for some adventure.”

military career.

When the war ended in 1945, Lillian was in Paris and she

Corporal Dean Kramer is a resident of New River who was

says the celebration was incredible. It was quite a time for

drafted into the Army and served a two-year hitch from

her as she was also celebrating her new marriage. The young

March 1951 until March 1953. One event that is etched in

lady had grown up a lot since the day she decided to join

his mind about his military service is that although the war

the military service after innocently going to the post office

started in Korea March 25, it actually was March 24 in the

to buy stamps.

United States, which coincidentally was his 21st birthday.

Lillian will be among 13 women veterans of World War II to

Dean was a resident of Philadelphia who had graduated

be honored at the Anthem Veterans Memorial at 9:30 a.m. on

from high school in 1946. Being drafted was his first contact

November 11, prior to the annual Veterans Day Ceremony.

with the military service and he remembers it as being an

Each veteran will receive a paver commemorating her service

unbelievable experience, especially at the induction center. He

to the nation.

wasn’t in combat but considered the center to be the most

november 2014

Im age s A Z.c om

43

ImagesAZ Magazine :: Tramonto, Anthem, Desert Hills and New River  

November 2014 issue of ImagesAZ Magazine distributed to Tramonto, Anthem, Desert Hills and New RIver.

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