17
DEC
2016

Mortar Man’s Memories

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95-year-old Ken Vincent of Waterford, WI appears on episode #450 of Hometown Heroes, airing December 16-18, 2016.

Shown here at age 16, Kenny began playing the accordion when he was eight. For more photos, visit the Hometown Heroes facebook page.

Shown here at age 16, Kenny began playing the accordion when he was eight. For more photos, visit the Hometown Heroes facebook page.


Growing up in Franklin when the Milwaukee suburb was a rural farm town, Kenny began playing the accordion at age eight. By the time he was twelve, he was playing professionally in “honky-tonky taverns” around Milwaukee. That’s what he was doing late into the night on December 6, 1941. Listen to the program to find out how he learned of the next day’s world-changing news, and why he enlisted in the Army soon after that. After training at Camp Polk, Louisiana and in California’s Mojave desert, he was prepared to ship out for North Africa, but the Allies’ victory there made that unnecessary. Instead, it was off to the mountains of Pennsylvania for more training in winter conditions.
Ken while training in Camp Polk, Louisiana during World War II.

Ken while training in Camp Polk, Louisiana during World War II.


Heading across the Atlantic from Camp Kilmer, New Jersey in September 1943, Vincent remembers sailing past the Statue of Liberty.

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