Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Italian-American Club honors vets at party

April 9, 2014
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

During a recent party put on by the Italian-American Club at St. Raphael's Catholic Church, several veterans were honored. Among those was Edward MacLean who just turned 94 on March 30.

While others had stories about their time overseas, MacLean noted that he had been in the invasion of Normandy, only not by water, but by armed helicopter, in an attempt to soften the German positions on the coast of France.

Later the famed 29th Division and others hit the first waves in the Normandy Invasion and eventually through hard-fought battles were able to push the Germans back and retake France for the Allies.

Article Photos

Edward MacLean

MacLean entered the armed forces in 1942 and said he directed an air glider hours before the invasion at Normandy. He was 24 when he entered the Army.

"I wondered if I was going to get out alive; there were men there younger than I was," he recalled.

He was a first lieutenant when he was taking the glider along with others to wipe out as many German positions as possible before the early morning D-Day invasion. The death count was high on the American side but soldiers were able to overtake the Germans.

After he left the military which he had served in both in the Army and Reserves for 15 years, he began to think about war and its ramifications.

He and his wife, Betty Brenault-MacLean, spent the past five months in Lehigh at their comfortable condo. They returned this week to their Cape Cod home in Massachusetts.

During an interview with MacLean, who looks years younger than his age, MacLean said he didn't like the wars going on over the past several years.

"I didn't like the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should not be in war unless it is to defend our country. Many of our soldiers come back crippled and maimed for life.

"We were wrong to be in Korea and Vietnam. The last war that we had a right to be in was World War II and was to defend our country after it had been attacked," MacLean said.

When asked about the current ongoing news concerning Russia's Premiere Putin and his invasion of a part of Ukraine, MacLean said he hopes President Obama doesn't cause a war with Russia.

"That nation of Russia is not a backward country. I hope President Obama is smart enough not to get us further involved in anything that can land us into war with Russia," he said.

MacLean, who keeps up with current events and is active in other activities says he is in good health.

He pointed to his wife and said she takes good care of him.

Back to his political beliefs:

"Russia is not a third world country. They do not stand there with bows and arrows. If we end up with a war with Russia, it could be devastation for the world."

Delores Hotz, a member of the organization that held the party and program, said they brought up Bob Coyne to honor him as being as Pearl Harbor survivor.

"Dick Williams and Eddie McLean came up to congratulate Bob Coyne on his services, and being a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. When they discovered each other and their history in the service, they had a lot of talking to do.

"They had not known each other prior to that evening," she said.

Dick Williams fought at the Battle of the Bulge.

"We had three of them on stage, one a Pearl Harbor survivor, another a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, and the third being a soldier who had participated in the Normandy Invasion in France," Hotz said.

Williams and Coyne live in Lehigh while Capt. Edward MacLean comes during Season.

"We owe a lot of gratitude to our American soldiers who fought for our country and those who are still fighting today," Hotz said.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web