Veterans Day was Sunday, but this compelling story about
four brothers from Sycamore is worthy of attention any day of
the year. Thanks to Glen Underwood, a Vietnam veteran, for sharing
this story about his father and uncles.
Glens father, Bob, served in the Marines during World
War II and was part of the invasion force that stormed the beaches
at Guadalcanal and Tawara. He was wounded twice but returned
to active duty after recovering.
Two of his brothers were killed during the war. Army Cpl.
Glen Underwood served in the infantry and was killed in action
and buried in Italy.
Another brother, Jay, was training pilots to fly B-17s
and died when his plane crashed into a mountain in Washington
state while on night maneuvers.
The fourth brother, Miles, was a sergeant in the infantry
and was highly decorated. He fought in the South Pacific, including
Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Luzon in the Philippines. His
bravery under fire earned him the Bronze Star and the Purple
Heart, plus other medals now framed and hanging on the wall of
his son Mikes home in Genoa.
Three of the brothers, Jay, Bob and Miles, are buried in
Sycamore. They all were born in Rochelle, but their parents,
Don and Vinna Underwood, later moved to Sycamore, where the two
surviving brothers spent most of their lives. I cannot imagine
the grief their parents must have suffered when losing two sons
in the war. This family gave so much for our country and deserves
our heartfelt gratitude.
I want to mention two other veteran stories that were shared
during a meeting of the Oak Crest Area Rotary Club this past
week. Larry Sallberg told about his father, Benjamin, who fought
in World War I in the trenches during battles in France. He received
shrapnel wounds but continued to fight. His 25th birthday was
two days before the Armistice was declared.
Larry said his father brought home his uniform and a gas
mask that was so flimsy it wouldnt have been
The four Underwood brothers who served in World War
II are from left: Miles, Jay, Glen, and Bob. (Newspaper photo
provided by family)Medals and awards in this frame presented to Miles
Underwood now hangs in the home of his son Mike in Genoa.Sgt. Herbert Harms