July 1, 2002
Local Army veterans receive Bronze Stars
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE ΡΚ U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee awarded the Bronze Star Medal to several local World War II Army veterans and their families at an award ceremony in Edmonds July 2.
Many deserving veterans never received the Bronze Star Medal, which was awarded to soldiers in the Army who bore hardships on the ground during WWII, because the criteria for the medal changed a few years after the war was over.
Area honorees included:
Robert Zappone, Kenmore
Robert Zappone volunteered for service in the Army and was a machine-gunner in the 407th Infantry Regimen of the 102nd Division. Zappone fought in France and Germany, and later became part of the Army of Occupation following the German defeat. Throughout his service, he played the trumpet in a number of bands that he helped to organize, and during his time in Germany he was made the entertainment director for his musical work and publication of a servicemen newspaper. Upon his return to the United States in April, 1946, Zappone attended Gonzaga University, married, and had five children. He currently resides in Kenmore.
Harold Enger, Bothell
On June 6th, 1944, Harold Enger left the United States for Africa, where he was assigned to the 355th Regiment of the 88th Division in Italy. During the allied campaign in Italy, Enger was involved in heavy fighting for over two months as allied forces pushed North to the Alps. In battle on Mt. Battaglia, he sustained a near-death injury from a German mortar, but after 14 weeks in the hospital, he was sent back to the front line to fight until the Germans' retreat. After spending 11 months in front line combat, Harold returned to the United States in August of 1945 and soon married his current wife, Phyllis Enger. Harold and Phyllis reside in Bothell, and they have two sons and three grandchildren.
Elmer Peal, Bothell
Jerry Peal of Bothell sought the medal on behalf of his father, Elmer Peal. Elmer Peal was drafted into the Army in 1944, and became part of the Luzon Campaign to take back the Philippines from the Japanese forces. He was wounded early in the year, returned to continue his service, and was killed in battle in 1945. Peal left a widow and three young children, including his son Jerry Peal.
Jerry Peal contacted U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee's office to try to obtain the Bronze Medal on behalf of his father but did not have all of his father's records, as they had likely burned in a house fire.
He sent in what information he did have, including photographs of his father and a moving letter about a trip that the Peal family took to visit his father's grave in Manila, Phillipines. Jerry Peal received the medal in his father's memory at the ceremony.