Remembering Winnetka’s WWII Veterans

Appeared in the Gazette: Spring 2011

The Winnetka Historical Society’s past exhibit, “Serving on All Fronts: Winnetka and World War II,” is noteworthy for its unique artifacts, fascinating stories and interesting displays. The exhibit showcased the uniforms and stories of five Winnetka veterans, and includes artifacts that illustrate the war in Europe and the Pacific, as well as what life was like for those on the Home Front.

The exhibit also included a slide show, created by Charles Shabica, highlighting the experiences of three other local veterans.
*Everett P. (Tuck) Weaver* served on the oldest submarine to see combat during the war. Built in 1918, the S-30 miraculously survived a depth charge attack on one of Tuck’s first cruises. Tuck later went on to serve as Deck Officer aboard the USS Barb under Commander Eugene B. Fluckey. The Barb was the US Navy’s most successful submarine, with more than 29 Japanese ships sunk and one railroad train destroyed. “The Navy has no finer officer than our Tuck Weaver,” wrote Admiral Fluckey in 1996.

While Tuck was “down below,” Lieutenant *Samuel Kruty* (1921-2007) was flying a B-17 “Flying Fortress” as bombardier with the newly developed and highly secret Norden bombsight. Sam was assigned to the 390th Bomb Group under Colonel Joseph A. Moller, a WWI veteran and Winnetka resident.

On his 35th mission, Sam’s B-17 was shot down near Charleroi, Belgium.
He escaped and amazingly was able to keep the bombsight out of enemy hands.

The bombsight and Sam’s flak-damaged oxygen mask are now on display in the exhibit.

*Bert Sullivan* was a 17-year old Eagle Scout when he enlisted in the US Navy. After basic training, Bert, an experienced sailor and Sea Scout at Wilmette Harbor, was assigned to the USS Trousdale to skipper an LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized). When the Trousdale crossed the equator, Petty Officer Bert Sullivan, a “Pollywog,” was initiated into the august society of “Shellbacks.” His certificate can be seen in the slide show in the exhibit. Despite a kamikaze attack while unloading off Okinawa, Bert survived the war and returned home to work as a counselor at Boy Scout Camp Makajawan.

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