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Raymond T. Lahar

This Memorial Day weekend I’m thinking about my grandfather, Raymond T. Lahar (middle), and rereading his memoirs. He fought in World War II, in the European and North African theaters, Company K, 142nd Infantry, 36th Division, 1942-1945.

In late 1944, his company crossed the Vosges Mountains in eastern France on a mission to establish contact and supply lines with the Second Battallion. After hours of marching, they came to a field, started across, and immediately took direct machine gun fire. Ray was hit in the leg. He could barely walk, but still managed to help drag the rest of his company to cover and safety where medics could tend to them.

That was Ray’s last patrol. As one of his men, Sergeant Roy Christensen, put it: “You’ve got a beauty here. You’re going back to the States for sure. It’s a white foxhole for you.” Surgeons had to remove three inches from his left leg. He walked with a platform shoe and a cane for the rest of his life.

Ray was later awarded three Purple Hearts, the French Croix de Guerre, the Distinguished Service Cross, and 12 other medals. He was honorably discharged on June 15, 1948 with the rank of Major.

Thank you for everything, Grandpa.

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45 thoughts on “Raymond T. Lahar

  1. Such a joyful photo, Ryan…and a great tribute to a strong silent example of that greatest generation. I realized recently how precious few pictures we have of Dad before he became disabled at such a young age. I can’t remember a single time that your grandfather complained to us about his pain or difficulties in his life, either.

  2. Ray gets more of the attention and credit in my family, but my other grandfather, George Barrett, also served in WWII, in the Pacific Theater. He was a signals operator stationed outside Tokyo Bay. We still have an original, yellowing Navy telex printout of the Japanese surrender, complete with handwritten notes from George’s commander. I can’t wait to find it in my parents’ closet, scan it, and post it here!

  3. Found it! Amazing piece of history.


    Washington acknowledges that the Jap reply is now definitely in the hands of the Swiss, and that it should reach U.S. by a few hours. From Press Secretary Ross…KGE I
    President Truman has just confirmed the Japanese Acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation.
    General McArthur was appointed Supreme Allied Commander and would accept the Japanese Surrender.
    The end, “Thank the Lord above”, says I!

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