Harold Nettles, who served in the Navy from 1942-46, received a certificate of recognition for his service and a challenge coin bearing the Navy’s insignia during a nice ceremony July 28 at the home of one of his daughters.
Making the presentation in front of about 25 family members and friends was retired Air Force Brig. Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the Indiana War Memorial.
A touching moment came when Nettles teared up while recalling his time in the military, particularly when witnessing his fellow comrades being gunned down.
Nettles served all over the Pacific Ocean on an LSM, a flat-bottomed ship that carried supplies and could be driven onto a beach and unloaded.
Goodwin commented on the importance of Nettles’s job in World War II. “Harold ensured that the front line had all the equipment it needed. He kept the war from coming here.”
When asked about his duties, Nettles jokingly replied that he took care of everything before admitting that he kept the ship’s log.
Because Nettles didn’t weigh enough to join the Navy, he had to eat a lot of bananas right before enlisting. He underwent basic training at Whiteland Fields in Florida.
Nettles, 89, who doesn’t enjoy the best of health, has been married to his wife, Genevieve, for 65 years. They have three daughters, Vicke Nelson, Kathy Christy and Becky Mansmann, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Through hospice and care from his wife, he is able to remain in his home, which is next door to Kathy and Bob Christy, who hosted the touching affair.