My father, Earl Wheeler Jr., was born on Sept. 23, 1923, in Laconia, N.H. He was a graduate of Spaulding High School, class of 1942. Earl enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Motor Machinist Mate 2nd Class and served with the 12th Fleet. He was attached to USS LST 314 which participated in the invasion of Normandy. Earl landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day and was awarded the Purple Heart when LST 314 was sunk by an enemy torpedo off the coast of Normandy on June 9, 1944.
Earl received the American Campaign Medal, the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Amphibious Force Insignia and the World War II Victory Medal.
My father was a quiet, gentle man who will be forever missed. He passed away on Jan. 21, 2013.