Harlem vet II

By Margaret Downing


LOVES PARK – Roscoe resident Doug Scott was recognized at the Harlem High School Vet Project’s “2016 Gala” May 14. Scott was born and raised in Elgin, Ill. He has a pretty clear memory of his time in the Navy. He served as a dive-bomber pilot and was assigned to the USS Prince William (CVE-31), which was part of the Pacific Fleet’s “air arm.” Scott was accompanied to the Harlem 2016 Gala by wife Hap, daughter Diana, a granddaughter, great-granddaughter, son Greg and his wife. He recalls the 30 months he was stationed on “Island 3149” in the Philippines, saying, “There were so many islands they weren’t named and we had to give them a number!”

Scott’s experience with flying went back to his days a teenager when a good pal, whose uncle owned a plane and lived out in the country, let them fly. “We flew that plane many more times than the uncle knew,” Scott says.

Robert Paulson, 94, of Loves Park, is a native of Richland Center, Wis. who also attended the event. He recalls having “a cigar with General Patton somewhere in France.” Paulson was wounded twice, hit by fall-out from a “railroad gun” in France and from the effects of a “Nibfueer V-2 Rocket” hit in Germany on May 6, 1945, after which he ended up in Paris at war’s end. One memory he has is of driving American singer and actress Jane Froman in Paris. He also recalls driving German General Alfred Jodl to Reims in France where Jodl signed the instruments of unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945 as the representative of German Grand Admiral Karl Dˆnitz. Found guilty at Nuremburg, Jodl was hanged October 16, 1946. Paulson remembers Jodl saying he would have liked to have a beer and a brats with him.

Paulson had returned to the States by the summer of 1945 and was being lined up for the invasion of Japan when the Atom Bomb was dropped in August. He served with the 5th Infantry Division, 10th Regiment, Anti-Tank Company, Third Army. Paulson had six brothers who also served during the war.

The presentation May 14 by the Vet Project class is the fifth annual “Harlem Veteran Project Gala” held. Information provided by teacher Nick Stange explains, “Students have been making documentaries for the past year about local veterans and civilians who experienced World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam first-hand.”

Various students showcased their work from the past year and shared with attendees what they have learned from these veterans and civilians.

The class, which is an elective, is titled “American Veteran Documentary and Film,” and they spend the year working on a documentary “about one particular veteran or civilian.” Each documentary is 20 to 40 minutes in length and excerpts were shown at the Gala.

The presentation was broken up into three parts: “WW II: Total War, Total Unity” – “Korea: The Memories Remain” – and “Perspective: Vietnam.”

Some interesting statistics were given, such as the fact that 16.1 million service people served in the Second World War; 671,846 were wounded; and 416,800 gave their lives.

A reception was held afterward in the school’s commons.

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