Happy Veterans Day. The photos above are of Howard Reynolds PhD (my uncle) on the right and Howard Eskildsen M.D. (me) on the left. My uncle liked to refer to us as “the two doctor Howards.” I served in the army from 1979 to 1982 in Fort Sill, Ok. My only deployment was to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, in 1980 to take care of Cuban immigrants. I had it easy.
My uncle, on the other hand was with the 2nd Engineer Special Bridage (2ESB) in 1944 and stormed the shores under fire at Lae New Guinea. To the best of my knowledge, less than half of his unit survived the tour of duty. He had a short-barrel Japanese rifle that he had “appropriated” from an enemy soldier that “no longer needed it” and told of ducking strafed bullets by hiding behind a big tree. Once he was blown out of a foxhole by a bomb that landed nearby.
He survived the war to become a professor of Botany at Fort Hays State College, Hays Kansas. He also served as curator of the Sternberg Museum, famous for its fossil “fish within a fish.” He lived to the age of 99 years and 11 months, and was known for his optimism and his love of knowledge.
To learn more of the 2ESB in New Guinea, see: https://2esb.org/04_History/Book/Chapter_08.htm. (If you go to this site, scroll down to the photos of soldiers rushing ashore from landing craft. Uncle Howard went ashore in boats like those.)
For Uncle Howard’s Obituary, see: https://tigermedianet.com/?p=26113