Manor To Honor Vets
US REP. Glenn Thompson Keynote Speaker
By Paul Heimel
More than a dozen military veterans residing at Sweden Valley Manor in Coudersport will be recognized during a special ceremony on Monday (Nov. 9) in observance of Veterans Day. U. S. Congressman Glenn Thompson will be the keynote speaker. Other federal, state and county leaders will also attend. The ceremony begins at 2:30 pm and is open to the public. All 17 of the honorees have served their country with distinction. Among the notable veterans residing at Sweden Valley Manor are John B. Lutz (left), 100, who is Pennsylvania’s oldest survivor of the Battle of the Bulge; and Clifford Carts, 85, who was injured in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Lutz, an electrician living in Berks County at the time, entered the military in November 1942, serving with Company D, 3rd Tank Battalion, as a light tank driver. Battle of the Bulge in winter 1944-45 was the largest land battle of World War II which saw U.S. participation. It was the final great German offensive of the war. The Germans’ intent was to ensnare the Allied-controlled city of Antwerp, Belgium, cutting off supply lines. After taking heavy casualties and enduring harsh conditions, reinforcements arrived and the Allied forces under General George Patton prevailed in what historians say was the turning point of World War II.
Clifford Carts was an engineering student at Penn State when he joined the 4th Marine Division, 20th Marine Engineering Regiment. Carts’ unit first saw combat in the Marshall Islands. Four months later, the 4th Division was part of the offensive to secure Saipan, the strongest Japanese position in the Marianas, after 25 grueling days. Seizure of Iwo Jima, a strategic objective because of its airfield used in kamikaze attacks, began Feb. 19, 1945 and lasted 26 days. Carts had suffered shrapnel wounds in earlier combat, and sustained a shoulder wound during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was put aboard a hospital ship, then recovered at Pearl Harbor, but returned to active duty before the end of the war. Carts would go on to work for the Pa. Dept. of Forests and Waters before becoming a private forestry consultant and community leader in Coudersport. Potter County Today