Joe Appelhons, 91, was a recent recipient of a quilt of Valor on behalf of the American Legion and VFW in Britt. 

Appelhons was one of two veterans presented with the quilt as part of Veteran's Day activities. The other veteran was Jim Trulson, of Britt. 

Applehons, a life-long resident of Britt, grew up on a farm and at the age of 17 went to serve in the Navy from 1945 to 1947. His rank was Seaman First Class.

“When I served it was at the end of the war,” Appelhons said. “I enjoyed it very much. I was on the hospital ship, the USSA Haven. It was converted into a ship for testing atomic bombs. I also went and did atomic bomb testing on Marshall-Bikini Island.

"I thought the island was so beautiful and calming despite the fact of the bomb testing and the water was so blue and clear, just like glass.”

In regards to the atomic bomb being tested, Applehons said, “It was like something was going to end for us. “We were about 20 miles away but it looked like it was going to come down on us.”

Appelhons said he also remembers going to Guam, but not staying there long because there were Japanese, who didn’t surrender, shooting down at them.

“I helped build the new school house in 1950 after I got back home from serving,” Appelhons said. “I also got married that same year to Donna Wolfe of Forest City. I worked at Marty’s Manufacturing for 33 years here in Britt. Britt is a nice place to live. I am proud to have served and be a veteran.”

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Jesusa Christians is the Community Editor of the Forest City/Britt Summit-Tribune.


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