Jewish War Veterans celebrate 125 years of service, good works

In honor of the recent Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.’s 125th Annual Convention and the National Ladies Auxiliary of the JWVA’s 92nd National Convention (via Zoom), and all the good works these groups do for all veterans, today’s column features and honors the “old-timers” with details taken from their centennial biographies.

Bob Alpert. Born July 19, 1932, Boston, Massachusetts. Enlisted U.S. Navy, 1952, Electronics Mate on USS Hornet, Two Far East cruises. Settled in Dallas. Commander of JWV Post 256.

Rudy Baum. Born April 11, 1915, Frankfurt, Germany. Arrived in U.S.A. 1936, drafted in 1941, graduated Military Intelligence School as foreign language propaganda officer. Awarded Bronze Star, getting German soldiers to surrender during battle, using loudspeaker on jeep. Helped gather up German civilians to view Buchenwald’s ghastly remains, as ordered by General Patton. After war ended, he served in U.S. Military Government as Captain, Information Control Officer, for Marburg, Germany.

Harvey J. Bloom. Born Minneapolis, Minnesota. Graduated University of Minnesota, D.D.S. degree. Captain, U.S. Navy, 1939-42. In a beach ditch, during Battle of New Britain, he removed abscessed tooth of a U.S. Marine machine-gunner so that he could do his job without further pain. Dr. Bloom practiced dentistry in Dallas and was extremely active in providing leadership in local, state and national charitable and professional groups. He was JWV Post 256 Commander, 1985-87.

Roy Elsner. Born Cicero, Illinois. Joined Marines at 17, tried parachuting out of plane once but “didn’t like it.” Trained as a cook, cooking utensils set aside to land and man a rifle on Iwo Jima. Lying on beach, ships’ horns blasting, he turned to see American flag raised on Mount Suribachi, 1 mile away. Wounded twice (upper arm and back of head), earning two Purple Hearts, Roy settled in Odessa, Texas, after five-months of hospital repairs. He first worked for, then managed, eventually owned his own station. Retired to Dallas to be closer to family.

Neil Goldman. Born St. Louis, Missouri. Enlisted in Army Air Force, aviation cadet July 1942. Trainer/Operator Instructor of Celestial Navigation. Dallas Post 256 and JWV National Commander. 

Roland Greenwald. Born Dec. 10, 1925. Army. Helped guard top 10 Nazi war criminals during Nuremberg trials. Assigned to Military Attaché in Mexico, then Germany and finally Vietnam. Retired in 1972 as Sergeant Major.

Shirley Fleshin Greenwald. Grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Captain, U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Captain, Beach Army Hospital, Fort Walters, Texas. Met Roland at Memorial Day services at cemetery.

Harry Kabler. Born Boston, July 8, 1921. Enlisted in Army Air Force/USAF; served in New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa as a bombardier. Lieutenant Colonel, USAFR, Ret. Past Commander of Dallas Post 256.

Hillel (Hy) Perlstein. Born Dallas, May 14, 1919. Inducted into Army February 1943, trading plumbing tools for machine gun until wounded in ETO (European Theater of Operations), March 14, 1945. Returned to States, January 1946. Hy joined Sol Wald as The Craftsmen of Dallas Post 256.

Stanley Shulkin. Born Sioux City, Iowa, Aug. 20, 1921. U.S. Army Air Corps Link Trainer Instructor, Colorado Springs. Instructed pilots of P-38s, B-17s, B-24s and B-29s, heading for South Pacific. Dallas Post 256 Commander, campaign chairman for successful election of Neil Goldman, National Commander.

Jordan Uttal. Born New York City, July 30, 1915. Air Corps Officers Candidate School, Dec.29, 1941, to Harvard Business School. Commissioned as Second Lieutenant (Statistical Control Officer), later assigned as Division Photo Officer with rank of Major. Met British future wife, Joyce, in England. Recipient of Bronze Star, Croix de Guerre, EAME with six Campaign Stars, American Defense, Good Conduct, and World War II Victory Medals. Co-founder of 2nd Air Division Association. Member, Dallas JWV Post 256.

These JWV members of the Dallas Chapter 256 are indeed heroes. There are numerous others. The few mentioned here represent all of us. At any monthly meeting there are local Jewish veterans, all of whom deserve our respect.

The JWV was formed in 1896 in response to bigoted charges that Jews had not served in the armed forces during the Civil War. There are chapters all over the United States. The Dallas Chapter has been cited for outstanding service.

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