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World War II veterans lead Mantecas Memorial Day parade in downtown
This photo shows most of the World War II veterans who served as grand marshals in Monday’s Memorial Day parade. - photo by Photo by Bob Whitaker
A special group of men led Monday’s Memorial Day parade – all having served in the military in World War II and now in their 80s and 90s.

This group of veterans from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps served valiantly in defending their country in the 1940s and brought a show of respect and applause from those Mantecans lining Yosemite Avenue in their role of grand marshals for the city’s first Memorial Day parade.

They came from Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp, Stockton and Ripon remembering deeply the part they played in keeping America free from the threats of oppression coming from Germany and Japan.  Thousands of their comrades were not as fortunate and did not return home to their families.

Those included in the grand marshal entry in the parade were all either driving cars or being driven down Yosemite Avenue from the museum at Sequoia Avenue to Manteca High School.

The group included John Behlmer, Sam Bologna, Bruce Bradley, Wayne Clare, Frank Clark, Robert Corbett, David Crockett, Paul Eavenson, Chuck Eitelgeorge, Darrell Erikson, Joh K. Ferrer, Morton Foster – pushed in a wheelchair by his wife – Jack Furrer, Bill Gilderman, Ray Gonsalez, Phillip “Pete” Hauck, Rev. Henry Holmes, Jesse Lemas, Harold Mathews, Frank Mendez, Leo Richetta, Anthony G. Robles, Harold Runderberg, Mervin Santo, Bob St. Hilaire, Edwin Suchman, Sr., James Thompson, Olaf Tokheim, Joe Valverde, Paul Valverde, Fred “Hino” Villanueva, TonyVillanueva, Les Webb, Joseph Wilherse and a vet named Chuck from Del Webb who left no last name.

There were also other World War II veterans in the parade who were not present for the photo.