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Voices of Veterans: MSgt. Dan Abrams shares his story of service during WWII

Odessa American - 5/31/2024

May 31—AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner and Veterans Land Board (VLB) Chairwoman Dr. Dawn Buckingham on Friday announced the next installment of the series highlighting the VLB's Voices of Veterans oral history program. In this episode, we hear the story of U.S.Marine Corps Veteran Dan Abrams.

Born and raised in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, Abrams enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1941 after moving to Kansas City to work odd jobs to make ends meet. Abrams said it was a chance encounter with a Marine who was on leave that led him to sign up and join the service.

"This Marine drove up there one evening and he had that red stripe down those blue pants and a khaki shirt and a seagoing, dipping white hat and the next thing I know that's what I wanted to be right then," Abrams said while recalling a night out with friends in Missouri.

Abrams shared many stories but one he remembers the most was an air battle that saw Lt. James E. Swett shoot down seven enemy planes in just 15 minutes over Guadalcanal as the enemy came in to take them out.

"The sky was just full, it looked like a bunch of flies, I don't know how many, there must've been 100 or more planes in the air right then," Abrams recalled of the battle as a whole. "It seemed like they got about 40 of them that day if I'm not mistaken but there must've been 120 or 130 altogether up there."

Abrams said there's nothing about his military service he'd ever want to forget.

"I enjoyed my service, I really did, and I wished I'd have stayed in," he admitted. "Every time I see a Marine, it's Semper Fi, you know? We always have to stop and shoot the breeze regardless of whether a Private or Gunnery Sergeant, Major, or what have you."

Click here to listen to Mr. Abrams tell his story.

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