• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 16s

WWII veteran fires cannon for first time since 1945

By Shannon Ballard 9:41 PM December 18, 2013

Veterans participate in military operations they hadn't done in years

ANCHORAGE – WWII veterans participated in military operations they hadn’t done in years on Wednesday.

The howitzer cannons fired at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson looked entirely different than the ones Norman Elliot remembers.

“I didn’t even recognize it from the 105s that I knew,” Elliot said.

But hearing rounds fired and commands given by men much younger than him took Elliot back to World War II and his time spent in Europe. He was an artillery soldier in a unit similar to ones at JBER.

“Except we had four howitzers, they have six,” he explained.

Elliot was in command.

“My unit was far inside Germany when WWII ended,” Elliot said. “We sat for two weeks waiting for the Russians to take Berlin. We could have walked into Berlin. I think they would have welcomed us because they were terrified of the Russians.”

After the war Elliot was stationed in Alaska, where he stayed. For half a century he’s been ministering for the Episcopal Church around the state.

In a few weeks he’ll be 95 years old. Elliot estimates the last time he fired a howitzer was in 1945, but that changed Wednesday. He fired the last round of the day from the Malamute Drop Zone.

Elliot said he relates to the men who fire howitzers and admires them for their volunteered service.

“These fellas are here because they want to be and that’s something,” he said.

Elliot retired in 1990, but is still active in the community. He was recently appointed to Anchorage’s Military and Veterans Commission.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Memorial Day a weekend-long affair for Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club

    by Heather Hintze on May 29, 19:41

    For members of the Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club, Memorial Day isn’t just a Monday off from work; it’s a weekend-long celebration to remember the fallen. On Sunday, hundreds of bikers from around the state met at Mary’s McKinley View Lodge then road the Parks Highway to the Alaska Veterans Memorial. They’ve been doing the Byers […]

  • Sports

    Sports writer loses job over tweet on Japanese Indy winner

    by Associated Press on May 29, 16:52

    DENVER (AP) – A veteran sports writer is no longer working with The Denver Post after he posted on Twitter that he was “uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.” Terry Frei sent the tweet after Takuma Sato on Sunday became the first Japanese driver to win the race. […]

  • News

    First cruise ship of the summer docks at Port of Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 29, 16:42

    The first cruise ship to dock at the Port of Anchorage this summer pulled into town early Monday morning. Nearly 1,400 passengers disembarked from Holland America’s ‘Amsterdam’ to check out the sights before an 11 p.m. call to be back on the ship. Julie Saupe, president of Visit Anchorage, said the cruise industry in the […]

  • News

    Volunteers place markers in Anchorage cemetery to honor fallen soldiers

    by Dave Leval on May 29, 15:43

    Wenda Sudduth and others from American Legion Post 1 found the going not so easy at Anchorage’s Memorial Park Cemetery. They went on a quest Sunday to pay tribute some of our nation’s most honored dead. They placed religious markers at the grave sites of those who served in the nation’s military. “I come from a […]

  • News

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Denali name should remain

    by Associated Press on May 29, 10:58

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the name for America’s tallest mountain should remain Denali. The News-Miner reports that he spoke at the Fairbanks International Airport late Saturday on his way to a Memorial Day ceremony in Denali State Park. The peak was once called Mount McKinley, named after President William McKinley. […]

  • Police: Tiger Woods arrested in Florida for DUI

    by Associated Press on May 29, 10:52

    JUPITER, Fla. (AP) – Tiger Woods says an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine led to his arrest on a DUI charge in Florida. Woods spent nearly four hours in the Palm Beach County Jail after being arrested early Monday on suspicion of DUI. The 14-time major champion says in a statement that alcohol wasn’t involved. […]

  • News

    Interior Secretary Zinke focuses on energy, parks during Alaska visit

    by Heather Hintze on May 29, 10:29

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in Alaska for his first visit to the state since his confirmation to the position in March. His first public appearance included a ride to the Alaska Veteran’s Memorial on the George Parks Highway with the Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club for their 29th annual Memorial Run. “I think it’s important on […]

  • News

    North Korea launches short-range ballistic missile, U.S. military says

    by CBS News on May 28, 19:06

    North Korea on Sunday launched a short-range ballistic missile, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The missile was tracked for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the launch. This is the ninth missile test North Korea has […]