LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – For Daniel Chevez, World War II was about 5,000 miles away from the battlefields in Europe.

He went to artillery training school and showed others how to fire big guns during the war while at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. He says his unit, the 664TH Field Artillery Battalion, was one of the best and explained the reason why.

“Training. Over and over again,” said Chevez.

Chevez, a Sergeant, says the group would routinely fire 100-pound rounds at targets five miles away or much farther.

“We could just saturate an area. Just level it,” said Chevez.

He says they also trained troops not to panic and run when they faced incoming fire.

“We made them dig deep fox holes, then we started shelling the area around there,” said Chevez.

Chevez says if they weren’t blowing things up in the field, they were studying in class.

Recently, a pancake breakfast was held in Henderson dedicated to Vietnam veterans to raise money for an upcoming Honor Flight. Thank you to our Honor Flight

“And even up till nine o’clock at night we were still in class. You’d fall asleep, they’d hit you in the helmet to make sure you’re alright,” said Chevez.

Chevez says his unit would train troops for about 90 days, and they would then head off to war.

“I’m really familiar with the troops in the Battle of the Bulge because my outfit was there. And they pulled me out at the last minute before they went overseas. So, I had so many friends in there. In the first six days, they lost 4,200 kids. And most of them weren’t even 19 years old when the Germans broke though,” said Chevez.

Chevez believes he is the remaining member of his 107-member A Battery. He is traveling to Washington D.C. this month with Honor Flight Southern Nevada to tour war memorials.

One other WWII veteran, along with Vietnam War and Korean War veterans, are going as well. Chevez sees the upcoming trip as an opportunity to honor all of his friends who died in the war.

“There’s so few of us left now and it’s sort of tribute to a lot of these guys that I knew that have gone. And so many were so young. I thought, here I’ve gotten 80 years, good years afterwards, and they never got to have that, you know. So, that’s mainly what I’m thinking of,” said Chevez.

FOX5 News is also going on the April Honor Flight trip and will continue its coverage with reports leading up to the flight.


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