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Salute to Our Veterans: Earl Jager

Our Veterans

In honor of those who served our country in the armed forces, this San Marino Tribune article continues a series of individual salutes to our courageous veterans.

By Mitch Lehman

It’s not very difficult for San Marino resident Earl Jager to remember the day he enlisted in the United States Naval Academy.

“May 8, 1945,” he says without pause.

Jager was just 17 years old and living in St. Louis, Mo. when he reported (along with his mother) to the local enlistment office. Because Jager was under 18, he needed permission from his mother to enter the United States Armed Forces. Since his family had a history in the Navy, Jager elected to enlist rather than wait for the draft and a random assignment.

“When we arrived, the officer said ‘come on inside, the president is about to make an announcement,’” Jager recalls.

Seconds later, President Truman reported that the Germans had surrendered and the V-E celebration was on.

“I said ‘that’s one down,’” Jager chuckles. “I was sworn in on V-E Day. It was the darndest thing. The war in the Pacific was still going strong. At the movies, we would see the newsreels and we knew we were still fighting a real war out there. We saw film of the kamikaze pilots. It was fascinating.”


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