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Celebrating America’s Heroes: The End of WWII

November 6, 2022
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of the 16 million men and women who served in World War II, just over 167-thousand are still alive in 2022. Sadly, more of those brave Americans pass away every day. In honor of Veterans Day, we chatted with the son of Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Henry Untermeyer about his dad’s role in the war and his brush with history. As a member of Armed Forces Radio, Henry was in attendance on the decks of the USS Missouri when the official WWII Surrender Ceremony took place on September 2, 1945.

Getting to Know Lieutenant Colonel Henry Untermeyer

Like most kids, Andrew looked up to his dad. Henry was a member of the Army Reserve and one of the many voices bringing the war to radios around the world aloft the frequencies of U.S. Armed Forces Radio.

In a case of being in the right place at the right time, and being very good at his job, Untermeyer found himself aboard the USS Missouri during the Surrender Ceremony. You can find Henry in one of the most famous photos from that day. He’s the third one over from the left in the back row (the top of his head is cut off in the photo). His job was to record and broadcast the infamous event, including a speech from General Douglas MacArthur. While that ceremony lasted a mere 23 minutes, it would forever etch a path for this young man.

Following the war, Untermeyer would make his living in radio, starting at WCBS in New York City, and later moving to KCBS in San Francisco where he met his future wife and Andrew’s mom.

“They sacrificed so much for us,” Andrew said when asked about his dad’s connection to WWII and Veterans Day. “I cannot imagine how it would feel to know your son or daughter didn’t make it home. That’s the ultimate sacrifice. When I think of veterans, I think of their loss and of the parents of those brave souls.”

Thanking Today’s Vets

Currently, America is home to nearly 22 million military veterans. Coastal would like to thank them all. If you’re a U.S. military veteran, thank you for your bravery, protection, and sacrifice. You are the best parts of us all and exemplify the American spirit in everything you do. Be sure to ask about the Coastal military discount with 10% off regular priced items. Some restrictions apply. See store for more details.