Victor Mortensen of Marengo, was one of the Korean War Veterans honored recently by Honor Flight Chicago. Victor was inducted into the Army as a Private First Class on October 1, 1951. After 21 months and 15 days of active duty, he was separated from active duty on July 15, 1953 as a Staff Sergeant.

Mortensen spent all but 8 of those months on a gun crew in Korea. As an operator of the largest weapon in use, he was in close proximity to the weapon. He explains: “As the number one man, the only protection for the ears was to put the muscle of your right arm over your right ear and reach over the top of your head and put your middle finger in your left ear. The noise and the back blast and concussion were terrific. . . .We were always warned to keep our mouths open to help prevent concussion. I did my best, but I still suffered hearing loss in both of my ears that plagues me to this day.”

Mortensen’s service and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed. On September 13, 2017 Honor Flight Chicago, the local branch of Honor Flight, hosted a daylong all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for World War II and Korean War Veterans. From their arrival at O’Hare Airport at 4:00 a.m. until their return at 8:30 p.m. the day was packed with experiences these heroes will never forget. Both groups were honored with a special ceremony at the World War II Veterans Memorial and also spent time at the Korean War Veterans Memorial. They were thanked, feted and fed. They told stories, reminisced, spent time reflecting on those long ago wartimes and the years since.

It was a day Victor Mortensen will never forget, as his service will never be forgotten. We join Honor Flight Chicago in thanking him for his service to our country.

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