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Salute to Veterans

Salute to Veterans

Date: February 10, 2018 | By Dee Dee Brinkman

The Hale Area Voice will be publishing a series of articles saluting our community veterans. Each one will highlight a local veteran. It is our way of saying thank you for their service to the community and the country. If you know if a veteran that you would like to spotlight, please contact Dee Dee at 728-6281.


Bob Cudney, originally from the Flint area, moved to Hale in 1983. Ninety-year-old Cudney joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 and sailed from Baltimore to Italy. For one year he helped load ammunition onto ships that were heading into the war areas.

Cudney remembers that when the loading started, the ship was over 20 feet out of the water and when done, he had to step down to finish the job. He recalls one time his ship and another ship were racing side by side and the other ship pulled ahead; the next day there was nothing left of the other ship but a debris field.

Cudney talked about when he was a cook being in a hostile situation with guns going off. He decided to look out and see what was going on. The commander saw him and told him to join the war and grab a 20mm anti-aircraft gun, which he did.

He said that from his experiences as a cook, he learned to always carry an onion with him, never knowing when you would have to have something to add to the pot. He left the Merchant Marines at the end of the war.

In April of 1950, he joined the Army and went to the Yellow River in Korea where he worked as a cook and also in intelligence. He came home in 1951 and then reenlisted and went back to Korea from 1952-53. At that time, he did a variety of duties, including guarding POWs in camp. He remembers a time when an old woman came into camp all bundled up in a long coat. He thought that looked suspicious because it was very hot and humid, so he called the MPs and the commanding officer. It turns out the woman was boobytrapped under the coat.

Thanks to Cudney’s son, Huck, for helping with this information.

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