John Dvorak served in the Army Air Corps from 1943-1945. Along with nine other servicemen, Dvorak flew in a B-29 airplane as a blister right gunner. He flew in 22 missions over Japan, each averaging 30 hours. John received a Distinguished Flying Cross and three other flying medals.
After serving in WWII, Dvorak went on to continue his education, and later worked as an engineer and a middle school teacher. His favorite subject to teach was science. John's favorite hobbies were sailing on the Bay in his Electra 22, and building and flying sail planes.
Along with his wife, Patricia, John lives in San Jose. Their blended families consist of four children and eight grandchildren. He is now enjoying life by taking it easy and attending family activities.
Just 17 years old in 1944, Joe Pacheco lied about his age to be able to serve in WWII. Growing up in King City on a farm, he felt that his siblings could help run the farm while he defended freedom.
As a PFC in the 6th Army, 7th Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, he was stationed in the Philippines. In August of 1945, they were sent to Korea for skirmishes with the Chinese.
Pacheco later served in the Korean War. Although he had rheumatic fever and he and several others had contracted malaria, Joe served willingly. However, he was hit with a grenade, and after being treated in three different hospitals, Pacheco was discharged as disabled and received a Purple Heart.
Joe married his high school sweetheart. He owned a dairy farm, but grew tired of that and sold it. He also opened a five-and-dime, but sold that as well. In 1955, Pacheco decided to go into insurance sales. Soon he was manager and covered 13 Western states. Because he flew often, the couple decided to live in San Jose, to be near a larger airport. They raised one girl and two boys. Sadly, Joe’s oldest child passed away three years ago, and his wife passed away last year after a long bout with Alzheimer's.
This spring, Pacheco was given a $30,000 scooter with a sign on the back that says, “Purple Heart: Wounded in Action.” He is an active member of the American Legion Post 318 and has participated in the Rose, White and Blue Parade for the past three years with Betsy Ross.
At 90 years old, Joe has a great outlook on life and an active sense of humor. Well-beloved in our community, Joe Pacheco has a heart of gold to go with his Purple Heart.
Marshal Rosenthal is a San Jose native who has lived for over 89 years in the Garden Alameda home where his family moved when he was only two years old. Shortly after his graduation from Abraham Lincoln High School at the age of 18, Marshal voluntarily enlisted with the U. S. Marine Corps and was assigned to Camp Pendleton in San Diego for training.
Marshal was a Private First Class with the 6th Division of the Pioneer Battalion in the U.S. Marine Corps. Before being transferred to Tsing Tao, China, he was involved in both the Okinawa and Guam conflicts. For its actions against enemy Japanese forces during the assault and capture of Okinawa between April 1 to June 21, 1945, the 6th Marine Division and its reinforcing units earned a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in action.
During his military career, Marshal continued his love of sports as a member of U.S. Marines Corps basketball and boxing teams. He was honorably discharged from service on August 21, 1946.
Marshal returned to San Jose and commenced a 40-year career with the City of San Jose’s Parks Department. He worked on the creation of several of iconic recreational areas in San Jose, including Happy Hollow Park and the San Jose Municipal Stadium, now home to the San Jose Giants.
Marshal has been retired for over 30 years and remains active in the community, participating with both San Jose State University’s Spartan Foundation and Heritage Society.