Mosinee World War II vet’s life honored

Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Family and friends gathered Saturday in Mosinee to celebrate the life of Bemajmin G. Kordus, who died in the last kamikaze killing of World War II 75 years ago. His story is one of honor and sacrifice.

Benjamin G. Kordus was in Germany for most of his deployment, and had served enough missions for him to be discharged and come back to the States. But a single man, he wanted to protect those who had families. When the war in Germany ended, he went to Japan to train other pilots.

“I can’t imagine if I was put in that situation if I could’ve done that. I hope I would’ve done the same thing,” Jim Knoedler said. Knoedler is a relative of Captain Kordus

“The fact that he’s buried here in Mosinee next to his parents says a lot to his commitment to community but commitment to the values that he grew up with,” Kevin Hermening said, who was a speaker at the event

He was in a B-29 bomber in what likely would’ve been his final mission. The plane was struck by a kamikaze pilot. He and the other pilots in that plane died. This happened 15 days before the war was supposed to end

“We heard lots of wonderful things about him. Just a people person and would’ve had a great future. It’s emotional,” Jim Knoedler said.

Kevin Hermening was one of 52 Americans held in captivity in Iran. He understood the sacrifice.

“The fact that Captain Kordus after fulfilling his commitment to the army air corps decided to then volunteer to take his place in the pacific after 25 missions in Europe says a lot about the character of this man,” Hermening said.

And many others since have followed his commitment by joining the military, something relative Joe Knoedler spoke about.

“My mom and dad, my grandma and grandpa instilled in us respect and duty,” Joe Knoedler said.

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