An East Texas World War II veteran has been honored with a 60s Jubilee Medal. Howard Boney, 79, took part in a little-known merchant marine operation that saved the allied effort against Nazi Germany in World War II.
Boney remembers only too well the frightening sound of a German Stuka fighter coming at him. "They'd just scream when they come down," he said.
He concealed his age and joined the merchant marines at 15 as a gunner, and crewed on the hazardous Murmansk run. The supply route delivered staggering amounts of war material to Russia.
"It was something that had to be done, if Russia had lost the war we don't know what would be in the world today," said Boney.
But German U-boats and bombers sunk hundreds of merchant ships and thousand of merchantmen perished in the icy waters of the Barents sea. "Well, it wasn't so much the U-boats as the planes coming from Norway," he said.
He was recently awarded the 60's jubilee medal from the Russian consulate for his contribution to the war effort. "I was elated that this late in my life I'd get something like that, unbelievable," Boney said.
Boney was in the merchant marine from 1943 to 1945, and then after the war, he joined the army. He was honorably discharged from both branches.