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|Above: Oris Gentry with his wife, Evelyn, and by himself.||
World War II veteran and rural Culver resident Oris Gentry, a member of the 34th Infantry Division, has written a number of poems and writings about his experiences in the war, life in Indiana, and life in general. Mr. Gentry also has done several oil paintings of local scenery.
His experiences as a Hoosier WWII vet are an important part of history, and several of his WWII poems are available on this site.
Mr. Gentry wrote this biographical sketch of himself for the library:
My name is Oris Gentry. My wife is Evelyn Gentry. I was born in South Bend, Indiana on 32nd Street. When the Depression came, we came back to the farm my grandfather had and lived there for a time until we moved many places. I started making poems at about 12 years old and continued until I was taken into the war. I volunteered to go and I served with the 34th Infantry in Italy through 5 battle campaigns, and with other units of English and others, fought to battles' end.
I came home on the U.S. Monticello onto a train and then stopped at Winimac, Indiana. My folks were waiting there for me -- what a nice get together. When I came home, I thanked my God; when I was in the war I had many problems with sickness but I came out each time.
At the time I went I could have stayed home because dad was a farmer and farmers could stay home. Dad asked me what I wanted to do. Many were in, so I told him, "I am no better than they are, and I will go," and so I did.
I married Evelyn and we still are together 56 years later. We have 2 sons who are very good to us and we get together sometimes. I had a job at McCord's in Plymouth, Indiana ad I held it for 24 yeas, and then moved to a factory called McGill's at Culver, Indiana, and Evelyn worked there, too, until it closed.
Oris Gentry was a member of the 34th Infantry Division, whose roots go back to the Civil War. His Division fought, during World War II, in Italy, and Mr. Gentry himself received a number of medals, including the bronze star. Below are images associated with his service in the war (At left: Oris Gentry in uniform in 1943, the year he graduated high school and entered the war).
Above: Oris Gentry's Lifetime Membership Card in the 34th Infantry Association of WWII.
Above: Mr. Gentry serving in the mountains of Italy during WWII.
Above: Needlepoint wall hanging of the 34th Infantry's motto, "To the Last Man," first adopted during the Civil War. The hanging was made by Mr. Gentry's youngest son, Preston.
Above: samples of a few of Mr. Gentry's wartime medals.
Above: Mr. Gentry's Bronze Star Medal award certificate.
Besides poetry, Mr. Gentry also paints using oil paints. Below are samples of his work.