Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am







    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-6:40:32P.M.






Font Size


Another group of WWII veterans to arrive today

FIVE groups of World War II veterans and their families have completed their tour of Tinian and Saipan over the week, but another batch is arriving, today, Monday, March 25, Pacific Development Inc. managing director Gordon Marciano said.

The group will be led by Best Defense Foundation executive director Donnie Edwards, a former American football linebacker from San Diego, California.

Click to enlarge
The Stephen Ambrose WWII veterans tour group visited the Quartermaster WWII tank site on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.  Photo courtesy of Pacific Development Inc.

Edwards played for 13 seasons in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers. He retired in 2009 as one of only eight players in the history of the NFL to record more than 20 interceptions and 20 sacks during his career. He has since devoted his time to philanthropic work with veterans and underprivileged children.

Marciano said the group will consist of seven World War II veterans who saw action in Iwo Jima Saipan and Tinian: Andre C. Chappaz (1885th Aviation Battalion), Gilbert D. Nadeau (Navy), Kenneth “Scooter” Barday (69th Infantry Regiment), Thiele F. Harvey (26th Marine Regiment), Joseph Germano (Marines), Dean Ladd (8th Marine Division), and Ronald “Rondo” G. Scharfe (USS Romulus).

“As most of our veterans from that era are passing on, the government of Japan sees the importance and continues to commemorate the anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima with families of Japan and U.S. veterans,” Mariano said.

The Tour of Iwo Jima is organized by Military Historical Tour in partnership with the government of Japan, he added.

The CNMI tour is made possible by the partnership between Best Defense Foundation and Military Historical Tours, Marciano said.