It was a pleasure to invite Rev. Paul Marshall to speak to the Rockland Rotary members recounting his WWII memories.  It is hard to believe that Rev. Marshall is 90 years old.  He says he is going on to 100 with God’s help.  His introduction to the book he authored titled, Maine Boy Goes to War, was to tell others that they also have a story that is important for people to hear.  

 

 

Rev. Marshall gives a brief history of his life.  His dad came to Patten, Maine, in 1902, married a farmer’s daughter and had 9 children.  They lived in a tarpaper shack with no running water or indoor plumbing.  In 1932, Rev. Marshall’s dad built the family a 14 X 24 foot house in Mattawamkeagm, Maine, with an outhouse and the family took a bath every Saturday. This was luxurious living.  It didn’t take material things to be happy.

 

In 1928 Rev. Marshall was marching in the Legion’s parade where he noticed WWI veterans.  That war had ended only 10 years before.  Veterans from the Spanish/American War also paraded.  The sight of those veterans made an impression upon him. 

 

At the age of 18, Rev. Marshall joined the Army in 1942.  He tried to join the Navy and the Air Force but his eyesight was not good but the Army took him.  He was told. “You don’t need to see the Army.  You need to carry a 60 pound pack, rifle, ammo and march 20 miles.”  Rev. Marshall was in the 104th Infantry Division called the Timberwolves.  This Division landed on Normandy one month after the initial landing.  His Division went into northern France, into Holland and continued into Germany, 40 miles from Berlin.  They were the first Division to meet the Russians at the Alba River but did not get credit for this event.

 

Before another combat action, Rev. Marshall had an opportunity to volunteer as a combat medic—to save lives instead of taking lives.   He was trained to stop the bleeding, to splint broken limbs even with a

-2-

 

bayonet, if needed.  The litter bearers would pick the men up and take them to a M.A.S.H. hospital.  Rev. Marshall stated, “We went to war as boys and came back as men.”  Rev. Marshall is the proud recipient of two Bronze Stars.

 

On of his brothers joined the Air Force.   Another brother was a radio man who flew over the Himalayan Mountains into China.  The plane was hit twice.  A sister became a corps man on a hospital ship.

 

After the war, Rev. Marshall went back to the Maine woods.  He worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 2 years.  Went into education and became a Math and Science teacher.  Eight years later he applied to a mission board to become a missionary and was responsible for building a high school called Mizpah in Micronesia where he became the principal of the school.  After five years in Micronesia, Rev. Marshall and his family headed back to Maine where they settled in Norway, Maine, on a 40 acre farm. 

 

For the last 40 years, Rev. Paul is a Christian Minister serving as a Methodist Minister in many churches in Maine.

 

Rockland Rotary will invited Rev. Marshall to return and finish is presentation on his adventurous life.  Thank you, Rev. Marshall, for an excellent talk.  Please look for his book at local bookstores.  It’s worth every penny spent.

 

Rockland Rotary meets every Wednesday at the Elks Lodge in Rockland for the Winter schedule.  Meeting time is 12:15pm to 1:15pm.  Please come for a visit and hear exceptional speakers like Rev. Marshall.  Contact Doris Vertz at dvertz@midcoast.com or by phone:  207-785-2316.