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Hoosier History Live

Aug 21, 2022

Having lost a parent in what historians have described as the most cataclysmic event of the 20th century, they call themselves World War II orphans. Many were young children, under 12 years old, when their fathers were killed in action. Some were not even born yet when their fathers died.

For another Hoosier History Live show in our continuing exploration of the impact of World War II, we will focus on these children, now men and women in the 70s and 80s. Some are members of a national, non-profit organization, American WWII Orphans Network, known as AWON.

It's president, Indianapolis resident Walt Linne, a retired U.S. Air Force command pilot, will join Nelson to share insights about the impact of losing a parent during the war. Walt, who also is retired from a career in telecommunications at IUPUI, was just 2 years old when his father, Walter John Linne of Indianapolis, was killed six weeks before the end of the war in Europe.

Walt's father was 32 years old and a tank commander for the U.S. Army's 14th armored division when he was shot by a German sniper while loading wounded soldiers on his tank to take to a medical station. Having been wounded himself in an earlier battle, he was awarded two Purple Hearts, one posthumously.