Big Sky Honor Flight: Vet to Vet - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Big Sky Honor Flight: Vet to Vet

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

I first met Al Muggli at the airport before we left for Washington. At 99 years old, the Clyde Park man was the "elder statesman" of the fifth Big Sky Honor Flight. Since no one understands a veteran quite like another veteran, I asked him to conduct an interview with another vet while we toured the World War Two Memorial. The man he spoke to was Louie Edwards. Muggli quickly discovered that both men had been stationed at Camp Robinson in Arkansas, and later, in the Philippines. Within minutes, the two were trading stories.

Muggli asked Edwards what some of his experiences were when he was in Luzon. "Well, one was they had about a six-foot lizard there, and we had to crawl around without a light, and I met one nose to nose. It had horrible breath!"

"I was on a ship going overseas when President Truman dropped the atomic bomb, when he approved it, and I knew the war was over. I wound up in the Philippine Islands. And of course, there was still a lot of Japanese action in the mountains, and I wound up on the island of Cebu," Muggli recalled.

Muggli said American troops often had trouble distinguishing Japanese troops from Philippine Islanders. "The Philippino soldiers, they could tell the difference between the Japanese and their fellow soldiers. I remember a chow line that was going 24 hours a day, and they always had a long line. Some of the Japanese used to come down from the hills, the Japanese who did not recognize the surrender. But they got hungry, so they'd come down, and they got in the chow line. They looked like Philippines to me. We'd put the Philippines as guards on the chow line, and they recognized the Japanese immediately, and when they saw one, that Japanese took off and the Philippines went after them.

Edwards recalled that local women would sometimes steal mattress covers to make dresses. Muggli responded by telling about the women wearing large round hats with bananas on them. He added that when Philippines addressed an American soldier, "They called him Joe. Hi Joe! Hey Joe! Everybody's name in the Philippine Islands was Joe."

After being transferred from the Philippines, Edwards had a brief stop in Okinawa on his way to the main island of Japan. "I had to guard that cliff where they jumped off, committed suicide, for two days, four hour shifts. When the tide was out, there were rocks, big rocks, boulders, and they'd just jump 200 feet and kill themselves rather than give up.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Counting $heep

    Counting $heep

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:34 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:34:40 GMT
    The 26th Annual Running of the Sheep is in the history books.Reed Point residents said this was largest Sheep Drive in recent memory, which they hope means more funds for their community.Jocelyn Ott and Payton Severin live in Reed Point and attend Reed Point School. They said the Sheep Drive is vital to their schools existence.Funds raised from the Sheep Drive have allowed Reed Point School to have some of the best technology out there. From the most up to date computers, to iPads, the Sheep ...
    The 26th Annual Running of the Sheep is in the history books.Reed Point residents said this was largest Sheep Drive in recent memory, which they hope means more funds for their community.Jocelyn Ott and Payton Severin live in Reed Point and attend Reed Point School. They said the Sheep Drive is vital to their schools existence.Funds raised from the Sheep Drive have allowed Reed Point School to have some of the best technology out there. From the most up to date computers, to iPads, the Sheep ...
  • Big Timber Teen Makes a Difference

    Big Timber Teen Makes a Difference

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:13:24 GMT
    In April, KULR-8 introduced you to Ethan Peterson, a teenager with a goal of preventing teenagers in his community from the perils of distracted driving.Peterson put together a PSA, sharing the personal account of his father drinking and driving, which led to a fatal car accident.The PSA caught the attention of judges in the Toyota Teen Challenge Contest. Toyota Teen Challenge, challenged teenagers to show how they were combating distracted driving in their community. Ethan's PSA, along with ...
    In April, KULR-8 introduced you to Ethan Peterson, a teenager with a goal of preventing teenagers in his community from the perils of distracted driving.Peterson put together a PSA, sharing the personal account of his father drinking and driving, which led to a fatal car accident.The PSA caught the attention of judges in the Toyota Teen Challenge Contest. Toyota Teen Challenge, challenged teenagers to show how they were combating distracted driving in their community. Ethan's PSA, along with ...
  • Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market

    Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:14:30 GMT
    You still have five more opportunities to check out the Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market.On October 11th, HarvestFest will take the place of farmer's market, welcoming all things Fall to Downtown Billings. Be sure to mark your calendars because you don't want to miss HarvestFest.
    You still have five more opportunities to check out the Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market.On October 11th, HarvestFest will take the place of farmer's market, welcoming all things Fall to Downtown Billings. Be sure to mark your calendars because you don't want to miss HarvestFest.