It was a great day for Bill
Rowling as he was honored at the Cincinnati Reds game Thursday, July 10.
He received a standing
ovation from 32,000 fans in attendance as he stood atop the Reds
dugout and his story was told to the crowd by the announcer
and on the big screen TV. He was hailed as a World War II Veteran,
Prisoner of War and Purple Heart Recipient.
He had his own cheering section as he was accompanied by PG and Paula Gentrup and their grandson, Grady Walter; son-in-law
Tom “Stoney” Stonefield, Joe Alig and Ron & Connie Spurlock.
Bill said it was a day he will never forget as he has been a Reds fan since he was a youngster.
Bill was telling the story about when he and his son-in-law, Stoney, drove to New York so they could attend the last game
at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008 and how much he has enjoyed baseball for so many years. He faithfully listens to
and watches the Reds.
Bill served in the 8th Army Air Force with the 388th Bombardment Group, stationed in England, and was the ball turret gunner
on a B-17 called the Iza Angel. On Feb. 20, 1944, on their 16th bombing mission, they were shot down.
He had just turned 20 years old and two of his fellow B-17 members were killed that day.
Bill’s plane was shot down by German fighter planes and he was soon captured and spent the next 17 months in a Prisoner of
War camp in Germany. He was finally liberated by General Patton’s troops when the war ended in Europe on May 8, 1945.
Today, Bill lives in Rising Sun and is retired from General Electric’s Evendale Plant.
He will be going to Washington, D.C., this September where he will be one of the four wreath presenters at the Tomb of the
Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on the next trip for Veterans from Southeastern Indiana.
PG Gentrup and Ron Spurlock worked with the Cincinnati Reds to make this day possible for Bill Rowling, a True American Hero.
Meanwhile, Lawrenceburg native and Ohio County Veterans Service Officer PG Gentrup will be honored as a hometown hero during
the Reds’ game Tuesday, July 29.
Gentrup is a tireless veterans’ advocate and family man. Besides being the Ohio County Veterans Service officer, he also is
active in several veterans groups and organizes bus trips to Washington for his fellow vets.
To cheer on Gentrup, tickets can be purchased at www.reds.com/lawrenceburg, passcode is PGGENT.
You can also find the flyer on Register Publications’ Facebook page.