Tulsa Veteran Finally Honored 65 Years Later

Tuesday, October 26th 2010, 12:38 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa man is receiving long overdue recognition for his military service.

World War II veteran Thomas Hollingshead, 85, received seven medals Tuesday, 65 years after his service.

Hollingshead was just a teen when he and his three brothers left their Noble County, Oklahoma home to go to war. He was one of the brave men who stormed Omaha beach on D-Day. He was later captured by the Germans.

Maybelle Hollingshead, Thomas' wife: "The Red Cross came in January and found him in a prison camp so they notified his mother that he was a prisoner of war,

Craig Day, News On 6: "That he was alive."

Maybelle Hollingshead, Thomas' wife: "He was alive."

After ten months, Hollingshead was freed by American forces. He went on to marry Maybelle, his wife of 48 years.  The couple has three children and two grandchildren.

"I have to say he's just the most wonderful man I've ever known in my life," his daughter, Marilyn Ward, said.

Hollingshead was awarded seven medals, including the bronze star, POW medal and the Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award at a ceremony Tuesday.

"I kept wanting to ask him for the awards and he didn't want me to do that," Maybelle said. "Right now, he didn't have much choice. We said we waited long enough."

"We are so proud of him. He's always been so honorable," Ward said. "All the time while we were growing up. The most honest man we've ever known."

Hollingshead never got his medals because his military records were destroyed in a fire. That caused the delay, and being humble, he didn't push the issue until his family inquired about them.