Two sets of McAlester twins who fought in World War 2

Thursday, November 11th 2004, 10:16 am
By: News On 6

It seems rare that one town would have surviving twins who served in World War II. It's probably exceptional to find two sets of twins, veterans of World War II, and who are still alive and telling stories.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells takes us to McAlester to talk to Claude and Clyde Stokes and Kenton and Kenneth Weaver about the war and about Veteran’s Day.

Claude and Clyde Stokes are at the Wal-Mart in McAlester on Veteran’s Day to talk about the war and their exploits on the Oklahoma Wildcat. That is what Claude named their tank. Claude Stokes: "Usually a wife or girlfriend or a movie star, we named ours the Oklahoma Wildcat."

They fought in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany and they were good. Clyde Stokes: "We knocked out 17 German tanks." They were both awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. Actually Claude was wounded twice.

Clyde Stokes: "I was more clever than he was." Veteran’s Day is a day when they remember the friends they lost and those who lived. Claude Stokes: "You have some of the greatest friends in the Army, you risk your life for them they risk their life for you."

Across town at the Blevins Retirement and Care Center, Kenton and Kenneth Weaver re-told stories of heroism and risking their lives. They fought throughout the Pacific with the US Army's 96th Infantry Division.

On Okinawa, Kenton earned a Bronze Star. Kenton Weaver: “Bravely going out and picking a man up that got wounded and bringing him back." Like many of these old soldiers the memory of what they accomplished is fading away.

To keep the stories alive and the legacy lasting, Claude Stokes wife of 60 years, Madlyn wrote a book about the twins and the Oklahoma Wildcat. Madlyn Stokes: "I didn't write the book to become a famous author or to become rich; I did it in memory of them." It took three years to put together and she's sold the books in 42 states.

Madlyn Stokes: "We use every opportunity we can to talk about our wonderful country, and why we should honor it and why we should protect it and honor those who have fought to save out land and save our liberty."

To the Weavers' and the Stokes’ happy Veterans' Day and thanks.

The Weaver twins are 84 year old. Claude and Clyde will celebrate their 81st birthday next week.