Charles Stockell was born in Washington, DC. Following a family tradition of service, he joined the military when he was twenty years old, attending basic training at Ft. Bragg and Officer Candidate School in Oklahoma. He was assigned to a division that was very aggressive on the battlefield. ÒI liked the way that they acted. I got better targets that way. He also frequently served as an observer on a Piper Cub aircraft flying combat missions over German territory. Stockell recalls the confusion of the Omaha Beach landing during the Normandy Invasion. He and the men in his battery were forced to swim ashore after disembarking from the landing craft prematurely. The chaos continued on the shore. We hadn't left the beach before I found my first two American casualties. They were lying on the beach, and all four feet of these two men had been [blown] off. And they knew that they were bleeding to death, so in their death, their last thing on earth, they wrapped their arms companionly around each other and died that way. It was a very touching sort of thing. Stockell received four Purple Hearts for wounds he received while serving in the artillery, and rose to the rank of colonel. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and taught at the National War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2012, Stockell was inducted into France's National Order of the Legion of Honor.
Carl Roberts was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1929. His father and mother worked in a cotton mill. He was one of seven boys and had one sister. Roberts enlisted in the Navy when he was 17-years old and attended basic training in Maryland. He was assigned to the USS Leyte aircraft carrier as a Seaman First Class in the Pacific at the end of the Second World War. He later joined the Army and was stationed in Seoul during the Korean War where he worked in the motor pool, acquiring mechanical skills and learning to drive various vehicles. He received the Victory Medal for service in World War II, the Good Conduct Medal for service in the Korean War, and the Honorable Service button. After leaving the service, he was a sheet metal worker at Beverage Air in Spartanburg. In the 1960’s, Roberts moved to Charleston to work as an automatic transmission mechanic and to begin a family. He married and had three children.