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Seven, eight ... nine brothers in WWII

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BY DR. PAUL KENGOR

Back during Memorial Day 2014, I wrote a piece on five brothers who served in World War II.
I was blown-away impressed by the Bailey boys, from my neck of the woods in Western Pennsylvania, and still am. Imagine my surprise when a reader responded with a package of clippings informing me of his family, which had seven brothers in the war.
Yes, seven.
His name is Ted, and his parents were Stella and Walter Pietkiewicz, Polish immigrants in Pittsburgh.
I wrote up that story, thinking no family could out-do the Pietkiewicz crew. I soon learned I was wrong. 
That article led to a bunch of mail composed by computers and typewriters alike. One was sent by Stanley Freedman reporting the seven sons of Fanny Greco. They lived in Providence, Rhode Island.
All served in World War II.
Another came from Tina Link of Delphos, Ohio, who told me of her maternal grandmother, “Mrs. John Bohnlein,” as the attached September 1945 newspaper clip identified this selfless mother, who likewise lent seven sons to the cause.
Then followed an email from Shayne Ghere informing me of Roy and Lillie Ghere.
They parented 17 children in tiny Arcola, Ill. Seven of their boys served in World War II.


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