World War II Veteran visits USS Yorktown, reunites with sister after 20 years

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – It was a Veterans Day to remember for one World War II veteran.

Vern Cummings traveled from Largo, FL to the Lowcountry to visit the USS Yorktown.

The 95-year-old vet joined the U.S. Navy when he was just 18 years old. He even remembers the exact day he left for war, June 8, 1944.

“I went in straight out of high school. In fact, the same day I was went to get my diploma, I left the post office at 5:30 that morning for Great Lakes bootcamp,” Cummings said.

Cummings said he served for about two years. During that time he said he ended up on the USS Indiana, the namesake of his home state.

“I don’t know if that was coincidence or whether they wanted some guys from Indiana on the Indiana,” Cummings said.

While on the battleship, he said he worked in one of the engine rooms. He said he was assigned to some battle stations and even witnessed a few kamikazes.

The veteran said being on the USS Yorktown on Thursday brought back a lot of memories for him.

But the ship wasn’t the only reason Cummings traveled to the Lowcountry. He also reunited with his sister after 20 years apart!

Cummings’ sister, Joy Finkhouse, lives in Summerville. She said seeing her brother for the first time in two decades was wonderful because they are the only two siblings left out of six.

Veterans Day means a lot to Finkhouse. She explained her father served in World War I, four of her five brothers served in World War II, and her late husband served in Korea.

“I am proud, proud of them. I can’t imagine. Everybody should be so proud of these people that serve,” Finkhouse shared.

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