30 March 2013
Every family has someone that they are especially proud of and likes to talk about. Most families have a rich and luscious history that is easy to map and find. Some families, however it is not that simple. They don’t have the luxury of going onto known web sites or libraries to find their history. Much like my family, these families when having to make reports or essays over a relative have a select few to choose from. Grandparents are the easiest because they are known and some are still alive. The grandfather I chose to write about is Nole C. Strickbine or Spike Strickbine as he preferred to be called. I chose to write about him because of his tough early childhood, athleticism, and his role in World War One.
Spike Strickbine was born August 17, 1925 in Harrington, Kansas to a poor family that moved from Russia. By the age of six he helped his dad, Alexander, in the fields. Life was hard for him because the family didn’t have many resources and had several children to feed. To help support the family he had to get a job by the age of 10. Later finding work at a dairy plant just a few miles from home, he worked for nearly nothing for pay. Pay was a mere block of cheese and milk, which he would have to share with his family. Life was especially hard for the family due to the Great Depression, but little did they know that life was about to change due to the rising threat of war in Europe.
Spikes’ contributions in World War Two made him stand out above all my family members, except my dad’s contribution in Vietnam. Spike joined the service in 1944 as an officer in school but flunked out and became a tail gunner in a Flying Fortress. Once he completed training the United States Army Air Core stationed him at Rattlesden Air Field right outside of Suffolk England. There he would fulfill the duties of an aerial gunner for the 447th Bombardment Group.