Don Rader, 88, K/393, was inducted Aug. 18 into the Panhandle Veterans Hall of Honor, Pampas TX. He was one of five chosen from the 26-county Panhandle area.
Rader was a student at Oklahoma A&M College when he enlisted in the Army. He was in the ASTP, then served in K/393.
In the winter of 1944, K Company arrived in Europe where food was scarce and the snow was falling. Their first charge was to dig foxholes for protection against the weather and the Germans.
Once the Bulge was contained, the 99th joined the surge into the heart of Germany, heading toward the Rhine River. Three days after crossing the Rhine, Rader was wounded with mortar fire, receiving wounds to the right side of his neck, arm and leg. He was hospitalized in England and then transferred to Fort Bliss in El Paso TX, for further treatment. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
He was discharged in October 1945.
Returning to Oklahoma, Rader continued his education at Oklahoma A&M College. He married Mary Gerard and they have six children. The couple and their family moved to Canadian in 1960 and today have a successful ranching business.