On May 24, 1944, 1st Lt. Paul Voehringer of Ballston Spa was flying over Berlin at 29, 500 feet and counting down to bomb the financial district and war ministry. Suddenly, his lead aircraft was hit by German Flack and crashed from a combination of fire, wing failure and uncontrolled maneuvers. Nearly 66 years later, the U.S. government has awarded him a Purple Heart for his heroic efforts during World War II, and his family accepted this award and others at a ceremony at Ballston Town Hall on Monday, Nov. 30.
Paul Voehringer's nephew, Richard Voehringer, accepted the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Pin, Gold Star Lapel Pin and a flag that flew over the nation's capitol, while family members, friends and town officials looked on.
It's an honor, surely, because I know by the crowd here and the people here and all my relatives here, that it signifies that they remember the veterans. That's important because we would not be here if it wasn't for their sacrifices back in WWII, said Richard Voehringer, who served as a Navy Airman during the Korean War and on the Town of Ballston Planning Board for 17 years. "The real heroes in WWII were those that offered their lives and whose lives were taken to defend our country, our liberties and freedoms and our democratic way of life."
Congressman Scott Murphy presented the awards and was joined by Congresswoman Kathy Ireland, Ballston Town Supervisor Patti Southworth, Judith Aronstamm from Congressman Murphy's office and Gene Corsale who works on the deceased veterans ceremonies for Saratoga County.
"So many step up to serve our nation during difficult times. They are willing to put their lives on hold and many pay the ultimate price, their life. We should thank our veterans and those currently serving in our armed forces for their dedication and hard work protecting our nation," said Southworth.