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PA veteran among five family members to serve during World War II

The American flag. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

At one point during World War II, Donna Miller’s grandmother had three sons serving in the military at the same time, part of a group of five family members who served over the course of the war.

“My aunt, Esther Schriever was in the Navy, and then there was my Uncle Frank Cain, my Uncle Tom and my Uncle Phil, along with my dad.”

And when Export raised its veteran banners throughout the borough, all five were hung together.

Miller, an Irwin resident, said she can remember her father, U.S. Army veteran William D. Cain of Export, talking mostly about the boat ride to Europe.

“He said it was terrible, and everyone was getting sick,” she said.

“His older brother Frank died in the war. He didn’t talk about it much.”

Cain spent a good deal of time at his camp in Big Bear Lake, W.Va., and was also an avid woodworker.

“I have a house full of the things he made,” Miller said.

“He carved end tables, made each of his grandsons a gaming table where they could play cards, and he made ‘grandson’ and ‘granddaughter’ clocks, the smaller version of the big grandfather clock.”

After a trucking career hauling steel during the 1960s and ’70s, Cain retired and turned his storage shed into a workshop.

He also spent time working as the manager of the former Mosside Lanes in Pitcairn and helping with maintenance at several local golf courses.

Cain died in 2014.

“Mostly, he just loved spending time with his grandkids,” Miller said.


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