Penn State alumni and World War II veterans discuss serving the United States

October 24, 2019

Four veterans of World War II sat down with members of the staff of Penn State Today to talk about their service and life at Penn State after the war.

World War II veterans discuss their military experience

Pictured, left to right, Alexander "Lew" Parry Jr., age 95, navigator; Leon Kneebone, age 99, paratrooper; and Garrett "Mitch" Mitchell, age 97, pilot; and Laura Mitchell, wife of Garrett Mitchell, age 96, registered nurse; talked about serving the United States of America during World War II. For stories on these veterans, read Penn State Today on "Military Mondays" throughout October and November.

Kaleb Cook, Penn State Office of Strategic Communications

Leon Kneebone, age 99, professor emeritus of botany and plant pathology, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological science from Penn State in 1942 and a doctorate in botany in 1950, served as a paratrooper; Garrett “Mitch” Mitchell, age 97, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1948, served as a pilot; Laura Mitchell, wife of Garrett Mitchell, served as a registered nurse; and Alexander “Lew” Parry Jr., age 95, a 1948 industrial engineering graduate, served as a navigator.

Over the next few weeks, three stories profiling these veterans will showcase their time in the military, their memories of World War II, and their subsequent experiences at Penn State. These articles will appear on Penn State Today on Mondays.

Penn State has a longstanding and proud tradition of serving the men and women of our military through education benefits, resources, support and more. This year's Military Appreciation Week from Nov. 8 to 16 will honor America's "Greatest Generation" with a weeklong series of campus events, including a football game, Veterans Day ceremony, speaker series and more. Visit to learn more. 


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Last Updated September 03, 2020