POWHATAN POINT, Ohio (WTRF) – At 19-years-old Joseph E. Binni was drafted into the U.S. Army, which quickly took him from his home in Powhatan Point to basic training in Texas, and eventually overseas.

That was the first time that I away for periods of time, but I wasn’t too concerned about anything and I never had any fear while I was in the Army.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Joseph E. Binni’s service took him from Powhatan Point to 18-months of fighting across Europe. 

His three years in the Army weren’t easy, starting with his first crossing of the Atlantic. 

Four days out the engines quit. They didn’t know what to do I don’t think, but they had destroyers running around it all the time we were idling because submarines were in the Atlantic and they were doing a lot of damage.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Binni was trained in communications as a tech sergeant, making sure his battery and battalion coordinated with others no matter where they traveled. 

Everything we went into a new position you had to be reconnected, so you had to set up wire and radio communication and be able to keep it in operating situation.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Binni keeps a list of the more than 50 places the war took him and his battalion, and the times he saw combat, including the Battle of the Bulge and nearly being part of the invasion of Normandy, if it weren’t for the size of the machinery. 

Joseph E. Binni’s list of places his battery traveled and fought during World War II.

We couldn’t get involved in the battling because when they hit the beach, they’re down on the lower level and the upper levels is where the Germans were. We couldn’t get these things up there on level land because one weighed 18 tons. The other one weighed 14 tons. They were towed by M-4 tractors. Big things.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Binni said he never felt fear in the Army, except for one time when his battery had to cross a river. The bridge had been bombed, so engineers had to construct a pontoon bridge.

Eight-inch howitzers weighting 16-tons and prime movers were 16-tons and the bridge swayed, dipped and I thought I wouldn’t make it across to the other side.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Although he knew there were other young men serving from Ohio and from his hometown, he never encountered any of them in Europe. However, he does recall a time when he visited a friend in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest.

I commandeered a Jeep and went up there to see him. I spent an hour or so with him. He was on the line. You could see the enemy across the area in front of him, maybe a couple thousand yards. WE had air observers going across the line all the time looking for targets and giving coordinates and stuff.

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

His battery was part of a unit that supported several Generals throughout conflict, but eventually Binni explained there came a point where there was nothing else they could do in Europe. He came home as the war ended.

That day we were discharged, that was the end of the Army for me.”

Joseph E. Binni, Veteran

Binni told 7News he did spend a few years with the Ohio National Guard, but after nearly having to deploy again during the Korean War, he decided to officially end his Army service.