HINTON, Iowa (KCAU) — Hinton resident Darwin Hartman enlisted in the Army in 1943. He was just 19 years old.

Before Darwin Hartman was deployed overseas, during World War II, he remembers tensions in this country, like the day he rode a train to basic training, in Alabama.

“The conductor came on the radio and he said all the blacks to the back and the whites to the front and that’s the way we traveled all the way to Alabama,” Hartman said.

As a staff sergeant in the Army, Hartman spent time in New Guinea sending messages to US servicemembers, but he also helped the island’s villagers.

“We didn’t do much traveling around at all,” Hartman said. “We were always at this camp, except when we would go on the excursions at times and deliver goods to villages in the area.”

He says he’s lucky he never came in contact with enemy troops, but he’s honored to have served his country in the war.

“I was kind of proud to be part of bringing the war to an end even though I wasn’t involved with it, but I did my part,” Hartman said. “I felt that I deserve a little credit for doing that.”

he came home 3 years later and met his wife on a ballroom dance floor and got married. that was in 1949. he says he has no regrets about joining the army. while he admits to being a little homesick, in the beginning, he got over that.

after the military… hartman and some friends got involved with developing homes in the hinton area. he says at 99 years old he’s thankful he still has good health and a sharp mind.