Granlund proud of dad's service
A seasoned World War II paratrooper, Arthur L. “Rip” Granlund spoke little about his service in front of his son, Arthur A. Granlund.
So his son naturally thought his dad's nickname was a reference to him pulling the ripcord of his parachute, presumably during one of the four battle jumps he made during the war. That was until he discovered a family letter that revealed that his father had received the nickname during his youth, long before joining the service.
Arthur A. Granlund – who received the nickname “Ripper” in honor of his father – has a collection of photos, letters and discharge papers that have helped him to understand the service his father rarely spoke of, except with a few close battle-hardened friends.
Now proof of that service can be found in West 23 of the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial in Pittsburgh, opened late last year.
“Rip” Granlund was born in Fairhope in 1916, just a few years after his parents emigrated from Finland. Viktor and Hannah Granlund never spoke English.
“Rip” Granlund dropped out of school while in the sixth grade to work in the coal mines to help his family out. It was in the mines that he learned how to use dynamite. That explosives experience would serve him well in the service.
Drafted in April 1942, “Rip” Granlund volunteered for the Airborne. He served in the 82nd Airborne, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
“Rip” Granlund made four battle jumps during the war.
He jumped into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. During the subsequent Battle of Grainges, the 82nd Airborne was outnumbered 10 to one, but successfully battled the SS troops.
“Rip” Granlund also jumped into the Rhineland and into the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
In 1945, he jumped into central Europe, breaking both of his ankles after getting caught up in a tree. Granlund laced up his boots tighter and continued marching. It was until three days later that he saw a medic.
“He was a helluva man, I'll tell you,” the younger Grandlund said of his father.
Last year, Arthur A. Granlund received notice that a photo of his father was being planned for use in the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial. He signed a release for the photo, which contained “Rip” Granlund in a group of six paratroopers from his unit.
In December, dedication ceremonies were held for the memorial, erected on the North Shore. Arthur A. Granlund was unable to attend, but hopes to visit the memorial eventually.
“It gives me a great sense of pride to know he is featured there,” the son said.
But how would his father have reacted?
“He would have appreciated this,” Arthur A. Granlund said. “He would have been proud.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Monessen school staffer punished for issuing '50 Shades' quiz
- Equipment worth $20K stolen from Donora-Webster bridge demolition site
- Valley public transit pioneer honored for years of service
- CCAC’s Washington Center plans first job fair
- Demolition moving to Donora side of bridge
- Scottdale-filmed ‘Gore Orphanage’ wins online contest
- Monongahela man injured in house fire
- Memories still vivid for Monessen WWII veteran
- Flood watch issued this week for Mon River near Charleroi