By Chris Kenning
Bill Hildebrand was in his 80s when the phone rang in his Middletown ranch house.
“Were you on LCI-449?” a voice on the line asked.
The name of his World War II ship stopped the retired electrician short. It had been more than 60 years since he went through a “horrific” experience in the lead-up to Iwo Jima, one of the Pacific’s bloodiest battles.
“Yes, I was,” a surprised Hildebrand replied.