Local News

Late World War II soldier's family attends banner donation

SEBRING - A Nazi banner that bore the signatures of five American World War II soldiers when the Allied forces stormed Hitler's private tea house in the Bavarian Alps found a new home Wednesday. And four generations of one of the soldiers' family were on hand to mark the occasion of what David H. Tubesing fought against. A few tears were shed as Tubesing's family examined his signature on the 20-foot-long banner that will now be on exhibit at the Military Sea Services Museum. Naples resident William Legan, who had found the banner in a trash receptacle when he was a kid, donated the flag to the museum.
Legan, along with Tanglewood resident Jim Hummell, had tracked down the identities of the soldiers, who belonged to the 99th Chemical Mortar Battalion, in order to honor their war service. Wednesday was the first time Tubesing's family had seen the banner, which they didn't know existed until Hummell contacted Tubesing's daughter, Donna Rehling. Rehling's father passed away in 2004, but gathered Wednesday with eight of her family members, who flew and drove from the north, felt like her dad were standing there, she said. "It's beyond emotional," she said. If her father had still been alive, he would have cried, she said. Then, he would have joked and narrated the story behind the banner. Jerry Kimm, who is with the museum, said the banner will be displayed folded in the back room. The museum is located at 1402 Roseland Ave., Sebring. Contact them at (863) 385-0992.