The popular wheelchair sport helped to launch the Paralympics in 1960
Jerry Fesenmeyer was an 18-year-old Iowa farm boy when he and his fellow marines from the First Division engaged in a desperate firefight with Japanese soldiers on the island of Okinawa. The date was June 5, 1945. Fesenmeyer was advancing toward Shuri Castle when he spotted an enemy soldier perched in a tree. He jumped from behind a wall to surprise him, only to find himself looking down the barrel of a Nambu sniper rifle.
The bullet entered Fesenmeyer’s chest between the heart and the shoulder, clipped a lung, and exited through his spine. Blood shot from his body like a geyser. “Fessy’s hit! Fessy’s hit!” someone was yelling as he blacked out. Continue Reading »