World War II Veterans, Class of 1944 Honored At Downers Grove North High School

Jim Gudas
October 04, 2019 - 5:41 pm
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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Seventy-five years after they graduated from Downers Grove High School, seven members of the Class of 1944 are the honored guests at this year’s homecoming festivities at the building now known as Downers Grove North.

93-year-old Jacob Pollack, one of the guests, remembers when there was only one high school in Downers Grove. It was a lot smaller, and the world was in the middle of World War II, he said.

"I got my diploma in one hand and I got my induction service in the other hand," Pollack said. "I ended up fighting in Northern Italy."

But Pollack said there’s something he saw in this visit to his old high school that is as disturbing as war: police stationed in the school. In 1944, the threat was “over there.” Today, it’s over here, he said. 

93-year-old Doris Mochel, another longtime alumni, said many of her male classmates would get their diplomas and go immediately into the armed forces like Pollack, while many of her female classmates would go from graduation into war production jobs.

Mochel attended the reunion with her husband, John. They were high school sweethearts and have been married for 71 years.