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Retired Col. Ted Bell became The Citadel's most decorated World War II veteran for his valor in holding a rugged ridge on the Pacific island of Okinawa, but the deaths of so many of his men in his Easy Company of the 77th Infantry Division weighed on his mind as the decades passed. "It was hard on him when he was by himself," his wife, Mary Hill Bell, said. But holding the place near Ishimmi Ridge over a tortuous three days of combat proved to be a decisive moment in the war in the Pacific, puncturing a hole in the Japanese's Shuri Line and clearing the way for the United States to win the island and use it for the planned invasion of Japan. Two months later, Japan surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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