Swonger, Howard Lon, 79, of Dade City, FL, died June 15, 2003 at home. He was born March 11, 1924 in Belfast, Highland County, Ohio. He was a graduate of Belfast High School Class of 1941. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in WWII, he served as a scout with “A” Company, 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored “Hell on Wheels” Division. Landing on Omaha Beach Normandy, France days after the D-Day invasion he participated in numerous campaigns till war’s end in Berlin, Germany.  As a reservist he attended Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio until he was called back to active duty during the Korean War. He moved to Dade City, FL 35 years ago from Columbus, Ohio working in retail-marketing sales until retiring as a retail-marketing executive. After retiring he remained active with the 2nd Armored Division Association, VFW, American Legion, creating and maintaining two popular military WWII era historical internet web sites. He personally assisted many in obtaining official or historical records concerning relatives who served in the military in WWII. He along with special family friends Major Ret Kenneth and wife Theresa Dungey organized the funding and erection of several war memorials in France honoring forgotten American WWII heroes. For the previous accomplishments the Regional Council of Lower Normandy awarded him the medal of the Jubilee of Liberty May 2003. He was a member of St. Rita Catholic Church.  

His wife of fifty years, Eileen, brother Ronald Swonger of Hillsboro, Ohio, and sister Helen Kirchmeier of Wilmington, Ohio survives him. Children Lon, Patrick, Christine Wise, John, Joseph, Stephen, Ronald, nineteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren who also survive him live in the Tampa Bay Florida area.