WWII vets from Rogers, Princeton raised flag at Twins game

Roy Howard (left) of Princeton and Ken Newcomb of Rogers, shown on the jumbo screen here, were the honorary flagraisers at last Saturday's Twins game. (Photo provided by family)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

World War II veterans Ken Newcomb of Rogers and Roy Howard of Princeton were the flag-raisers Saturday at the Twins game against Detroit.

The Twins enlist current or former soldiers to take part in the national anthem ceremonies at each game by raising the flag in center field.

“It was fantastic!,” said Ken’s daughter Cheryl Howard. “The crowd was very enthusiastic and gave them a great ovation. Many people of all ages came up to them after the ceremony and throughout the game to thank them for their heroic service.”

Cheryl is Ken’s daughter, and her husband Jeff is Roy’s son. Many family members were on hand.

Ken Newcomb, 94, who fought from 1941-45 and was a prisoner of war at the end, has lived at Diamond Crest in Rogers for five years. He lived in Zimmerman 10 years prior to that.

While in Zimmerman, retired, Newcomb did volunteer work for District 728, getting the Volunteer of the Year award once.

“They gave him some of the toughest kids, because he would never raise his voice,” said Cheryl.

Newcomb, a St. Paul native, was an infantryman in WWII. Newcomb and Howard (who also served in Korea) both fought in one of the most fierce and crucial battles of the war, at Anzio in Italy. Newcomb was hit by shrapnel from a German bomber in that campaign and spent three weeks in a hospital.

He rejoined his unit in southern France, where he was captured by the Germans. and spent seven months as a POW. American troops liberated him at the end of the war.

Newcomb, whose wife died five years ago, spent most of  his life in his native St. Paul working as an accountant.