CAM Real Estate Development, LLC  
1295 Lake Avenue (located inside the historic Vanderbeck House)
Your Rochester, NY General Contractor & Construction Company! 
30+ years serving Rochester, NY and surrounding area
Fully Insured, EPA Certified, Member of the Better Business Bureau,
Member of Better Contractors Bureau

CAM Real Estate Development, LLC Says "THANK YOU FOR SERVING" Past and Present Rochester, N.Y. Area Men and Women of the United States Military!

CAM Real Estate Development LLC was a Proud Sponsor of the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament at Braemar Country Club on July 19, 2014 Benefitting Honor Flight Rochester. The sponsorship will allow more veterans to fly on Honor Flight Rochester in the future. A tribute that is well deserved.

CAM Real Estate Development LLC was a Proud Sponsor of Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day! 
The event raised over $4500 for Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20! Thank you for your service Vietnam Veterans!

            Pictured above from left to right: World War II Veteran
Harley Burgess, John Acker, owner of CAM Real Estate Development, LLC and World War II Veteran Charles Kohlman.
          Photograph taken outside of the
American Legion Greece Post #468. 

CAM Real Estate Development, LLC dedicates this page,
House of Heroes, to the Rochester, NY men and women of the U.S. Military who have served or are currently serving and protecting our country and to John Acker's (owner of CAM Real
Estate Development, LLC) father, John Nelson Acker who was a disabled veteran that fought for freedom with the 102nd Chemical Detachment in WWII, traveling to India, China and Burma
with Special Operations Division in the U.S. Army. He was a life long member of the
VFW, the Eagles Club, the Moose Club, Disabled American Veterans, and after retirement volunteered at Goodwill Industries and cooked Sunday breakfast at the Disabled American Veterans. He was a commodore of the Little Venice Boat Club and raised money to benefit many good causes. John and his wife Betty Lou also participated in the Marines Toys for Tots.

            A special thank you to the 
American Legion Greece Post #468 for their assistance in making this page possible.


Thank You World War II Veterans, Harley Burgess
and Charles Kohlman

We met Harley Burgess (86 years of age) and Charles Kohlman (87 years of age) at the American Legion Greece Post #468. Harley and Charlie have a few things in common; they are both members of the American Legion Greece Post #468 and they are both World War II Veterans that were eager to serve their country. The interview for this article would take nearly two hours. It is of the highest honor to feature Harley and Charlie in the first article of House of Heroes, a series of articles to be dedicated to Rochester, N. Y. veterans. The series will include veterans from all wars, all branches of the U.S. Military and will include non-combat veterans that are serving anywhere in the U.S. and overseas as well. We are sure that you will find Harley’s and Charlie’s military experiences as inspiring as we did. We are also confident that by the end of this article you will know and understand just how delightful the two gentlemen are.  

Harley Burgess

Harley served in the Army Air Force in World War II. His time in the military lasted from October of 1943 until April of 1946. Eager to serve his country Harley, single at the time, was just 18 years old when he enlisted in the military. He did his basic training in Biloxi, MS and after that he was shipped off to Italy. Harley was a “Top Turret Gunner”.  The pilot of Harley’s crew was mad because they had taken him off a state job and placed him in a combat crew. Harley’s recollection of this was, “He didn’t make life easy. But all the guys I served with were good guys.” When we asked Harley what the food was like he remarked, “It wasn’t bad. We ate scrambled eggs for breakfast and we had regular dinners and Krations. If we were flying we got a sandwich in a box that was usually hard and frozen but we heated them up on the gun cover in the plane. We could have as much wine as we wanted. In fact we brushed our teeth with the wine. We were allowed two bottles of beer a week. We got up at 7:00am and the tent generators went out at 10:00pm” “We took a brand new bomber from Long Island to Gioia, Italy. This was the 47th Wing. We were a replacement crew. It took us 5 stops to reach our destination,” remarks Harley. “ We were snowbound for 21 days at Gander Bay, Newfoundland. From there we went to Azores, to French Morocco, and finally to Italy.”  In Italy Harley was assigned to the 98th Bomb Group, part of the 47th Wing. “The 98th Bomb Group is still active,” says Harley. Harley spent 30 days in Italy when the Army decided that they were too far from the target. “They trucked us down from Naples where they had a troop ship waiting for us in the harbor. From Naples we went to Norfolk which took about 9 days” comments Harley. “There were 360 planes waiting for us and they loaded 10 of us on each plane. After that I went for a 30-day furlough, reported back to Fort Dix and then took a train ride to Fairmont, Nebraska.” Harley’s military years also took him to Texas at a B29 Remote Control Gunnery School. He also spent a couple of months in an Early Warning Radar Unit. “You are in a trailer all day long watching the scope and listening,” laughs Harley. “I volunteered for Aerial Gunnery to get away from the monotony of the radar unit.”  Harley served under Colonel Kane who received a Medal of Honor. “I served with all good guys,” says Harley. “I have a lot of respect for General Patton. He was beautiful!” Harley talked proudly of his military years and when asked if he would do it all over again, without hesitation, he answered, “Yes”.  We had the good fortune of meeting Harley’s wife Ruth during the interview for this article. She is as delightful as Harley and so proud of his service. “We went to the 15th Air Force Reunion in Las Vegas and we visited all the old airbases during a trip to  Europe in 1990,” comments Ruth Burgess. Harley and Ruth still attend World War II reunions. They are planning on attending one in Tree Port, Louisiana this fall. Thank you for serving our country! -John Acker, CAM Real Estate Development, LLC (article written by: Terry L. Hogan)

Charles Kohlman

As we sat and talked with Charles Kohlman (87 years of age) we quickly realized what an amazing man he was. Charlie left school in his junior year anxious to join the military. He served from July 1942 to February 1946 in the Navy. “I finished my junior year at Aquinas and left school to join the Navy,” remarks Charlie. “I had lost my mother in my freshman year of high school and I was angry. I went in the Navy and in the Navy they didn’t baby you.” Charlie was supposed to spend 16 weeks in Great Lakes but it turned out that he only spent six weeks there. “We shipped out of Treasure Island on a Liberty Ship to Noumea, New Caledonia in the South Pacific,” comments Charley. "They put us on what they called Tent City, waiting for ship. We trained there for a month. Then we go aboard ship with all this gear. It turned out that we stayed on that ship from December 1942 until September 1944.” While Charley was aboard that ship he saw almost no liberties. “Once in awhile we would get a few beers, go to a store for ammunition but we really didn’t go to port and that was the hardest part. We were with the same guys on that ship all the time and we could get edgy.”  At one point the Navy sent Charlie to a 40mm Gunnery in New Guinea. “It was an army run thing. It was during the monsoon season and at night you have to stay inside the mosquito net. There was bugs and mildew.” Charlie quickly decided that being on a ship wasn’t so bad after all. “I kissed the ship when I got back on,” laughs Charlie. “I really felt humble. I had clean sheets.” When Charley left ship to return to the states in 1944 he went to a receiving ship in Guadalcanal that the First Marines took in 1942. “While waiting for transportation we saw Francis Langford, Bob Hope, Jerry Colona, and the girls,” says Charley. “After that we waited for the Baby Fat Top (baby aircraft carrier) which took us to San Diego. This was in October of 1944.” I stayed in Camp Pendleton where they debrief you and make you human again,” laughs Charlie. “They took about a month to clean us up.” Charlie caught the Champlain. “I was lucky, the Indianapolis sunk,” remarks Charlie. “When you are first assigned a ship you are a plank owner. You actually get a small piece of one of the ship planks. I stayed on the Lake Champlain until I was discharged in February 1946.”  When Charlie returned home his father was adamant about him finishing high school. “I was making a buck and a quarter an hour at packing bottles and I really didn’t want to give that up but I knew my dad was right so I did return to school. Jefferson High School had a Veterans Unit. The teachers were all veterans and it was 8 hours a day and it was tough, but I finished.” After completing high school Charlie used his full 48 months of the GI Bill for college. He took Business Administration for a year and then Industrial Electronics for two years. He received his Commercial FCC License. “After that I needed to find a college that had a radio station,” Charlie laughs. “I chose Texas A&M. I was thinking it was a co-ed school with girls. It turned out to be the West Point of the south. All male.” After Texas A&M Charlie went to work for General Electric in Syracuse, NY and then to Eastman Kodak, here in Rochester, NY working in the government area and in the meantime becoming an electrical engineer. In 1952 he went to Kodak’s Lincoln Plant and worked in the infrared group on military related projects. “I worked on anti submarine warfare projects, a lot of instrumentation and I flew in a B-47 and P2V Navy Bomber – anti submarine warfare,” remarks Charlie.  “I would do it all over again,” says Charlie. “The service was a good deal for me and I already had the discipline from attending Aquinas. Without the service I probably would have ended up in trouble. I was so bitter from my mother’s death. The GI Bill was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Of all of Charlie’s accomplishments what he seems most proud of is his grandson, Patrick Daniel Finnerty. At the age of 17 Patrick received his pilot's license and in 2012 he will graduate from West Point Academy. “He will be an Artillery Officer, 2nd Lieutenant,” comments Charley. He trained with Special Forces in the Amazon Jungle. This year he volunteered for Mosanbeak for special training with their African Military Special Forces. He had to write four essays in 18 journals every day while he was there and turn them into West Point to be graded. He came back and then left for Korea to follow a 2nd Lieutenant around to learn how they operate. After Korea he’ll be returning to academics at West Point. He has done all of this and he is only 21 years old. He will be a West Point graduate at the age of 22. I am so proud of him!” Thank you for serving our country Charlie! -John Acker, CAM Real Estate Development LLC (article written by: Terry L. Hogan)

 World War II would begin on September 1st 1939 and end in total victory of the Allies over Axis. The war would end in Europe on May 8th, 1945 when Soviet and Polish troops captured the city of Berlin. In Asia the war would end on August 15th, 1945 with the surrender of Japan.  

World War II involved 70 nations and claimed more lives and destroyed more property than any other war in history. 70 million people served in the armed forces during World War II with fighting on the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the seas surrounding Australia. On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii. That attack would claim the lives of 2,355 American military and wound 1,153. The attack would leave 68 American civilians dead and wound 35. A total of 21 ships were either sunk or damaged and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed and another 159 damaged. 
The attack on Pearl Harbor left the United States of America outraged and on December 7th, 1941 U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan officially bringing the U.S. into World War II. American men were eager to enlist in the U.S. Military to serve and protect their country. By the end of World War II 400,000 Americans would sacrifice their lives during their service in the U.S. Military.

World War II would change the world forever. The United States would see changes that included: the end of depression joblessness, married women entering the workforce, major changes in the lives of the American minority groups, and it would greatly expand the U.S. government presence in American life. The war also marked the beginning of the nuclear age and he United Nations was formed to ensure that the world would never again see a conflict of this magnitude.


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