Kamer was 17 when he enlisted in the Army.
"I remember the year very well - Aug. 13, 1940, and Sgt. White was the recruiter. He got me in the service and sent me to Fort Bragg (N.C.)," Kamer said. At Fort Bragg, things were just beginning to bustle.
His division was the first at Fort Bragg, the 9th Infantry Division, a reconnaissance group. They lived in tents, Kamer said, because the buildings were being constructed.
When World War II broke out in 1941 and Pearl Harbor had been struck, he said his division was prepared for battle.
"In December 1942, we made our first landing off the coast of North Africa, and I'll tell you the name of the city because a movie was made of it - Casablanca," he said. "When we made our landing there, we had to let the French people know we were liberating them, because they were still shooting at us."
Kamer remembered an event during the time they were overlooking Casablanca.
"They were bombing and you weren't allowed to have any lights on, but they did allow you a candle," he said. "C-rations were soup, meat and beans, and hash. We'd warm a can of hash over candlelight, and we'd be eating it and trying to warm it, but it wouldn't be warm until you got to the bottom."
His division battled on in to the Sahara Dessert in North Africa, where they were attached to Gen. George Patton.
"It was so hot there you could fry an egg on the car," Kamer said.
He recalled President Roosevelt came to where they were serving and his group guarded the president.
"While he was there, he rode in a Jeep and congratulated us on the landing we'd made in North Africa," he said.
From there, Kamer said his group went into Sicily.
Kamer was a driver. His vehicle was an Armored Car M-8. He said he lost three of them during the war from enemy fire.
"I always laugh about this, I was just so young, and it's really not funny," Kamer said, explaining the role of his reconnaissance group.
"We'd ride out to the front and check out the enemy to see how strong they were and then report back," he said. "We saved many, many lives because of the way we did it, because we would find out how strong the Germans were. We fought hard and liberated Italy."
Kamer's group then was reassigned, and they thought they were headed for home.
"But we went around and landed in Liverpool, England, where we were given new equipment," he said.
They didn't know at the time, but they were preparing for D-Day and the Normandy Landing.
Kamer recalled one event in particular.
"When I went in with one of these armored cars, they let me off the LST (Landing Ship, Tank) and the water was so deep I couldn't get out. So, some guys from an 'amphibious duck,' that's what they called them, said if you can hook a cable to the vehicle down under the water, we can pull you out. We were stalled on the beachhead for three days before we could get going again," Kamer said.
The rest of his reconnaissance group went on toward Sherburg, France.
"We were in the thick of the battle the entire time," Kamer said. "We got back with the division in Sherburg and then went toward Paris, setting on the Seine River overlooking Paris. They wouldn't let us fire on any of the Germans because they didn't want us to do any damage to Paris."
Eventually, his group fought through Paris and on up to Germany, but the day they got into Germany was the day the war ended for Kamer.
"On that morning, we were stopped and the Germans dropped a mortar shell down one turret," Kamer remembered. He was blown out of the vehicle, but the other three - his radio operator, gunner and assistant - were killed.
"That was the end of my time in battle," Kamer said.
He was seriously injured and flown back to England to the 159th General Hospital for six months.
"The war was over in Europe," he said.
Meanwhile, the 9th Division went on through Germany. Kamer cited the battle route, "From Africa to Sicily, to England to France, to Belgium to Germany."
He said the division was deactivated in 1946.
"I feel very lucky to be alive," Kamer said. "We had a really hard time there, but we survived it."
Kamer came home with the 815th Air Engineer to North Dakota. He was discharged September 1945 as a Technician 5, and came back home to Portsmouth. He had spent 37 months overseas, most of it combat time.
"Thank the Lord when I came back my Mom and Dad and all of them were still living," he said.
Born July 3, 1924, on Broadway Street, near the viaduct in Portsmouth, he and his wife, Faye, were married Sept. 9, 1947. He worked for 15 years in the Scioto County Engineer's Office, five years at the A-Plant, and retired from the Postal Service after 28 years.
When he and Faye were first married, they lived in Sugar Grove and lived on $20 a week, which he received for 52 weeks after he was discharged from the Army. They have three daughters, seven grandsons, one granddaughter and three great-grandchildren. Their grandson, Justin Logan, recently returned from a tour of Iraq with the 82nd Airborne.
"I've been a lot of places, from California to New Jersey and overseas to all those places, but there's nothing like Portsmouth," Kamer said. "It's home. We're living in the best country there is