Identical twin brothers in Houston recall their military service during World War II

Francis Catlin (left) and Robert Catlin (right) are identical twins who served their country during World War II and now live in Houston (Courtesy photos)

November 9, 2013 9:15:22 PM PST
There are not many World War II veterans left these days, and in honor of this Veterans Day, we wanted to introduce you to a pair of twins who served their country in the 1940s.

Francis and Robert Catlin are not your typical twins. Besides being identical, both served their country in World War II.

"At that time, the Coast Guard was desperately short of people to serve as port security," Francis Catlin said.

Francis served in the port of Baltimore while going to medical school, and brother Robert joined the Navy and then headed to Harvard.

"I then went to the U.S. Naval mid-ships school in Notre Dame and got my commission there with honors in ordinance," Robert Catlin said.

Robert eventually ended up in Washington D.C. When the war ended, he went to Princeton and got a master's degree in health and medical physics.

Francis eventually became a doctor, performing more than 1,500 surgeries on servicemen and their dependents around the world.

Robert worked for the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency and was at both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

While neither saw combat, Veterans Day is a special time for them.

"I guess I just have a feeling of gratitude for the armed services," Robert Catlin said. "We could not do without them."

The brothers are originally from Connecticut and now both live at The Buckingham senior living community in Houston. They said they appreciate how people in Houston show their support for veterans of all U.S. conflicts.

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