Plaque at Mount Soledad honors La Jolla World War II vet Max Gurney

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The Torrey Pines Rotary Club held a plaque presentation honoring member Max Gurney, a 101-year-old World War II veteran, at the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla on April 15.

Gurney, a La Jolla resident, joined the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when he was 20. He was already a multilinguist and was trained in cryptographic and intelligence operations and the Signal Intelligence Service and was stationed in North Africa.

Though he’s had a lifetime of travels in the military and as a 45-year employee of Pan Am, La Jolla centenarian Max Gurney recently returned from a trip unlike any other: an Honor Flight.

While overseas, he served with Gen. George Patton, under whose leadership Gurney’s platoon completed Germany’s defeat in Tunisia.

Gurney also participated in the invasion of Sicily and continued serving in Italy under Gen. Mark Clark. He was in one of the first U.S. units to enter Rome in June 1944.

Gurney left the Army in November 1945. He joined Torrey Pines Rotary in 1992 and was honored as Rotarian of the Year in 2009.

— La Jolla Light staff