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Son on mission to identify World War II soldiers drawn by his father

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NEW YORK —  A Colorado man is on a mission to find 15 World War II soldiers who were drawn by his father more than 70 years ago — and many of the men may hail from the New York area.

Ira Dube uploaded a video to YouTube containing several drawings by his late father, Stan Dube.

Dube found the drawings in the attic of his sister, Lois Dube Moore. The pictures, ranging from watercolors to oil paintings, were his comrades during the war.

“I personally think this was his way of escaping and being able to relax during the war, doing something he loved,” Dube told PIX11.

“Our dad sketched these sketches while in the US Army 27 TH Infantry Div.,” the video description read.

The drawings were believed to have been done while he was stationed in San Francisco, Saipan or Hawaii.

“When I was looking at a WWII page on a military site, it brought up a page of 1941 and 1942,” said Dube.

Three of the drawings had names on them. Two he was able to read and a third was hard to decipher.

During his research, he found the names all traced back to the 105th Infantry Regiment.

Dube, whose father was born in Trenton, believes the soldiers are likely from the New York and New Jersey area.

“Every lead always points to New York of New Jersey,” said Dube.

During his search, Dube found the relatives of Joseph “Joner” Kratky who was killed in battle in Saipan. Kratky was from Franklin, New York and in the same grouping as his father.

He said initially the families were skeptical about the drawings.

“This came way out of the blue,” said Dube.

He emailed photos and information to confirm they were the men in the photos.  Once the initial shock set in, the families were very excited.

Joe Orbe was killed during the Battle of Saipan during World War II. A Colorado man is looking to identify 15 soldiers drawn by his father during World War II. (Photo courtesy of Lois Dube Moore)

Joe Orbe was killed during the Battle of Saipan during World War II. (Photo courtesy of Lois Dube Moore)

Dube connected with the family of another soldier, Joe Orbe. As fate would have it, Orbe’s birthday was the day before he mailed the photo.

He spoke to Orbe’s daughter-in-law who had recently lost her husband.

When mailing the drawing, he included a note to Orbe’s 8-year-old granddaughter saying “know your grandfather was a hero during a very difficult time in our country.”

Now he’s searching for the 15 other men in the drawings.

“I want to return these sketches to these families,” said Dube. “I’m sending the love he put into it.”

Dube says he takes comfort in knowing the drawings won’t be sitting in a portfolio collecting dust.

Anyone with information about the men in these photos is asked to email Dube at ira.dube@yahoo.com.