STEPHEN E. LASKO/For the Chronicle
Army National Guard Sgt. Frederick Pete presents an American flag to Joan Ness, the wife of recently deceased World War II veteran Juell “Jack” Ness, on Wednesday during his interment ceremonies at Florida National Cemetery. With her is son Larry Ness. www.spiphotos.smugmug.com

HOMOSASSA — Jack Ness never forgot the winter of 1944.

He was 21 years old, assigned to the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division, aboard an old passenger liner heading to Southampton, England, then to Cherbourg, France.

“We took off from New York just as dawn was coming,” he told the Chronicle in 2010. “It was exciting. We were young kids who hadn’t been anywhere, especially me.”