Jenkins left high school against his father’s wishes to join his brother at war in Europe and was stationed in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, where he drove a lieutenant general and even once chauffeured Gen. George S. Patton. Jenkins met Dwight D. Eisenhower during the war, and came to see the war from the viewpoint of those who orchestrated it, as he shuttled others to view the troops. He also put his driving skills to use by carrying messages while being fired upon. “Commanders sent him out with a tear in their eye every time because there was a high probability he wouldn’t come back,” Donald A. Jenkins said. His father received three stars for serving in battle, including the Battle of the Bulge. He was then placed on a ship and he believed he would return home as he sailed across the Atlantic, but instead sailed through the Panama Canal to the Philippines. There he prepared to storm the beaches of Japan in case of a full invasion. The operation was likely to mean death, but mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved his life, his family said. It also gave him the opportunity to again watch history in the making while aboard the USS Missouri. “He did see Hirohito and he did see the surrender and all of that,” Jenkins’ son said. Jenkins’ war legacy would later influence his son, who enlisted against his father’s wishes. Donald A. Jenkins, wounded and decorated for his own service, would later bring his father to Washington, D.C., so the two could visit the World War II and Vietnam memorials together. It would be the last trip they would take together. Suffering from the effects of stroke and dementia, When he died, Jenkins also left behind his wife and three grandsons. To his son, however, his father’s legacy lives on in his military service. “The greatest thing that he instilled in me is a deep, deep sense of patriotism,” Donald A. Jenkins said. La Mirada the elder’s health began a two-year decline. email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “My father was a very quiet person,” Donald A. Jenkins, 59, said. “It was kind of hard to get to know him because he kept a lot of things to himself.” After serving during World War II in Europe and in the South Pacific, the elder Jenkins returned home and married his wartime sweetheart, Marian, with whom he had corresponded while overseas. He and his bride moved in 1958 from Pennsylvania to La Mirada, where he worked as a mailer for Harper and Row Publishers and raised a son. It was not until Jenkins was aging and his health began to decline that his son and sister pieced together what they knew of his military service. “When he came home, he didn’t speak of the war unless he was with other veterans,” Johnson said of her brother. “But when you did hear what they were saying, it really popped.” Instead of wearing his heart on his sleeve, Donald G. Jenkins wore it on his hat. The former resident, a World War II veteran who chauffeured generals to inspect troops and deliver secret messages behind enemy lines, died on Nov. 26 in hospice care. He was 83. But his family and friends remembered him as he often was, in his “World War II Veteran” baseball cap. “People would see it and stop him and thank him for his service,” Jenkins’ sister, Mary Johnson, said. “His eyes would just light up.” Although Jenkins’ proudest accomplishment was his military service, his son said he rarely spoke of it.