Branch: Army Air Corp
Job duty: Crew chief
Highlight of an experience or memory from WWII: Flew 12 combat missions from England into Europe, transporting troops, equipment and supplies. He was in the service for two years. When the war broke out, he was an airplane mechanic for TWA, but was not allowed to enlist because he was needed to work on planes that had been converted to military use. He had to return to Kansas hometown to get around the red tape, enlisted and was based in Ramsbury, England.
He was a part of the Bastogne airdrop, which he remembers as being absolutely beautiful. The parachutes were color coded, indicating what was in the package underneath, so the sky was full of multi-colored balloons. He also participated in the Market Garden Mission in the Netherlands, among others.
He remembers bringing back a plane full of Frenchmen after the war ended who had been POWs for six years. They were so thin and smelled horrible. One soldier gave him a religious medal to thank him. He and his crew took the soldiers to Le Bourget Airport where they were greeted by a band and high government officials to honor the former POWs. This is the airport where Lindbergh ended his nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1927.
He won three Air Medals during his time in the service in World War II.
He returned to TWA after the war and became a pilot for the airline.