WWII Veteran Allen Penrose: The Life of a B-17 Pilot

Allen Penrose pilot fixed

I feel that my three years in the Air Corps were perhaps the most rewarding years of my life. I was afforded a fabulous aviation education and was able to travel to many foreign countries, which allowed me to serve my country and help end a horrible war. I am very proud of the experience and training I received.
— Allen Penrose Continue reading 

Korean War Veteran Stanley Olsen: A U.S. Naval Pilot’s Memoir

Stan in boot camp fixed

In early June my plane was badly damaged by ground fire and, on a wing and a prayer, I flew to an emergency landing field on one of the islands … It took three days to repair the plane
before I could return to the carrier, so all of us relaxed by sitting around drinking and telling stories. After that we continued our flights over North Korea through the withering ground fire but I was never hit again.
— Stanley Olsen Continue reading 

WWII Veteran Gerald E. Doescher: My Service on the USS Pasco

Gerald E. Doescher in May 1944

After arriving at Kodiak I boarded the transport ship USAT Barinov bound for Seattle. We were going back to get ready for the invasion of Japan.
As we pulled into Prince Rupert, Canada, we got word that a huge bomb had been dropped on Japan, wiping out a whole city. The captain tied the whistle down and just let it blow.
— Gerald Doescher Continue reading 

WWII Veteran Red Popke: My Service as a South Pacific Seabee

Red Popke in 1944

I never thought twice about going in the service. I don’t want to sound giddy about it, but it was a break for me to go in. I got three meals, and I always had a bed to sleep in. Oh I had a place to sleep at home as a kid, but meals – maybe they came and maybe they didn’t. But we were goofy over there. By that I mean uncivilized. We saw and did things you’d never imagine doing here in this country … never imagine doing if no war was going on.
— Red Popke Continue reading 

WWII Veteran Mel Reitz: My Service as a Medic in the Pacific

Mel Reitz after basic training in Oregon

We were watching some Japanese down in the field when a mortar exploded right behind us. I didn’t get a scratch, but my buddy got hit in the back. Bright red blood flowed from his wound, meaning the shrapnel had pierced his lungs. I patched him up as best I could and sent him back to the aid station, but I don’t know if he survived. I seldom found out how the guys did after I fixed them up. You got used to sending them back and never knowing.
— Mel Reitz Continue reading 

WWII Veteran Walt Rogers: My WWII Service in the 6th Army, 24th Infantry

Walter Rogers in 1942

We were in combat for 63 days on Mindanao. That is a long time to go without a rest. It was impossible to get sleep or to eat right. Finally a colonel came and told us it was time to relax and that they were proud of us. Some of the guys could not stand the quiet after all that time in combat. That’s when some of them would lose it. They couldn’t sleep at all. I was relieved to be out of the fighting. It was extremely stressful even when we weren’t in direct combat.
— Walter Rogers Continue reading 

WWII Veteran Bud Castle: Tail Gunner, Army Air Corps

Loyal "Bud" Castle on September 3, 1944.

There were a few airmen who felt some stress, but I didn’t.
We had a very competent pilot on our team, Les Collings from Michigan, so I didn’t feel the need for any good luck charm.
But then at the age of 19, I felt pretty invincible.
— Bud Castle Continue reading