Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Dad is a Hero

Yesterday we had a wonderful day.  My dad is 88 years old and he lives with us now.  We are so fortunate that he has a great memory.  He reminds me of things I have forgotten and thinks of things I hadn't considered.  During the election he explained all about China and treasury bonds and has a lot of knowledge to share, but only when asked.  A few weeks ago he was asked to do an interview about his WW II service.  He was drafted when he was 18 years old and became a gunner in a B-24 in the South Pacific.  He flew 44 bombing missions.  He agreed to the interview and yesterday we traveled to the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) offices in Oshkosh Wisconsin.  They showed him into a recording studio and for an hour and a half they recorded a conversation between him and the interviewer.  We left the room, so we don't know everything that was said but everyone involved said it went so well.  Throughout the evening he mentioned a few things he talked about so we can't wait to see it.  Since this is Dad's story, we will receive a copy of the raw footage to view.  Then later the taping will be edited and made into a CD which will be stored at the EAA and possibly the Library of Congress. 

Dad signing a release form
We know Dad mentioned his friend Marion Ray who later became a Prisoner of War.
This is the book that Marion wrote about his experience.

While Dad was doing the interview, we visited the Aviation museum.  It has many collections related to aviation and full sized aircraft of all kinds.  Here are just a few photos from the many I took.

For those of you who don't know about the EAA, it is an amazing place to visit.  Especially during AirVenture celebration starting July 29, 2013.  Information on this is at

Here is some information about the EAA and what it does?  They have a lot more information on their website 

EAA is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds. EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes. Through the decades, the organization expanded its mission to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft.

How does one describe an EAA member? Well, how does one describe the feeling of taking off into a stiff headwind? The answer: If you don't know, you'll just have to join us to find out. EAA members are what we like to call the "keepers of the flame." Sure, we love airplanes. We fly them. We fix them. We even build them. But it goes beyond that. It's about passion, camaraderie, that ol' can-do spirit, and a grassroots way of sharing our love of aviation with others. Whatever it takes to stand in the footsteps of Orville and Wilbur ... if only for a moment.

EAA enables you to share the spirit of aviation with the most passionate community of recreational pilots, builders, and restorers.

EAA is the only association that offers the fun and camaraderie of sharing your passion for participating in the flying, building, and restoring of recreational aircraft with the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts.



  1. Thanks for sharing this Barb. It is very interesting and informative. Also..Bless your Dad!

    1. Thanks, I can't wait to see what he has to say. It will be something to treasure.

  2. This is so great for your Dad to be chosen for the interview. Being a gunner is a very dangerous job. He is very blessed to live through that terrible war. God had plans for him to grow old with his loving family.

    Please excuse my memory, I might have asked you this before. Where was your Dad stationed? My Dad (88yrs.)was a bomber in the South Pacific and flew a B-24 and I think a B-29. They were soooooooo young. It is wonderful that your Dad is so healthy. My Dad is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. Thank you for sharing your Dad's adventure.

  3. Lark, Thanks for the nice comment. My dad wasn't stationed in a specific spot when they were flying the bombing missions. He flew out of New Guinea for a while, Luzon, Borneo, where ever the mission required. Then half way through the 44th mission he had the required hours and had to finish a 12 hour mission. Then he was discharged and got on a Dutch freighter and took almost a month to get home. When they landed, they just dropped him off with his duffel bag and that was it. He had to hitchhike home. I'm glad they are getting some glory now. I'm sure your dad has stories also. I hope you have some of them on tape.