On May 14th 2012, the South Windsor Library hosted a talk by two veterans talk about World War II. They were both Lieutenant Colonels in the U.S. Air force during World War II, both were pilots. Their names were James and Walter. James fought in Europe and France against the Germans. Walter fought in the Pacific against the Japanese. James was the first to talk and he told about his service in the military. When he graduated high school, the war had already started. He received a draft notice to join the army, when he was getting ready to sign up for college. He didn’t want to go in the army, so he applied for the Air Force and was the only one out of ten people to pass the test. He later became a pilot and fought in France. One of the battles he fought in was the Battle of Germany. He flew a B-24. He also received the highest France military award for his service in WWII. He also said that both served in the Air Force even after the war was over for about 30 more years.
Walter did not talk much about his service. He spoke more about the planes. He showed a few short films about some different military planes taking off and landing. He showed us a B-24, which he flew, and told us there was always a crew of 10 on the plane. This plane weighed 30,000 lbs, and it’s wingspan was 102 feet long. This plane is not flown in action anymore. This plane was run on gaseoline, where as ones today run on oil.
He and James both said that there was nothing to do during off duty time. Pilots had it “easy” because they had no off-duty duties when they weren’t flying. James had pretty good housing and actually had a pool. Walter and his comrades lived in huts or tents. After the talk, they both answered question. I got to take a photo with them and thank them. I felt sad about what these men and all the other men who fought in WWII for what they had to go through. Many died for their country. It is also sad to think that almost every moment in combat they were probably thinking they were going to die. I really enjoyed the talk. I learned that while being a pilot has its benefits, it is a very difficult and dangerous job.