|I was in
a B-29 Group in WWII. That's why I often speak of the B-29
in my poetry. In WWII, the B-29 was the top of the line
bomber. It was not an easy ship to fly, as were some.
I qualified as a
fighter pilot but never got to fly as such, for before my
group got their commission and wings, the government
"washed us out" and we were assigned to other
I went on to become a private pilot
on my own.
I was sent to
Photographic School, Lowry Field, Denver, where I received
three MOS's (Military Occupational Specialties) 940, 941,
and 945 - Aerial Photographer, Lab Technician, and Camera
Technician. Became a part of the famous 509th Composite
Bomb Group of the 58th Wing, 20th
I served in the Army Air Corps,
1944-1946, in the 509th Composite Bomb Group, 58th Wing,
Air Photo Unit, 20th Air Force. The 509th dropped the
atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, as well as two atomic
test bombs at Bikini, Marshall Islands in the Pacific. I
came out of WWII 50% disabled and am still suffering from
a thing known as PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).
They say that I brought the war home with me
PTSD is a part of my
In the Air Photo Unit
I installed aerial cameras and kept them in good repair.
Before I was assigned to a crew I received a back injury
when deplaning from a B-29 with a K-17B camera, and was
hospitalized in the Naval Hospital on Kwajalein, then
flown to Tripler Hospital in Hawaii, then later a hospital
ship to Letterman Hospital in San Francisco, then an Air
Force plane to the Air Force Regional Hospital, Maxwell
Field, Montgomery, AL. Spent about six months in four
military hospitals, consecutively.
When I was
hospitalized, two hospitals overseas and two here in the
States, I lost all of my personal possessions, which never
caught up to me. Among those possessions were hundreds of
photos which I took during the war. This was my greatest
loss, other than my health.
I have had back
problems since WWII along with PTSD
As an Aviation Cadet
I studied, under the auspices of the Army Air Corps, both
at Davidson College, NC and North Georgia Military
College, Dahlonega, GA.
Following WWII, I
went on to get four college degrees and was a professor,
college dean, Christian high school principal, and a
pastor, yet never "walked away" from WWII.
a student at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, where
I received two college degrees, then went on to receive an
M.A. in Education and Mathematics from Bucknell,
University, Lewisburg, PA. and finally a Th.D. degree from
a Baptist Seminary in LA. I met my wife at BJU when I was
a graduate student there. She comes from Williamsport, PA.
Her father, Oliver W. Fawcett, was a first manager of the
Original Little League teams. The founder of Little League
was Carl Stutz, a close friend of the Fawcetts. Helen's
father is still living at age 95.
I have written over 400 poems in the
past two and a half years, over fifty of those had to do
with War and Veterans. I have spoken about WWII half a
dozen times at a local college, to their history
department and have recited some of my poetry many times
over radio station WOSM, Ocean Springs, MS. I am now 77
years old and have great difficulty getting around.
I never talked about WWII until the
past two and a half years, when I had to get some of the
thoughts and memories out. A few years ago I would not
have told anyone that I suffered from PTSD. That is true
of many WWII vets.