The 59th Bomb Squadron

By Edwin M. Anderson

NDAC/SU Faculty, Professor Emeritus, EE, 1949-1982

Picture of Mr. Anderson The following exerpts about Ed's experiences during the second World War are taken from his autobiography.

The Monday after Pearl Harbor, Ed went to enlist in the Navy, since his dad had been in the submarines during World War One.  Ed just couldn't pass the eye test with his right eye.  Upon leaving he asked the Navy officer what the eye requirements for the Army were, but the officer did not know them.  As Ed related it, " ... so I walked across the hallway and asked a big fat army sergeant what the eye requirement were in the army and he said. 'Son, can you see to walk through that door without your glasses' and when I said sure he said 'Son, you are in the army.'"  

Ed had some very specialized and highly classified training with the Norden Bombsight.  Eventually he was assigned to the 598th Bomb Squadron of the 397th Bomb Group.  He had numerous adventures while in Europe. The following was when he and some buddies toured in Holland.  

"While in Holland we had a small German sedan that would seat 4 with a shoehorn.  Doc Boyd, Red Lowe and Al Carr and I took off one weekend and toured Holland, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the rest.  We met a Dutch guy in a sidewalk bar and started talking to him.  He was an English teacher in a high school.  He took us home and introduced us to his folks and we had a meal with them.  We had a bunch of rations with us, along with cigarettes, candy, etc., so we gave them a lot of goodies.  He gave us a huge round chuck of cheese which he said they had buried in the back yard while the germans where there.  He had lost his sweetheart when the Germans shot her while she was riding a bike.  Shortly after we got back to our base we found out that Eisenhower had issued an order making it a court martial offense for American troops to go to Holland since it was under the jurisdiction of the British and Canadians."  

By the end of the War, Ed's Squadron had flown 239 missions, received numerous battle stars, and a Presidential Commendation.  "In France before I got on the boat they asked me if I wanted to remain in the service as an officer.  I got the same question at Camp Kilmer and at Fort McArthur.  My answer was always the same. Get me out of here!  Upon discharge I got a train ticket to Denver and just made the last seat on the train."

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Published by the University Archives, NDSU
Last Updated: 8/27/04