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