Note: This is part of an entry submitted to the Heroes from the Heartland book by WWII veteran Walter Herd of Marysville, Ohio. Walter was a great businessman and was very active in the community, along with his beloved wife, Doris. When they both were over 90 years old, I had them come into my classroom to talk with the students. I was asking Walter what it was like to be gone for three years. I then asked Doris what it was like to have her brand new husband gone for that long. She started crying like she was a new bride, even though it has been almost 60 years since that happened. He leaned over and comforted her like they were the only two in the room. That's how they were until the day he passed away in 2005. Walter was proud of his service in the "forgotten" theater of China, Burma, India. -Claudia
"The way of living for all citizens of the U.S.A. would change dramatically (after Pearl Harbor was bombed). Everyone feared the west coast would be invaded. The east and west coasts were blacked out. German submarines on the east.....Japanese on the west, kept the air wardens shouting, 'Douse those lights!' All this following the Great Depression was most traumatic. America was unprepared, so many things needed to be done. They were started promptly. On Friday, June 13, 1943, I left the U.S. by air, destination was Chabua, India. Our mission was to haul gasoline and supplies over the Himalyan Mountains, referred to as "The Hump" in order to support General Chenault and stop the Japanese from taking over China and India.
Now a word about India! I say it all when I tell you I smelled its stench and filth at about 2,500 feet altitude when approaching for landing at Karachi airport. The smell we were to endure for the 27 months in our service there.
May 8, 1945 was a glorious victory....Hitler was defeated. Tojo's defeat was soon to follow. Everyone started singing, 'All I wanta do is go home'. My time came in August, Friday the 13th in 1945. Twenty-three of us who had gone over together were going home together. When we were asked if we could get our things together in 30 minutes for the flight home the answer was, 'Yea man!'. The rest is history....the tyrants who would destroy and enslave us were defeated. It was time to rebuild."