Theodore (Ted) Feldman|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
Soap Lake, WA
It is about time I answered your most welcome letter. It was a pleasant surprise to receive it.
It is true, I don't know you and we never met, but we do have the experience of Kessler Field and our years in the 44th in common.
I also arrived in Kessler Field in early November and was there until January sometime.
On December 7, I was goofing off around the base and didn't know about Pearl Harbor until I returned to the barracks.
I hadn't made up my mind what Tech School I would attend. All I was sure about was I wouldn't be a mechanic, since that Tech School was at Biloxi or Kessler Field.
I hated the damn place. I thought when I signed to go to Kessler, it would be great to spend a winter in the sunny south. I never spent a more miserable winter in my life. I was from Montana and Montana at 40 below was never that miserable.
Remember that the day after Pearl Harbor they froze all leaves and all Tech School choices but three - mechanic, radio and armament.
I looked up the location of radio and armament. Radio was at Scotts Field, Ill., and armament was at Lowery Field, Denver, Colorado.
I didn't have the foggiest idea what an armorer did or was. All I knew the Tech School was back in the Golden West and that was all I gave a damn about.
I wasn't in mechanics school so that is why you didn't see me there.
On completion of armament school, I was sent to Barksdale Field and assigned to the 68th Bomb Squadron arriving in April of 1942, I believe.
I see you tried to get into combat also. So did I while at Barksdale. There was about 12 of us from the armament section that volunteered for Flying Sergeant Bombardiers. That was still open to enlisted men and non-coms. Later it became closed and you had to be an officer.
I flunked because of my eyes. The same as you did. One other guy did also. Ten made it. I think only three lived through the war of the three only one was not shot down. The other two returned from POW camps. I always said afterwards that my eyes saved my life.
We spent about the same length of time in the 44th and the same time overseas. I believe I spent a little longer in England, since you mechanics went where the planes went. All the ground personnel went over on the Queen Mary and arrived in England in September of 1942. We were stationed in Tring waiting a month or so before the planes arrived. We were sent to Shipdham when you arrived with the planes. We left England a month or so after you did. If my memory is right. [Not quite! We were at Tring, too - Will Lundy]
I don't belong to the 2nd Air Division Roster. I guess it wouldn't hurt to join. But I know nothing about it.
I believe I have rambled on long enough. I will say so long for now. Write again when you have time. It was so nice to hear from you.
Theodore (Ted) Feldman