Second World War: Our Family in the Service

Nebraska woman recalls her relatives in the service during the Second World War

| Good Old Days

Our family was hit hard in the Second World War. I felt so sorry for my poor mother, she had two sons and two in-laws in the service. Brother Alvin was a veterinarian in the Army Air Corps in West-over Field, Massachusetts, and he didn't leave the States. 

Brother Bill had to leave college and join the Army, working with a supply division of the 902nd Air Engineering Squadron in Erding, Germany.

One day while he and his buddy were unloading ammunition from their truck, the truck was bombed. It was his buddy's turn in the truck while Bill was outside. His buddy was killed instantly, and Bill was hit, so his clothing caught fire. He rolled into a ditch. His sergeant figured they were both killed and didn't check until he heard Bill groan.

They found him unconscious and rushed him to the hospital. He was badly burned on his body, so the Army wrote home to my folks that he was "slightly injured." Today, at the age of 71, he still has health problems from this injury.

One son-in-law, Alfred Pollman, served in the Air Force at Westover Field, and he didn't leave the States. Another son-in-law, Walter Opfer, wasn't so lucky. He was in the Army in Germany with the 9th Armored Division in the final days of the War.

It so happened that his wife, Marybelle, was staying with my family in Norton, Kansas, while Walt was overseas. Their little son David was born on December 17. We hadn't heard from Walt for awhile, so I called the Red Cross to get word to him about his new son.

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