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Ardell Bollinger was born 3 November 1922 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Bollinger lived in Lock Haven for about 12 years and his father was transferred and worked for a tannery company and moved to Westchester, New York. Bollinger enlisted in July 1943. Bollinger and a friend were in Ocean City, New Jersey when they had just begun the paratroopers and they decided to join. They drove to Philadelphia and tried to enlist in the Marines, but Bollinger was told he was too small. Bollinger and his friend Johnny went to enlist. The boys were called in two or three days and were sent to Baltimore. Bollinger enlisted at the time because jumping out of airplanes sounded fun and watched the propaganda about paratroopers during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His mother was unhappy about the enlistment, but his father was in the World War I and did not give an opinion. Bollinger had two siblings. His sister was two years younger and his brother was two years older, but died before the war due to a botched tonsillectomy. Bollingerâ€™s brotherâ€™s death took a toll on the family and especially his mother. Bollinger trained in Baltimore first, then separated from his friend and continued training in Mississippi. Bollinger was sent to a gunnery school in Las Vegas after he joined the Air Force. The civilian instructors taught the young men how to shoot different kinds of guns. Bollinger had his first crew formed after graduating from gunnery school. Deedle was the original pilot. Their Colonel only flew with Bollingerâ€™s pilot when they got to England. The Colonel was hated by many people from Bollingerâ€™s crew and squadron. Bollinger cannot remember his name.
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