Segment 15

Annotation

[Annotators Note: The tape skips at the beginning of this segment. The segment begins with Robert Walter talking about an American fighter flying through his area.] A P47 or P51 came flying through the area Walter was in and he watched as the enemy antiaircraft artillery shot it down. The pilot bailed out but as he neared the Earth they fired at him and he soon slumped over in his harness. It turns out that the pilot was one of the best pilots America had. Walter does not recall the mans name. Walter got home on his mothers birthday. Neither she nor he knew that he was going home. He had been home on passes before that. Walter was more interested in seeing people other than his family. He saw that there were a lot of women but no men. They were all in the service. He had gotten out early in September 1945. When Walter first got out of the service he just tried to blend in. Within two weeks of getting out of the service he was working for the police department. There were a lot of guys getting out of the service who were celebrating and getting arrested. After Walter brought it up to the chief that the majority of these guys had something to celebrate and should be treated a little differently. Walter was surprised to see that there were no men around when he got out. Now a days only about one in 10 would even qualify for the service. On 7 December 1941 Walter was working at a factory. After the war he kept in touch with his buddies. He is still in touch with some. In 1998 he went to a convention where he met a man who had been captured. The war changed Walter. The army saw something in him that he had not. He was timid when he went into the service but is not now. He also made a lot of friends. One thing Walter learned was to not talk about something he did not know about. Walter has been president of 20 to 30 different organizations since the war. He also took pride in the things he did. He convinced the school he went to to start a football program. He was also the president of the PTA. Over the Christmas holidays his daughter would always end up in the hospital with pneumonia. Walter looked into this and learned that the other girls she was with suffered from the same problem. When he discovered that it was an allergy to the Christmas trees Walter saw to it that the school no longer place live Christmas trees in the classrooms. Another thing Walter was instrumental in starting was the United Community Fund of Fostoria.

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