FARMINGTON, Mich. A Metro Detroit World War II veteran will be honored next month in Europe where 73 years ago he parachuted behind enemy lines along the Rhine River in Germany.
Edward Pershing Good, 93, of Farmington, canada goose outlet nyc was a paratrooper in the 17th Airborne buy canada goose jacket cheap Division and participated in Operation Varsity.
Good was selected by Scions of the 17th Airborne to make the journey to the battlefields he fought on and participate in the annual Man Ridge Walk in Belgium at the site of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, where Belgians honor the men of the 17th Airborne Division each year.
From there, Good will travel east to Wesel, Germany, along the Rhine River, where paratroopers jumped as part of Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation in history canada goose outlet canada to be conducted on one day and in one place.
Good says on this flight to Europe he plans to land at an airport instead of jumping from an airplane.
Read uk canada goose outlet Ed Good account of his time serving below:
I was a senior in high school in Bellevue, Pennsylvania during the 1941 2 school year. I remember doing homework on December canada goose canada goose uk black friday outlet new york city 7, 1941 and listening to a symphony on the radio. The broadcast was interrupted to announce the Pearl Harbor attack. I called my friend Jack Brown that afternoon to tell him in the war Before then, I was too young to get involved in the Spanish Civil War, although I thought about it. But when Russia invaded Finland, I really thought about that. I always knew I wanted to be a soldier.
After Pearl Harbor I was not in a fever to join immediately. The draft age was canada goose outlet jackets 21. I thought I should finish school, and by going to college year round, I could graduate before I was 21. So I started at Oberlin in June, 1942 with a full tuition scholarship.
That fall the draft age was lowered to 18, so after I finished my second semester in January 1943 I came home to Pennsylvania and called my local draft board. They said I was too late to go with the current group of men unless I was willing to pay for my own physical, which I did. At the induction center, I was told that I showed sugar in my system, and the doctor said: your choice: go home, or go into the army I said: going, of course Thus I was always a volunteer. They then allowed me to go with that group, which included a canada goose outlet parka lot of high school friends.
A few months before this, my friend Jack Brown went to Canada and joined the RCAF. He was inspired by the movies and news about the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1941. He wanted to fly a spitfire. Jack left on my birthday, November 11, 1942, and I joined the US Army on his birthday, February 4, 1943.
I was randomly assigned to Camp Blackstone in Virginia for medical basic training. I was very disappointed because I wanted to be a rifleman in the infantry. After the basic training th ey gave us several choices for types of work. I selected medical clerk, a logical choice for me, being a bookish student. I sat in a classroom, learning army clerical jobs in the medical field. In this capacity I had no weapons and no weapons training. During this time I applied for Officer Candidate School, but the local board said I was too young and did not qualify.
I then spent some time at Camp Miles Standish in Massachusetts, preparing to serve with the 513th medical hospital ship platoon. I was working as a ward attendant in the hospital, a commando We were taking care of sick soldiers; not the wounded. One day a whole lot of us were sent to Boston Harbor to unload a whole shipload of wounded soldiers coming from North Africa Americans, Germans and Italians. This was our first contact with the enemy, carrying them in litters and loading them in ambulances. The Germans all looked like blonde giants. The Africa Corps were the cream of the German army. We were a little in awe of them, as they had been in combat and we were new and green.
There was a canada goose uk outlet USO establishment at Boston Commons. Soldiers on a weekend were invited to sign up to go to dinner at people houses. One Sunday I went to a house at Radcliffe, a private house that provided a dorm, and there were a half dozen girls! We were two or three soldiers and we spent a very nice afternoon meeting these college girls. That was the summer of 1943. Two years later, I walked into a Red Cross tent in Germany with a two day beard. I hadn had a shower and felt pretty dirty and grimy. A pretty girl was handing out doughnuts and coffee. She had been at that party at Radcliffe! She said she remembered me because I was the only soldier who ever wrote a thank you note. (I had written at the end of the thank you note the girls, a long low wolf whistle. Then the 513th medical hospital ship platoon were sent to California, where we got on a ship and went to Hawaii. By this time I was a T 5, a Technician 5th Grade. This was about May or June 1943. Before we shipped out, I had applied to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) (an Army program designed to keep soldiers occupied and to enable colleges to beef up their enrollment so that they could survive the war; it ended in the spring of 1944). I was accepted, but not before I was on my way to Hawaii. They didn chase me to bring me back. In Hawaii, I worked in the orthopedic ward of a hospital. We lived at Scofield barracks; all permanent, peacetime stuff from the 30 It had built in bathrooms and mess halls. We slept under a mosquito bar; the accommodations were luxurious but open air. That when I learned to play chess and to smoke a pipe. We had plenty of free time
There was a canada goose store nurse working night duty, Ms. Greenwald, an army lieutenant. She had lived across the street when I was growing up in Bellevue. Later during my recall, during the Korean War in 1950 and 51, Ms. Greenwald was at Fort Campbell were stationed at the same place, in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I took her out to dinner then. We wore civilian clothes because it would have been unseemly for an enlisted person to take an officer out.
Once while we were in Hawaii, the head of our ship hospital platoon said, you working too hard. Tell your hospital that your Captain needs you. Quit for a week. Go down to Honolulu, do whatever you want to do. I remember that time off; it was very pleasant to be enjoying myself in Hawaii. There was a convent in Honolulu, or somewhere in the area, which was the home of a nun who had been a grade school classmate of my mother I was invited for Sunday afternoon tea at the convent.
Then my platoon was shipped back to California. I received orders to go to Loyola College in Los Angeles. These were special classes designed for goose outlet canada ASTP. I had math and chemistry classes, and some English classes. That assignment came through canada goose outlet uk February 4, 1944. I had to be a private again, because the ASTP program didn want noncoms, just privates. We were there less than a week when school identified everyone who was Catholic, and made us get up and get to Mass, at least on Sundays. I remember one Jesuit canada goose outlet online uk came into my room a few times to get me out of bed and to Mass.
While at Loyola, I looked up and got in touch with Richard canada goose outlet black friday (Dick) Baker, who had grown up in Bellevue. He was an Episcopal minister with a family in greater Los Angeles. I had dinner with them at least once, maybe twice.
I was only in ASTP for about two months. It became apparent in spring 1944 that the war wasn going to last as long as some people had thought it would, and the Army needed bodies. The military was losing men in North Africa and Italy, and needed replacements. They ended ASTP and put us all into infantry divisions. I was sent to the 89th division, 355th infantry regiment, where I was assigned as a rifleman and then a machine gunner. I loved it. I was so glad to be an honest to goodness soldier.
I got into a normal squad with a squad leader who was very enthused about having these college boys assigned to him. He was anxious to get us trained while we were on a big maneuver. It was very tactical. We traveled at night, slept during the day, and slept under trees, keeping out of sight. We were enemy and were being forced onto a beach. We slept the last night of this maneuver on the beach; a little cliff, slope, then there was the water. We could hear surf crashing at night. It was beautiful.
At the end of the maneuver, an officer came by and said: you give me breakfast, I give you good news He told us that the maneuver was over and that we were going back to Camp Roberts (outside Los Angeles, CA) that day. Back at Camp Roberts we were going into parade formation, and I realized I had no training or experience in of arms what to do with my rifle in a formation. So, I got a two minute lesson while waiting to begin the parade.
After we came back to Camp Roberts, I remember that I went to see the movie, Fallen Sparrow with a friend; the two of us connected with a young woman whose husband was an officer and who was off in the Pacific; canada goose outlet we had dinner together after the movie.
At this point they stripped all the privates and PFC who had been trained by the 89th to go to Europe as replacements. An older Sgt. Just picked a group of former ASTP and told us that we would be assigned to a range camp, to give them the opportunity to practice firing their weapons one more time before going overseas; it was a lovely two days in sunny California near a canada goose outlet reviews river, between range assignments.
In June I had a ten day furlough, and traveled back home to Bellevue (borough of Pittsburgh, PA). I was in my own house and my own bed on D Day. I heard the reports on the radio in my mother kitchen. I could hear the whoop whoop whoop that the Destroyers made, and I knew right away this was the long awaited day of the big invasion. The Americans were invading two beaches, the British two and the Canadians one. The Americans faced very heavy resistance at Omaha Beach.
After D Day I returned to Fort Roberts for a short time, then they sent us to Camp Butner, North Carolina. That when I got onto the machine gun crew. I have damaged hearing to this day. By this point I was really frustrated. I was bored and there was nothing happening. So when they asked for volunteers for special hazardous duty, I signed up for that. A week later, a team came around and asked for volunteers for parachute school. I jumped at the chance. I thought to myself that if I turn this down I never know whether I a coward.
So I went to Fort Benning, Georgia in July 1944. Parachute school was four weeks. The first week was all physical training, lots of running, pushups, squats with logs. We were all in relatively good shape to begin with, but it was hard work. Our trainers were parachute/combat veterans who had seen battle in Sicily and other parts of Italy. The second week was canada goose outlet learning how to do parachute falls. They put you in a harness, and you slide down a slide, land on the ground, learn how to fall so you wouldn break anything. You land with your feet together. Take 30% of load on canada goose ankles and feet; 40% on butt and hips, 30% on your shoulder, and roll. The parachute wasn restraining you. There was a possibility it could fill up with wind and drag you around so you had to grab risers and spill air out.
We spent the afternoons packing parachutes. Everyone packed his own chute for our first five jumps. For the jumps from the 250 foot tower, you get into a parachute harness, get towed up to the top, then they release you. You pull the risers just before you land, then you hit and roll. We did this maybe two or three times over the course of the week. Also during this time, you would do the hardest canada goose clearance sale part of jump school, which was jumping from a 35 foot height. You go up some steps, 35 feet above the ground; all hooked up, and step out of this door, just like an airplane door. You bend your legs as you stepped out of the door. You were on a cable. You bounce, then slide 150 feet into a sawdust pile. It was perfectly harmless but it was the hardest thing to do. You would fall maybe ten feet then you get caught by the cable and bounce. This was harder than the 250 foot tower, because at the tall tower you had no choice to make. Lots of people quit at the point of the 35 foot jump.
On the fourth week we had five jumps out of an airplane. Pilots would land a C 47, bring in 15 troops, drop them over the drop zone and return, to pick up more, all day long. Friday there was supposed to be a night jump; sometimes you would do it when buy canada goose jacket it wasn quite dark. The first jump was wonderful, then suddenly you on canada goose outlet uk sale the ground, looking forward to the next one. It was fun. I developed a technique in order to successfully get through the door: Picture drawing something on a blackboard, then erasing it. I wanted my mind completely blank. After that fourth week some high ranking officer came around and pinned wings on our uniforms.
During that last week of jump school, an officer got up on a table. He said, block is TNT. He dropped it and it shattered. He said, perfectly safe and I know it safe, because I went to demolition school. Some of you should volunteer for demo school. What we do mostly is dig up mines and detonate them if we have to. I thought, that is as far as I go. I volunteered for parachute school, and that brave enough.
I stayed on after jump school was finished, for parachute communication school, also at Fort Benning. This might https://www.foekjedillema.nl have saved my life, because otherwise I may have been at the Battle of the Bulge. Parachute communication school is where I met my friends Kelly (first name John?), Gunther Goldsmith and Jack Hale. Some of us were in radio, some were in telephone; some were in cypher machines. We were living in nice barracks with a paternal old sergeant. He was real tough but would do anything for you. It was very nice.