|K e n s m e n : 4 3 r d B o m b G r o u p (H), 5 t h A A F|
|Sergeant David "Shorty"Poarch
Position: I was a belly gunner on the Red Headed Gal. It was a very nerve racking and intense job, a man in a small ball with 55cal machine guns mounted on the front, movement was very hard and breathing was just as hard.
Originally from: I enlisted in Wichita Falls, Texas
Training: I was trained in Maryland
Citations/Medals: I recieved a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
Planes: I flew on the Red Headed gal, the nose art was of a beautiful red-headed girl with devils horns and was holding a bag that said bombs on the side of it. Not sure who created the art, was like that when I was assigned to the ship.
Number of Missions: 12
Description of Missions:
I remember most the feelings I had on take off and just before we started the bomb run.
Most poignant, sad or touching memory of the war:
The saddest moment of the war for me was everytime we made our bomb run, because I knew that those rocks were killing hundreds of men.
Funniest or most fun memory of the war:
my funniest memory of the war was the time a pal of mine got into a fight over a gal that was at a dance. He used to say that he could take on any man in the outfit and got whipped by a little bitty scrawny member of the ground crew. The funnest memory of the war was playing football on the side of the strip.
Any odd or strange memories from the war:
it was all odd to me, I was 18 years old and should have been back home workin the farm with my dad,and havin fun with my pards, instead I was over in the swpacific dropping bombs on people doing just that.
Most heroic thing I saw or did:
I once saw a member of the ground crew run into a burning ship to save a man that had been with him since basic, and saved two others along with him.
Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the war was over:
I was in the head when a man came running in and screamed the wars over were goin home, I was so excited I didn't even button my trousers and ran straight out into the yard and started crying it was so beautiful,then I realized my trousers were unbottoned. That night we all got tipsy and cried and laughed and told stories and wished we could all stay together but were glad we were goeing home.Two weeks later I was getting off the train in Dallas, Texas. I couldnt believe it was over, I was finally home. My family met me at the station it was the happiest most sad moment of my life.
How having gone to war has affected me, what comes to mindwhen I think of the war:
It gave me an apprecation for life knowing that at any moment my life could have been snuffed out just like that. I think of all the men that died over there and all the men that Iserved with, I also think of the good times and the bad. Being from a small town of 3000 the 250 young men who went overseas along with me were treated like heroes.The first thing I did when I got state side was got married to my still beautiful wife.
To future generations:
I would just like to say that I hope this our childrens children dont have to go through what we went through, I had a son in Vietnam and it has ruined his life, and as for us WW11 vetrans, even though we made it home, it partially ruined our lives, too. Life in general is a war; we dont need to fight and kill to prove ourselves.