Several years ago I received a folder with photocopies of one man’s experience as a waist-gunner in a B-17 over Germany during World War 2. The man’s name was Arden Yoder, and I started putting together a web site in honor of his memory. However like many of my “projects”, it fell by the wayside. All that I have are a few scans that have sat on the server untouched – until now.
Arden lived a relatively long life, passing away at the age of 76 in August 2001. His memoir deserves better than a single post in a blog, but it’s the best I can do for now.
Here’s his gunnery school certification:
Here’s a picture of Arden’s plane, the Nine O Nine:
Mr. Yoder’s hometown newspaper announced his return. It’s hard to imagine a newspaper doing this today.
According to his obituary, he was married to his wife Beryl for 52 years, had three daughters, Beth, Teri and Linda – who died in 1988. He worked as a UPS delivery driver until 1969 then at a Photomat until he retired in 1989.
One by one the Greatest Generation passes into history. All the while a new Greatest Generation – those currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, are taking their place. While we must work to celebrate the lives of World War 2 veterans, we shouldn’t forget those who sacrificed in other conflicts including Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Panama, Persian Gulf and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s a day of remembrance for all those who gave their lives in the service of Freedom.