Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Roy E. Bair who served in England, France, Holland and Germany during World War II.
Roy E Bair’s experience with the military started at a young age when he spent a summer at the Citizens Military Training Camp in Fort Dix, New Jersey in. During this summer, he learned how to clean and shoot a military rifle. The Army drafted him in 1943 and sent him to Fort Benning, Georgia.
His first job was working as a Section VIII court reporter, which helped decide soldier’s discharge. He was first stationed in London, England, where he and his company waited patiently for the D-Day invasion. Seven days after the invasion began, he and his unit, the 30th Infantry Division, 119th Infantry Regiment, were roughly fourteen miles inland of the coast. In his memoirs he wrote that he was somewhat confused as to why they were there. Then in an in an instant they came under attack from the German “screaming meemies” as they called them. These were small bombs that spread fire.
Bair was in St. Lo when a bombing killed 111 Americans and wounded 490. Luckily Bair survived the tragic bombing. The then served at a divisional headquarters, where he gleefully wrote “no more foxholes for me!” Throughout the rest of his service Bair spent time in France, Holland and Germany.
He left the service in 1945 as a technical sergeant. In his memoirs he wrote he was not trying to seem braver than he was, but in his service, “we are able to successfully say otherwise.”
We honor his service.
More of his story is at https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/1384.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Shawn Donahue