The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Oscar C. Witt

 

October 5, 2005



Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.

Date of birth: June 19, 1919

Dates of service: Jan. 15, 1940 to Sept. 15, 1945

Lives in: Logan

Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.

Theater and location of service: Mediterranean, Italy

Branch: Army Air Corps

Unit and specialty: 15th Air Force 464 bomb group 55th bomb wing 831st, B-24 and B-29 mechanic

After discharge: Fort Lewis, Wash.

In his own words: Nine days after he entered the service, Witt recalls hearing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech declaring war. Serving as an aircraft mechanic stationed approximately 200 miles from the front lines in Italy, Witt said his duties were relatively routine and that there wasn’t a lot of pressure.

He worked on B-24 and B-29 bombers.

On one occasion Witt remembers: “I saw a B-24 blow up on take off on a mission; no man got out alive.”

Many of the planes were damaged from battle when they arrived, he said.

“We had aircraft that was shot up come in to land, one of them blew up on the hard stand,” Witt tells, recalling that the next morning they found five 500-pound bombs lying where the plane had been.

Witt, who left the service, received seven Battle Stars and two unit citations.

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com

 

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