By the late 1920’s and on into the 1930’s the Great Depression held America in its tenacious grip. As the Hard Times began to ease during George’s teenage years, the rumblings of evil began to shake the world… Japan to the west, and Germany to the east.
On a quiet Sunday in December of 1941, during his seventeenth year, George heard the words from a presidential radio broadcast that would change his world - and his life - forever… the Empire of Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor.
As with countless other young Americans, the call to duty was answered. George served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corp, flying twenty-eight bombing raids, while operating as the belly turret gunner on a B-17 heavy bomber.
From childhood to Pearl Harbor; voluntary induction into the Army; basic, gunnery, armament and B-17 combat training; assignment to the United Kingdom as part of the 8th Air Force; the reality of bombing raids against Hitler’s wehrmacht; his discharge and trip home on the Queen Mary… this is the story of an American who is part of The Greatest Generation. This is George Smith’s journey.