|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|
|S/Sgt. L.H. "Jack" Fultz
Position: Can't remember MOS seems like 1046 ???Black b-24...Top Turret Gunner Radar Assist.
Originally from: The state of confusion. INDIANA
Training: Miami Beach; Laredo, Texas; Truax Field, Wisconsin; Norfolk, Virginia, LeMoore Field, Cal.; Tonopah, Nevada, Hamilton Field, Calif.
Citations/Medals: I think the 63rd got the Presidential Citation with a couple of stars. We received six battle stars. Five bronze stars and one silver star.There were others but I don't remember them.
They were all black. There was no art...except our pilot and co pilot they were artists at flying.They truly deserve a medal. I mean truly, truly.We took off with all four gas caps missing..the gasoline looked like a rain storm...four torching turbos sent four 80-100 foot flames lighting up the sky like sunrise. The fumes were nauseating. They got us around the field and back on the ground sae and sound...turning my ankle jumping was of no consequence. The slightest wrong move and we were history. Messers Burwell & Ocean deserve medals!
Number of Missions: Seven
Description of Missions:
Search for Jap Shipping if no shipping was to be had the Pusan Air Docks and adjacent areas as secondary objectives.
Most poignant, sad or touching memory of the war:
Ernie Pyle getting killed on Ie Shima. and....One night at Clark when we were watching Oklahoma by one of the traveling groups....about three quarters of the way thru ...the search crew was called out....we knew that our buddies were down somewhere while we were watching a musical.and when the Indianapolis was sunk off Ie Shima.
Funniest or most fun memory of the war:
Transition in the States....Inclement weather forced us to RON (Remain Over Night) in all kinds of exciting cities.We would get adjoining rooms then throw great parties with the girls that usually I would pick up. In San Francisco the Red Penny and the Black Widow.The gun implacements and the Red Cross girls at Norfolk.Wisconsin University and Janet Biersach at Truax Field.The wrestling matches and the celebrations at Truax, Tonopah.Lemoore, Nadzab, Biak. At Ie Shima we discovered a place which the Japanese had built...it was a concrete beach surrounding a small pool fed by a wonderful fresh water spring. At high tide the salt water from the sea would come in and fill the small pool. We would lie stark naked on the smooth concrete sipping our 190 proof medicinal alcohol with the sun cascading over the whole scene ...we would toast.."This is the only way to fight a war."
Any odd or strange memories from the war:
wally Leaske and I commandered a Jeep to go to a nearby place to see new cadre of Red Cross girls moving in. We kept running people off the road until we figured out that we were back in US style driving on the right side of the road in the Phillipines. The girls were guarded wit guns and barbed wire. When we returned to Clark our crew had been alerted and flew to Ie Shima. We went up on an LS D with the ground crew. Typhoons were tantamount. One of the ground crew members was deathly ill. He was lying on barracks bags in the hold. A small ray of light was coming in from one of the port holes forming a perfect halo above his head. He was skinny , scraggly beard, and shorts...people would note the scene...cross themselves and I'm quite sure feel a bit better about the war...if nothing more than the chuckle.
Most heroic thing I saw or did:
I explained this above...it was the mastery and coolness displayed by Lts. Burwell & Ocean saving the B-24 and us.I reiterate they should receive medals. There were many more heroic acts but this one stands out above all.
Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the war was over:
On Ie Shima...we actually took it rather calmly...we knew that the first bomb on August 6th must have been something because we had to fly around a decided turbulence and something they called "fallout" on the 7th or 8th. Then we had no raids. It was quiet. Over on Okinawa several of the military were killed celebrating the end of the war. We all carried side arms. We were comfortable with them. On Okie people were using guns to celebrate and they were not used to using them. It was sad....very sad.
How having gone to war has affected me, what comes to mindwhen I think of the war:
I came home in a hospital plane a C-54. I was treated like a hero from Hawaii, San Fran, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Fletcher General in Ohio. I returned to Indianapolis to be discharged in January and started to school at Butler i January...the hero stuff was over I was back in college to learn and to learn I had to work. I remember going to a clothing store to look at suits.They told me the coat I was trying on was $ 75. I ask for the pants. They told me that was FOR THE COAT ALONE. I couldn't believe it. At Butler the VA representative told me that I should be elgible for a pension and that he was going to get me one. He was a homo sxual and I damn near broke his arm. I have never had an easy feeling with any VA person to this day.
To future generations:
The two most important precepts in life is to know the truth and to be in love. And to be absolutely right it has to be with someone who loves you. Life is as easy or as tough as you want to make it.If you feel that money is the most important commodity that you shall ever achieve then your life is destined to be very shallow.