World War II veterans

For 89-year-old World War II veteran Jake Garrett, memories of the war are very emotional. Garrett, like some of the other veterans interviewed, has lived in Fowler his entire life, with the exception of his time in the military. “I enlisted right after graduation. I graduated on a Friday and enlisted on the following Monday. Everyone was going, you didn't have much choice at the time,” said Garrett. He was sent to Shepard Field for his basic training, afterward he attended radio school for six months in South Dakota, learning Morse code for his duties as a radio operator on B17 bombers. Flying 35 missions, he remembered bombing Germany about every day. His pilot was Frank Blackwell, whom he remembered fondly. “We kept in contact some after the war, Frank passed away quite some time ago. He was living in Colorado Springs at the time,” Garrett recalled. His first mission was one he will never forget, a B17 flying next to his plane, “Ruby's Raiders,” blew up, killing all on board. For his service to our country, he was awarded the Air Medal plus several others he couldn't quite recall. He lived on $10 a month for quite some time, sending everything else he earned home to his mother. He was later promoted to Tech Sargent and earned a pay increase, but couldn't recall how much the increase was. He and his brothers all served in the military, his brother Bill, was shot down on his first mission. Bill was captured by the Germans and at one point was able to board a train and escape, only to be caught again, this time spending 3-4 years in a concentration camp. When the war was over he was released. His best memory of the war was the day he was discharged in 1946. After he was discharged and sent home he was called back to duty. He traveled to South Dakota, leaving behind his service station. Once he arrived in South Dakota, they told him they didn't need him. His business had already suffered, it was then that he began working for Wonder Bread. His route included, Fowler, Avondale and Boone and in later years La Junta. He retired from Wonder Bread and was given several awards for safe driving and years of service. He married Marge Petrie in 1947. They raised their family in Fowler. About Ruby's Raiders Late in 1944 Corporal Ruby Newell from Long Beach , Calif., won a “Stars and Stripes “contest as the most beautiful member of the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps.( WACS ) in the European theater, while serving in the 3rd Bomb Division as a staff worker in the UK. She was immortalized on a brand new B-17G-50-DL, # 44-6483 assigned to the 550th BS, SG-G which was painted by Cpl. William E.Ploss from Trafford , Pa. Corporal Ruby Newell died in February 1981 and was buried at Riverside National Cemetery adjacent to March Air Force Base located in Riverside ,Calif. (Information taken from