Ewald A. Koch - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Ewald A. Koch




Ewald enlisted in the Army Air Corps on September 9, 1939, and arrived at Pearl Harbor in January the next year. At Pearl Harbor, Ewald was assigned to Hickam Field.

"Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, was taking a shower getting ready to go to Church. Because I am German, I was restricted from the flight line under suspicion of being a Nazi collaborator. Being denied access to weapons, I could only observe what was going on. I saw these high level bombers approaching our barracks, so I ran to a close parking lot and got under a car. During the bombing, I was struck with some hot shrapnel and received third degree burns. I was admitted to the hospital for nineteen days. After returning to my unit, I was transferred to the air base unit. I pursued my restriction and was cleared of all restrictions. At this time, the 46th Fighter soon arrived at Hickam Field and I applied for a transfer."

"After moving to Mockelin and Hilo airport in Hawaii, and Kanton Island in the south Pacific, I returned to the USA on points. In 1943 I was assigned to the 411th Fighter Bomb Sqdn, 343 bomb group, for duty in the European theater, arriving in England January 1944. Assigned to the 9th Air Force, we were located in the Southampton are and attacked targets on the coast of France. We also participated on D-Day from our base in England with our P-47's. After the ground forces cleared space behind our lines, we move to the continent, supporting the 3rd Army. From England, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, my squadron - the 411 FB's - participated in six campaigns (including the Battle of the Bulge)."

"At the end of hostilities we were programed for disarmament duties and were sent to the Lake Constance area in south Germany. After arriving there, we were told not to unload; we were going to the Pacific to help there. We were given 30 day leave after arriving in the USA. While on leave, the a-bombs were dropped on Japan, and shortly after Japan surrendered. From Ft. Wayne, Ind.; I was sent to Camp Atterbury, In. for discharge."

"Later I joined the inactive air reserve in 1955. At the start of the Korean War I was recalled to active duty. I spent some time in Bangor, Maine and Alexandria, Louisiana before orders in Korea. In 1952 after two campaigns and Armistice Day, I was assigned to George Air Force base. After two years at George in the 531 Sqdn, the 21st FBW was assigned to Chambly, France 1953-1958. After Chambly, I requested and was granted a transfer to Truax Field, WI. My next overseas tour was for one year to the ice box; Thule, Greenland. After returning to Truax, I retired in 1966."

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