Walter Reddy of Sewickley, Pennsylvania enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII, serving in Europe through the end of the war.
Since childhood, Walter had been fascinated with airplanes. “I was in love with the sky,” Walt says fondly, “and I always wanted to fly.”
When Walt was in flight training to become a pilot, the air force decided to ramp up long-range strategic bombing attacks against the Nazis. Bombers require large crews, so Walt and many other would-be pilots were re-trained as navigators, bombardiers, gunners, or radio operators—which is what Walt became.
After the war was over in Europe, Walt and his air group were sent to California in preparation for attacks against Japan. More heavy bombing, just as they did in Europe.
One day after their routine training missions had ended, Walt and his buddies were having a cold drink at a local bar. It was early August, 1945, and the heat was exhausting. While the men cooled down, they noticed the bartender nestled against a small radio against the back of the bar. He was trying to hear a special bulletin over the noisy room.
“Hey fellas,” the bartender suddenly leaned toward Walt and his group. “You guys are aviators. Bomber guys, right?”
“We are, Fred,” the aircrew said, almost in unison.
“What’s an A-bomb?” asked the bartender. The bombardiers looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
“We don’t know,” they replied. They had no idea.
On August 30, 2015, we filmed our 11th episode of Veterans and Their Stories at MCA-TV in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. On this day, Walter Reddy (Army Air Corps/WWII) joined us at the television studio to share his story of serving during WWII.
Veterans and Their Stories is a production of Moon Township Community Access Television. The talk show features interviews with veterans from Moon Township and surrounding communities. Veterans and Their Stories is hosted by Moon Township resident Beth Feather, who is also the MCA-TV community producer for this program. This program is co-produced with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club.
Walter Reddy: In My Own Words