Oral History Interview with Charles H. Tucker, April 18, 2017 All Tracks

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Oral History Interview with Charles H. Tucker, April 18, 2017 (Text)

Oral History Interview with Charles H. Tucker, April 18, 2017

The National Museum of the Pacific War presents an oral interview with Charles H. Tucker from Orange, California. He discusses volunteering for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and going to basic training in Miami Beach, Florida, then going to Aircraft Armament School in Buckley Field, Colorado, and finally air gunnery school in Fort Myers, Florida. In air gunnery school, Mr. Tucker learned to shoot in B-17 by shooting into the Gulf of Mexico. After gunnery school he was sent to the B-25 crew training at Columbia, South Carolina for 5 months. After Mr. Tucker completed his training, he was transferred to Dacca to a B-25 base and joined the 10th Air Force, the 12th Bomb Group. When he arrived his crew pilots were reassigned, and Mr. Tucker was not able to fly much until he was assigned to a regular crew again. Mr. Tucker was put in the 729th bomb squadron tasked with supporting the British 14th Army against the Japanese forces in Burma. The campaign he was involved in ended in May 1945 with the capture of Rangoon, the main city of Burma and Mr. tucker was in one of the squadron planes that flew over the celebration parade after the victory. When the war ended, Mr. Tucker was training at Madeaiganji airfield in India and celebrated by drinking, only to get frightened when his fellow servicemen started drunkenly shooting into the air. Mr. Tucker left on a ship headed for New York on October 1, 1945, and reached there on October 31 and was granted 45 days of leave. After his leave, Mr. Tucker reported to San Antonio, Texas, and was discharged December 22, 1945. When the Korean War started, he volunteered to be a pilot but was denied because of his vison, so instead Mr. Tucker became a navigator in February of 1951. After he completed combat crew flight training, he was assigned to the 452nd Bomb Group tasked with night patrols over the North Korean border. Mr. Tucker left the Airforce in 1954 but stayed in the Air Force Reserve until July 1984, at the end of his service he was a Lieutenant Colonel with the Pacific Campaign medal with Battle star, the American Service ribbon and the Victory Medal. Mr. Tucker's Battle star was awarded for the Central Burma Campaign he was a part of.

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