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S/Sgt. Edward J. Shanahan
720th Squadron
Ed Shanahan is a handsome young gentleman born in South Carolina, around 1925. He was a high school student at the age of seventeen when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was very willing to enter the air force and fight in the war. He was stationed in Manduria Base, Cerignola in Italy. He also served as a medic in Vietnam. He became a dental technician after the war.

It was a nice day to be with his girlfriend and watch a movie. Ed Shanahan went to the movies to see “The Marcher Time.” It wasn’t until the movie was over that he found newspapers all over the streets. There was some chaos in the streets, not exactly what you want to see after a movie. He found out that Pearl Harbor has been attacked. He didn’t believe it at first, he thought it was just another propaganda used to get more people to enlist, but then he found out that America really did get attacked. He enlisted for the war at the age of 17 while he was still in high school. He was not taken in until December of 1943 and he was 18.

September of 1944, he was sent to training. They trained with MG’s until they are set for war. He was stationed in Manduria Base, Cerignola in Italy. Manduria had an unexpected He was an assistant armorer for the planes. He was the one in charge of actually dropping the bombs on the land targets, loading ammo for the guns and making sure that the plane had the proper cargo. He flew in the plane called Joker 3. He was part of the 15th air force in Italy, 720th bomb squadron, and 50th bomb squadron. His squadron flew missions, which targeted Vienna for four days. They bombed Vienna for four days straight, and for each day that they bombed, they had Vienna Sausages for a meal. They went back to the U.S. in a ship. The soldiers received the warmest welcome they have ever had. They ate meals like it was the best thing that touched their mouths. There was a party like no other, and they felt right at home. Their fight for freedom was accomplished, and they felt like it was worth it. During world war II Ed was never injured other then breaking his nose on a propeller of a plane, making him luckier than others.

Another war broke, and he was in it again. It was the Vietnam War, and he served as a medic. It was the worst site he has ever seen. There were bodies piled up in the back of the hospital, waiting to get service. At one point he had to operate an M60 at the back of a truck, his training with the heavy weapons from WWII served him well. Sadly, he was not wearing earplugs and now has a ringing noise in his ear till this very day. The welcome committee for this war was, as he says, “scary. ” There were no fancy banners, no confetti, and no parades, just silence. They just went home after they did their ‘job’. Their fight for freedom was accomplished, though it did not feel that way without the grand flashy entrance and welcome.

After the war he was a mighty dental technician. He’s now a retired staff sergeant who served the people. He served his country, and his belief of freedom, the ultimate goal of World War II. According to him, the only people that are heroes are the soldiers that received the Medal of Honor, the highest level of award for the act of courage and saving lives without thought to his own, whom even civilians must salute to.

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