VIDEO: WWII Heroes Recall War and Home Front

WWII Veteran
John “Lucky” Luckadoo | Image by Home Front Heroes Day/Facebook

Two centenarians recently met and discussed their different yet parallel experiences during World War II.

John “Lucky” Luckadoo joined Raida Snyderman in the lobby of Presbyterian Village North, a retirement home in Dallas, on Saturday afternoon to reflect on their experiences.

While Luckadoo flew 25 B-17 bombing missions in France and Germany as a pilot with the United States Army Air Forces, Snyderman joined the effort on the homefront by volunteering as a nurse aide in stateside hospitals in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Both are now 101 years old and consider the other to be the hero.

Luckadoo is a certified hero, with his story etched out in a biography called Damn Lucky.

Despite his heroism, Luckadoo remained humble, reiterating that chance had a greater role in his survival than actual skill.

“It certainly overwhelms me that I was, accidentally, a part of history,” he told Snyderman during the encounter organized by her daughter Alyson Cate, according to WFAA. “It was just a matter of sheer luck as to whether you survive or not.”

In fact, he looks to Synderman and people like her on the home front as the unsung heroes of WWII.

The mobilization occurring in the country affected all levels of life, from women joining the workforce in factories to households purchasing war bonds to support the cause financially.

Many Americans grew Victory Gardens, growing approximately 60% of the produce they consumed during the war.

With this in mind, Luckadoo has been campaigning for May 9 to be named Home Front Heroes Day to celebrate those who drove the war effort at home.

“It humbles me to think that we have never said thank you. Because without you, we never would have prevailed,” Luckadoo told Snyderman, according to WFAA. “We couldn’t have done it without you.”

Likewise, Snyderman said she had come to hold great regard for Luckadoo after reading his book.

“I read it and I was fascinated,” she said. “Because it put you in the seat. And you felt it!”

“I don’t think that I could compare his service to mine,” she added. “Those that fought eye-to-eye and got up every day and went back to work the next day, I have my greatest respect for.”

For decades, Luckadoo kept quiet about his experiences, later acknowledging that he probably suffered from what would now be classified as PTSD.

Once his reticence ended, he became an advocate for the unsung heroes who helped the U.S. triumph in WWII.

Another type of WWII hero — those who lost their lives in combat — was laid to rest recently in Dublin, Texas, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

First Lieutenant Noel Shoup was killed in action at the age of 25 when his B-17 Flying Fortress named “Miss Marooki” was shot down while he was conducting an air raid on targets in Nazi-occupied France on February 28, 1944. His remains were only recently excavated and identified using DNA technology.

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