WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A WWII veteran says his Dad told him he had to work in the coal mine.
He lasted just one day, and then he was off to sign up for the service.
Jay Spicer intended to become a sailor, but he was color blind, so the Navy wouldn’t take him.
He ended up in the Army Air Corps.
“This picture here was taken down in Louisiana,” WWII Veteran Jay Spicer said.
That’s where Spicer first landed in the Army Air Corps, but his mission wasn’t flying.
“I am sorry, but that just gets me,” Spicer said.
He said it’s very difficult to talk about the time he spent guarding prisoners of war.
“It was hard, I didn’t like it, no, I was only 17-years-old and they did a lot of things at that time,” Spicer said.
He would go on to become part of the military police force in Germany.
“I worked with English soldiers and I worked with the British soldiers,” Spicer said.
That was not his only assignment in the war-torn country.
“I saw it when it was all bombed up and everything and the second time when I went back it was all rebuilt,” Spicer said.
He was there during the Berlin Airlift.
“I know you’ve heard when the pilots thew candy out to the people, and so forth, I saw that,” Spicer said
He also guarded the wreckage following Wichita’s worst aviation disaster The Piatt Street crash.
“It was just my duty, which we kept people away from the airplane until it was taken away,” Spicer said.
While he saw many tragedies through his service and said it still bothers him today, he also watched the future of the Air Force in Wichita take shape.
“I came out there in 19 and 50 when they were building that air base and we worked down, out of a building downtown,” Spicer said.
Once McConnell Air Force Base base was built, Spicer said he supervised many guards.
“We had quite a few air police men at that time,” Spicer said.
Their job was to protect the aircraft and all the fuel needed for the fleet to fly.
“Army troops were trained in these airplanes,” Spicer said
Spicer said he spent most of his time on the flight line and security forces are something he was proud to be part of for nearly 30 years.
“I would do it again,” Spicer said.
Spicer would go on to work in security his entire career.
He went to Beechcraft the day he officially retired from the service.
He said he stayed there many years, before he went to work for the county hospital.