“ My faith in God is strong and always will be . God has blessed me in so many ways , including in my long life of 100 years .”
These pictures are a reflection of George Mabry over the past 100 years .
A year later , after a lot of soul searching , and two years after WWII began , Mabry said he decided to join the Air Force in 1942 .
“ I went through basic training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi for eight weeks ,” he said . “ After my basic training , I was transferred to Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi , Mississippi . I trained on different aircraft . I trained as an aerial gunner .
After approximately three to four months , I was transferred to Laredo , Texas , where I trained aircraft gunners .”
After 16 months , he was recruited by the Army to head up an Ammunition Demolition team with special training .
“ This would send me to the Savannah Army Depot in Savannah , Illinois , where I was stationed and trained for approximately six months ,” he said . In 1944 , he received his orders and boarded the ship for U . S . Grant in Seattle , Wash .
“ We were headed to Okinawa , Japan ,” Mabry reflected . “ It took us 33 day to make it there . We stopped at several islands including the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands . We secured these islands and began the process of cleaning them up after the troops had been there .”
This cleaning up process , according to Mabry , consisted of defusing and disarming bombs that had been left there . After 33 days , he said they finally reached their destination of Okinawa , Japan . “ We stayed there approximately 18 months ,” he said . “ The ammunition demolition was quite large . I stayed on the south end of the island and never ventured to the north end which was approximately seven miles away .”
Mabry also went on to explain that there were Japanese held captive on the north end of the island
10 | SPRING 2021 CULLMAN COUNTY SENIOR MAGAZINE