"When I enlisted in the Air Force, I fibbed a little bit about my age. I was not quite 18 yet
"It was '42. I enlisted exactly a year after [Pearl Harbor], you see. I had two brothers that had been drafted, and they wrote me and said, 'Don, whatever you do, enlist. This business of the infantry isn't really good.' So, that's what enticed me to enlist. And I was the third boy. Of course, we had to get a lot of paperwork done so my parents could say that it was all right for me to enlist because the government, at that time, or the services did not want especially to take the last boy, [or] male out of the family
"Times were different then than they are now. It was a 'Gung Ho!' type of thing to get married and go off to war. My parents really didn't approve of that, but I did. Lavonne and I Lavonne was my wife we got married at 17 and 16 [his age and her age]
"I can remember the troop trains going by where we lived, and all the girls were out throwing kisses to them. And I said, 'That's a pretty good deal. I think I'll join the service.' [Laughs] "