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Thomas G. Lovett


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Thomas G. Lovett
Thomas G. Lovett was born on December 22, 1921. He is currently 91. He flew planes for the Marine Corps during World War Two. He currently lives in Richfield, Minnesota and has six children and many grandchildren. I think its important that we try to get the stories out of the war veterans before it's too late. They really risked their lives for the safety of their home and the people that lived there. He was present during interview but he has a speaking problem so his wife answered most of the longer questions that weren’t “yes” or “no.”
Question: “Where did you grow up?”
Answer: “He was born in Iowa on a farm, but moved to Minnesota in seventh grade with his family of five.”
Question: “How many kids were in your family?”
Answer: “He’s the oldest of three and has a younger brother and a younger sister.”
Question: “Did you meet your wife before or after the war?”
Answer: “After the war. He saw me at the University of Minnesota on my apartment steps while he was in school and he was working.”
Question: “Did you enlist in the war or were you drafted? How old were you?”
Answer: “He enlisted when I was 19. He first graduated high school but stayed home to help his dad run the farm for two years before he enlisted.”
Question: “Tell me about your training.”
Answer: “He first started training in Mankato where he trained to be in the civil air patrol where he flew with some other Minnesotan guys. From there he went to many other training camps until he finally ended his training in Pensacola, Florida.”
Question: “Did your parents approve of your decision to join the war?”
Answer: “Yes.”
Question: “When did your service start?”
Answer: “September 16, 1942.”
Question: “What was your job or rank?”
Answer: “Well, his job was a Naval Aviator Fighter Pilot in the Marine Corp. His rank was second Lieutenant in 1945, then first Lieutenant, and finally a general. He was also an air traffic controller on carriers. “
Question: “What kind plane did you fly?”
Answer: “F-4U Corsair.” (Fastest fighter jet in WWII)
Question: “Did you ever crash?”
Answer: “No.”
Question: “Where were you stationed?”
Answer: “On a carrier in the Pacific Ocean and also in some bases in the Philippines.”
Question: “How long was your service?”

Answer: “From September 16, 1942 to December 15, 1945 and then he served in an army reserve at Fort Snelling until 1950 where he trained monthly while he finished college.”

Question: “Did you earn any badges or medals?”

Answer: “He has two Distinguished Flying Crosses, six Air Medals, World War II Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one star, Asiatic Ribbon with two stars, and an Army Unit Citation for ground support in the Philippines.”

Question: “Did you stay in touch with your family while you were on the aircraft carrier?”

Answer: “He wrote letters. One was even published in a local newspaper.”

Question: “How was the food?”

Answer: “Lots of Spam. He’s not one to complain so it was good.”

Question: “Were you in combat?”

Answer: “Between January 1945 and September 1945 he flew in 81 combat missions, consisting of 43 from the Philippines and 38 from Okinawa. His favorite airplane he flew was the F4U Corsair which he flew for about 408 hours.”
Question: “Were you ever wounded?”

Answer: “Nope.”

Question: “What were you most proud of during the war?”

Answer: “Just serving in the war.”

Question: “What did you do for fun while you were waiting for a mission?”
Answer: “Played a lot of cards.”
Question: “Do you remember the first day your service ended?”
Answer: “He was happy because he could now finish college and he hadn’t gotten hurt.”
Question: “After the war, did you go back to a career?”
Answer: “No, because the government paid for his college so he went back to college to finish law school.”
Question: “Is there something that I forgot to ask you?”
Answer: “Yes, he really enjoyed being an aircraft carrier because it was a great feeling being on the deck of that enormous ship!”



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