Linda Roe Collection

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    Oral memoirs of Linda Roe: an interview conducted on July 18, 2020
    In this interview, Linda Roe discusses the life and WWII service of her father, Jerry Thomas Spencer. Born in 1918 in Harris County, Texas, Spencer grew up on a dairy farm. Immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and left for basic training in February 1942. His rank was staff sergeant and then later technical sergeant. Because he was small in stature, he became a turret gunner for the Blonde Bomber, a B-25 in the 408th Squadron that flew missions in the Pacific. In total, Spencer flew 54 missions with the plane until he was grounded with malaria. On the next mission that the plane flew without him, it went down. Roe recounts a particularly harrowing story of her father repairing the landing gear of the plane in the air, which saved the plane from crashing and its crew from having to parachute. Following the war, Spencer returned home to work as a dairy farmer and mail carrier and married. Although he was a peaceful person, he never lost his wild, fun-loving spirit.