WWII Runway Maker


Trevor Bailey, Reporter

Dwight O. Weaver was drafted into the army in January of 1942. He was taken by bus to St. Louis where he was given a health evaluation, and was sent back home. Dwight got married to Evelyn Lowe on January 28, 1942, and he was sent to Scott Air Force Base the very next day on January 29. The next morning he was sent by train to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he trained for 6 weeks. He was then sent to Washington where he was given engineering training.

Dwight wrote this for the Wayne County Press, in a special veterans day issue, about his boat trip overseas, “From Fort Dix we were loaded on the troop ship Monterey that took us across the Atlantic Ocean. I enjoyed two days of the trip before becoming sea sick until we went between Ireland and Scotland when the ships slowed down.”

Dwight was a corporal in the 820th Aviation Engineering Battalion. While overseas, his job was to build runways for the air force planes. He mostly stayed out of active combat, but had to fight in The Battle of The Bulge. During which he saw a British plane shoot down a German one.

Dwight wrote this about The Battle of The Bulge in the aforementioned Veterans Day article. “During the battles we saw a British plane shoot down a German plane and had a “buzz bomb” shot over our heads. A buzz bomb had a motor. When they run out of fuel, they fall to the ground and explode, sending shrapnel all around. We had to lie down to eat dinner as buzz bombs and German 88’s (artillery) were shot at us.”

His time in the war took him to many new places such as Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Even though he was a long way from home, he still sent letters to his wife every chance he got.

In a letter to his wife on Saturday afternoon, on August 19, 1944, Dwight said, ”Has been several days since I wrote you a letter I’m sorry to say, so will write you one now. How is my wifey and big boy getting along by now? As well as ever I would hope.”