Diving In: World War II veteran recalls role as gunner
January 23, 2014, 6:30 pm by Emily Zendt
Ninety-five year old Sandy Harbor resident James "Jimmy” Walker’s memories of World War II and his late wife still live with him in an old album filled with photos, letters and romantic keepsakes culled by his late wife, Lily.
When he was just 21 years old Walker served as a first class aviator machinist mate on the USS Essex (CV-9) from 1941 to 1945 and served as a rear seat gunner operating machine guns in the two-seat aircraft.
"I knew I was going to get drafted, and because I had been in military school for a bit and I didn’t want any part of the walking Army, I went to Dallas and I joined the Navy,” Walker said.
"One day [an officer] came through and said we need five more rear seat gunners – you, you, you and you… just like that,” said Walker.
For the full story pick up the weekend edition of The Highlander.
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