Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker
Edwin Williamson was talking about his father — “Pop” to him — as yet another Edgecombe County Veteran was honored at the monthly flag-raising on the Town Common.
Ted Williamson was like millions of other young Americans because, knowing the dangers of war, he signed up anyway. In Williamson’s case, it was two weeks before his 18th birthday.
The younger Williamson said his father went through Navy boot camp in San Diego and noted that after he was designated for aviation duty, he underwent crew training in Memphis, Tenn.
Williamson earned the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class and his job specialty was as an ARM, or air radioman. Since that rating was only in use from 1942-1948, Williamson was one of a limited number to have it.
A story was shared that in 1998, Williamson visited his son at Pensacola Naval Air Station and they visited the aviation museum there. It was shared that of all the airplanes at the museum, the only one of interest was a TBF Avenger dive-bomber — the plane he had been trained for.
Despite barriers and “do not touch” signs, the elder Williamson climbed up into the aft compartment — where the radio operator/gunner sat — and had a seat. He was there when a museum tour group came through, too.
Edwin Williamson referred to Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” as he discussed his father and the millions of men who went off to serve their nation … “I am convinced that their military training was of great value to the men who returned after World War II and went to work in America’s business community....”
“ … For Ted Williamson, and all those who served with them, it is entirely proper that we give thanks for what they did, why they did it, and how they returned and lived good lives, well lived.”
The next flag raising will be on Monday, Nov. 5 and will honor Spec. Thomas Reuben “Tom” Bradley, who was killed in Quang Nam, South Vietnam on Nov. 21, 1970.