Addy, Noel

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    Read Noel Addy's oral history HERE

    45th Division,
    189th Glider Squadron
    European Theater

    Profile by Randy Aafedt
    In 1940, Noel Addy graduated from Chandler High School with a football scholarship from Northern Arizona University. His National Guard unit was mobilized and sent to Camp Barclay in Abilene, Texas. Here Noel met a beautiful young woman, Pat. On December 7th, on their way to church, he proposed, and she said yes. When they got to church the place was in an uproar because the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
    The US Army wanted to use gliders to transport troops into an area and secure it for paratroopers. Noel volunteered because the glider base was in Wickenburg, Arizona. “Flyin’ into war seemed like a whole lot better than doing it walking. And I figured let’s fly, I’d just rather fly.”
    Noel proved adept as a glider pilot and was promoted to instructor. “Then the army sent the small gliders instructors to Victorville, California. They had these large gliders, the CT480s, and after I checked out on these I became an instructor. The CT480s could carry about 4,000 pounds; a jeep and two passengers, or 16 troops with full gear.”
    In December of ‘42, an article in the Chandler Arizonan reported a crash at the glider base in Victorville, California. The article stated that Noel Addy had died.
    “I got the glider down when the aircraft went down but they deceased me on paper along with the other people that got killed. The Army sent my mom a wire. Instead of delivering the wire, they put it in her post office box. Nobody from the base got in touch with the right people to tell them they got it wrong about the accident, and it was Monday that I called and told her that I was okay.”
    In June 1943, Noel was in England preparing for the invasion of Normandy.
    “When we landed I was the highest in rank and knew enough about fightin’ and battle, so, I was in charge. I had a machine gun squad. It’s hard to say how many Germans we got but we got a bunch of them. We dug in and that night we held them off.  The next day the glider pilots started workin’ our way back to where they could land a plane and take us back. They wanted to get us back so we could pull some more in.”
    After the war ended Noel returned to Chandler before re-enlisting. “I had about six years in the service, thought I’ll put in another fifteen years and retire. I stayed in 31 years.”




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