Arnold Lessard helped his father run a grocery store in Newburyport, and also owned a band that toured around the area. He enlisted in the Army in 1943; his ability to do math quickly helped him join the Army Air Corps soon after. He became a navigator and bombardier, and would be part of a B-17 crew testing radar equipment. Arnold Lessard was stationed in Japan during the American occupation. Lessard’s experience in the military led to a lengthy and successful career in consulting.
This interview was conducted by his son, Arnaud Lessard, at the Bedford VA Medical Center.
Walter Gilbert was born and raised in Cambridge. While a student at Northeastern University, he enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps, and was called up in 1943. Gilbert served in the 104th Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division as a platoon sergeant. He would see action in France, Luxembourg and Belgium, and would earn a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor for his service.
David Gaulin entered the U.S. Army in 1954 as a way to stay out of jail. He trained as a tank driver, and was stationed in Furth in West Germany. When he was sent to the border at Czechoslovakia, he helped several civilians fleeing the Soviets. While he was heading back to the United States, Gaulin witnessed the sinking of the Andrea Doria.
Harold Eckman was born in Worcester, the son of immigrants. He attended Clark University in Worcester, and joined the U.S. Army Reserve Corps in 1942. Eckman would eventually head to Europe as part of the 94th Infantry Division, where he served as mail orderly, delivering (and sometimes censoring) mail for his company.