A World World II veteran laid to rest in Wamego
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -At the age of 102, Captain Gerald Peddicord passed away on October 3rd of this year, and on Saturday morning he was laid to rest in his hometown of Wamego.
During his life, he dedicated his life to serving his country, joining the U.S Navy, and fighting in one of America’s biggest wars.
“He was born and raised on a farm during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl Era and he said the day after he turned 18 he was eligible to join on his own without his parent’s permission and that’s what he did and he said he wanted to be near water and that the dust was too much and so he got near water and never looked back and spent 33 years in the Navy,” said his son, Craig Peddicord.
While learning about his dad’s bravery and dedication, Gerald’s son, Craig enlisted in the Army.
“But my dad was very supportive of me, he goes I don’t care what branch of service you join, just serve your country and I was in the Army for 24 years so, between the two of us, we had 57 years of active duty,” he said.
Craig reflects on his father’s accomplishments he admired.
“In his time in the Navy, I think the time that impressed me the most was his carrier landings, he had 140 of them, and landing a plane on the aircraft carrier is very dangerous and the fact that he did 140 times was unbelievable to me,” said Peddicord.
“His time in Texas he was the commanding officer in the naval station there and that naval station is responsible for all of the Navy jet training so he commanded that and that’s when he retired from the Navy,” he said.
After his father was a fighter pilot and combat veteran in World War II and Korea, Craig calls his father a legend.
“He was always a hero to me, I could look up to him, he provided an example for me so growing up he was very much a disciplinary father and so it was hard to please him but I strived in all my life to please him and I hope he is resting in peace and is saying “Son you are doing what I asked you to do” so very honored, very proud to be his son,”.
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