Ned Wright

Ned Wright
Date of birth: Jan. 9, 1922
Dates of service: January 1941 to September 1945
Hometown: Portales
Theater and location of service: Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank: Tech Sergeant
Unit and specialty: Radio operator
Lives in: Clovis

In his words: After he finished high school, Wright said, “I didn’t have any money to go to school. (Military service) was something you could get into and survive.”

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and was trained as a radio operator, then was sent to Africa.

“I’d hardly ever heard of Africa,” he said. “From the jungles of Nigeria to the Gulf Coast, to French West Africa, to the Sahara, to the Red Sea, they gave everybody a good look at Africa,” he recalled, explaining that he served in several locations.

Coming from the United States and seeing the wild animals made an impression on Wright — elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, all very different from what he was used to, he said.

Wright recalled that they had no fresh vegetables, meat or milk.

“Our T-bone steaks came from a can labeled ‘SPAM,’” he joked.

Wright spent eight to 10 hours a day in a building sending and receiving messages by radio.

Even though there were no home comforts, “We didn’t complain; it was a job,” Wright said.

The last four months of his service were spent in Greenland.

“It was a much different story,” he said, referring to the dramatic change in climate.

Veterans’ profiles are a weekly feature. To submit a profile, contact CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson at 763-6991 or by e-mail at:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com