World War II veteran was lucky to survive to tell tale

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

In 1985, there was a story about a World War II veteran who was lucky enough to survive and be able to tell of his experiences. Aubrey Wright served in World War II in the Pacific.

He saw first hand some of the most severe fighting of that theater. Just after the fierce fighting on the island of Iwo Jima, the American ships were bombarded with kamikaze fighters who would deliberately fly their planes into the ships, killing as many as they could.

It mattered not that the pilots were going to die in their attempts to kill the Americans.

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Wright was in the path of one of those planes and in the midst of trying to bring the plane down, when he caught one of the bullets. Although it could have been the end for him, he survived because of his helmet and a homemade plate he had installed in his helmet. The bullet turned out to be a dud that just bounced around in his helmet.

This was an interesting story for me, because of a family connection with the fighting in the Pacific. My cousin, who is my best friend, lost her father in the landing on Iwo Jima. In fact, I still have the newspaper clipping telling of his death in our local paper. I think I may have told you of this event in my life as I was there when the news came of his death.

I was only five years old, but I remember it well. It’s strange how some things linger in your minds.

Sam Tachi Sr. was honored during the first week of September as being the oldest member of the American Legion Post 90. He was 93 years old.

I bet he had some stories to tell.

Five prisoners escaped from the Escambia County Jail in Brewton.

Sheriff Tim Hawsey stated that the low number of officers led them to use trusties for some jail chores. One of those trusties was responsible for unlocking the jail door which allowed the men to escape. One of the escapees was later found in a bar in Pensacola, Fla., and by the end of the next week, four of the five had been


At least one good thing came out of the search of the local area. A crop of marijuana was found in the woods and destroyed.

I know that I had a lot to say about Hurricane Katrina last week and I will just tell you that in 1985, everyone was looking out for Hurricane Elena. It did some minor damage to this area, but it was just another reminder that we have to take precautions when we hear that a hurricane could come our way.

I read with interest that collectors are willing to pay a very good price for old duck decoys. Some of them can be worth many thousands of dollars and they are prime collectibles. Wish I had a few. It seems that I have been saving the wrong things all of my life. None of them have been of any value to me. One story that I tell is about my mother’s ugly planters. We had two of them at home and they were the ugliest things to me. When we were cleaning out the house after she died, my sister-in-law asked if she could have them. Of course, I didn’t care and she took them home with her. Then I found out that the pieces were McCoy planters and how valuable they are.

There was also a story about Halley’s Comet. People were hearing all sorts of stories about the comet and when to watch for it. I don’t remember seeing that one but I do remember one that came within viewing range. Comet Hale-Bopp was a feature in the sky in the late 1990’s.