WWII vets reflect on end of WWII

National Museum of the United States Air Force. (WDTN Photo)
National Museum of the United States Air Force. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – 70 years ago, crowds filled the streets of New York City to celebrate the end of World War II.  Fewer than a million veterans of that war are still alive.  Three of them spoke to visitors of the National US Air Force Museum Friday.

According to the National World War II museum, there are less than 35,000 WWII veterans living in Ohio.  2 NEWS’ Jordan Bowen spoke with one of those veterans, who’s been living here in Dayton for the last 60 years.

Baylor Kirk is one of three World War II veterans at the National Museum of the US Air Force to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the second World War. Kirk served in the US Navy for three years from 1943 to 1946, entering the service when he was just 18.  Kirk served as an electrician on the USS Loy and traveled throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

“We made three trips across the Atlantic,” Kirk said. “We were on convoy duty with as many as 90 ships. We tried to keep the U-boats from getting into the convoy sometimes there would be as many as 90 ships.”

Kirk says he remembers the highlight of his time in the service when they sunk what they thought was an enemy submarine.  It turned out to be something else.

“We had sunk a whale. It was a whale instead,” Kirk said. “And the guy the sonar operator never did live that down. Evey time we’d see him, they say there’s the guy that had sunk a whale.”

2 NEWS spoke to folks at the museum, who say they were intrigued to hear the stories of those who served the United States during World War II.

“It was just like like a celebrity kind of,” Shelby Boatman said. “You hear all these stories about how they went over a fought for our country and everything and you get to see them in person and everything it’s like starstruck.”

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