HOLDEN, Maine — George Fulcher of Eddington, a 93-year-old World War II veteran was honored for his service on Dec. 8 at the Holden Veterans Memorial for his contribution during WWII. Fulcher, a retired technical sergeant, flew as a bottom gunner in several B-17 squadrons while deployed in North Africa and England. He entered the service when he was in the eighth grade, but when his young age was discovered, he was separated from service as a private. He later re-entered the service and became a bottom gunner, chosen for his small stature.
Fulcher said he was the only crew member who didn’t wear a flak suit in the plane due to the confined space in the turret. He also described coming back from missions with flak all in the aircraft. He said, “It looked more like a pineapple.” In one instance,
the plane he was in came back was so heavily damaged it was permanently grounded.
Fulcher flew 73 missions while assigned to the 94th , 91st and 341st bomber squadrons. Fifty of those flights were in North Africa, the remainder in England.
Fulcher, escorted by Marine Corps League Bangor Detachment 1151 Commandant Bill Jones and Adjutant Richard Stitham, placed a memorial wreath provided by Wreaths Across America at the base of the Holden Veterans Memorial. After a brief reflection given by Merrill Worcester, founder of Wreaths Across America, the some 50 vehicles, including law enforcement escorts,buses , private vehicles and 23 tractor-trailers loaded with wreaths, left for a journey that would end at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Volunteers then proceeded to Hart cemetery to place more than 100 wreaths on the markers of veterans ; some dating back to the Civil War.
Bonnie Clark, manager of the cemetery, said that some of the challenges in honoring veterans from the past is finding their markers. She urges those who have a loved one who was a veterans to contact her at the town office.