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Former Pasadena Unified Teacher, Battle of the Bulge WWII Veteran Turns 90

Published on Monday, August 26, 2013 | 4:56 am
 

Roy S. Atwater Jr., who was a teacher in Pasadena Unified School District for 30 years and a former actor of Pasadena Playhouse, has turned 90 on August 24.

Atwater was a U.S. Army Air Corps armorer who served the front lines in Europe during World War II. He fought in several campaign including the Battle of the Bulge through inspecting aerial machine guns, bomb racks, bomb release mechanisms and gun sights and loading and fusing bombs and ammunition, the Mohave Daily News reported.

“If I didn’t do my job, then we flew the planes over to give the Germans an air show,” Atwater told the Mohave News.

Atwater decided to serve the Air Corps upon the suggestion of his father who also served the unit during World War I. Atwater Jr. trained in Colorado and joined several engagements, which included patrolling for submarines bound U.S. coast for the D-Day invasion of France and the Battle of the Bulge.

Atwater shared during his birthday party in Bullhead City that he experienced the destruction of a Luftwaffe unit over a Belgian airfield, where the Nazis had just destroyed several British planes, Mohave News reported.

“They had used up all their ammunition,” Mohave News quoted Atwater. “They’d used up all their gasoline and turned around to go home. The only thing was … my unit was there.”

After several more years of serving the U.S. troops, Atwater was honorably discharged as a corporal. He later attended the Los Angeles State College or what is now known as the California State University and earned a bachelor’s degree.

Atwater then joined the Pasadena Playhouse and taught in the Pasadena Unified School District. After he retired from teaching in 1983, he “has been loafing and having fun ever since,” the Mohave News reported.

He moved to Bullhead City in 2005.

The World War II veteran received several medals for his participation during the war including those that recognized his efforts at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Atwater also received a citation from the prince regent of Belgium.

“I had a job to do,” Mohave News quoted Atwater. “It was a hard job … but I did what I was supposed to do, to the best of my ability.”

Atwater was also recommended for the Bronze Star in 1945, but his information packet was misplaced and went to an Army depot in Missouri, wherein several records were burned during a fire incident including his, the Mohave News reported.

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