Howard Ricker

Howard Ricker

Birthdate: 1922 or 1923

Birthplace: Pittston, Maine

College: University of Maine

Drafted or Enlisted: Enlisted

Branch of Service: Army

During the war: Howard was stationed in England as a crew chief where he worked as an engineer repairing fighter planes. Near the end of the war, Howard was sent into Germany to collect fallen and stranded aircraft that were serviceable so that they could be used in the invasion of Japan. He was also sent to scavenge the gun sights from these aircrafts to prevent this new and secret technology from falling into the hands of the enemy. Howard witnessed V-E day in a tiny town in southern Germany while scavenging for sights. After the war, a newly married Howard went back to Maine with his English wife and began school at the University of Maine, where he studied engineering. Howard is a strong believer in the importance of an education, saying that it, “opens up a whole new horizon, takes you places you never thought of before,” and credits the GI Bill to completely changing his life. While I interviewed Howard, his eyes lit up whenever he talked about the Bill and what it did for him. Pre-war, Howard was just a small town boy with no hope of ever attending college, as no one in his family had ever had either. Howard made it clear that while the war affected him, the GI Bill affected him by changing the course of the rest of his life.

 

Howard Ricker