Arthur Weaver - American hero
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“I was in the 1964 Engineer Aviation Depot Company. It was our job to help unload the cargo,” he said.
Segregation was an accepted fact of life during World War II and Mr Weaver served in an African-American unit, separate from his white comrades.
Mr. Weaver said that while most of the white officers were “pretty good,” to the African-American soldiers under their command, he recalls one white captain who treated the African American soldiers poorly.
“The Navy guys gave us this refrigerator and we walked back to our base. We were living on dehydrated food, real slop and now we could store some real food. But our captain - O’Mara - he asked us if we stole it. He just took it from us and sold it to the Philippinos,” said Mr. Weaver.
“ A buddy of mine was real mad and when the Inspector General came around, he brought him a tray of the gray goo and said ‘this is what we eat,’ and told him what happened with the refrigerator,” he said. “That Captain was removed.”
Despite this experience, Mr.Weaver decided to join the Reserves in 1947 and was called to serve during the Korea conflict. Mr. Weaver remained in the Reserve for 32 years. “I went in as a T5 technician 5th grade and left as a Master Sergeant in 1986,” he said.
Mr. Weaver is the former President of the 369 Veterans Assocation, Queens district also known as the Harlem Hellfighters - 15th Regiment, New York Guard and when he moved to Freeport in 1968 he became involved with the American Legion.
In September, Mr. Weaver was an honoree on the honor flight from MacArthur Airport to Baltimore Washington International Airport where a waiting motor coach took Mr. Weaver and other WW II veterans to Washington D.C., and the WW II Memorial where government officials honored the vets for their service. “It was a wonderful experience,” said Mr. Weaver.
On Monday, November 11 Mr. Weaver will be honored during the Freeport American Legion’s Veteran’s Day celebration at the Freeport Recreation Center at 10 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend.