Homecoming 1944

On August 6, 1944, Major George Preddy set an ETO record by shooting down six Me 109s in one mission – in about five minutes. Preddy had extended  four times to remain in England, but the result of this mission was that no more extensions would be approved. George was sent home to participate in bond drives and spend 30 days at home on leave. One event that took place while at home was held at the World War I Memorial Stadium, the place where George used to play tennis with Emily Harris Preyer (Emily served on the board of the PMF) among others, and a place where George’s father, Earl, spent many evenings watching ball games. The Stadium is only a block from the Preddy home. Below is the invitation, the program, and two photos depicting the event of September 5, 1944.

When asked by his pastor why he elected to go back to Europe to fight, George replied,

“I must go back,

Back to do my part,

Back to fly and give again;

And I am not afraid.

My plane may be shot away;

But I shall not fall,

For I have wings —

Wings not of wood or steel or stuff,

But wings of a firmer kind —

Wings God gave my soul.

Thank God for wings.”

George asked to return to Bodney, England to continue the fight. His request was approved, and he returned to take command of the 328th Fighter Squadron.