87 Year Old Veteran Recalls Serving Our Country Regardless of Race
Lynchburg, VA - In honor of Black History Month there is a standout veteran you should know about.
Lynchburg native Carroll Reeves was a part of the Red Ball Express.
For those who may not be familiar, The Red Ball Express was the code name for one of World War II's most massive logistics operations, a fleet of more than 6,000 trucks and trailers that delivered more than 400,000 thousand tons of ammunition, food, and fuel.
87-year-old Carroll Reeves is full of information.
"You see, that's how you do that one, Reeves said, laughing.
Reeves is the type of person who always finds a solution.
"My Fair Lady. Right across there -- see? See right there?," Reeves said.
His career dates back to 1943 when he enlisted in the army at the age of 18.
After training, Reeves set off to Normandy to be a part of the Red Ball Express, which was primarily operated and driven by African American soldiers.
"Supplying the third army and they had to keep the ammunition going," Reeves said.
Reeves was responsible for unloading all the ships and putting ammunition onto trucks to be delivered to General George Patton and his men.
"The work they were doing, it was dangerous just like any other part of the war, Reeves explained."
The men worked 12-hour shifts through the night, and could only sleep when the work was done.
"We had to sleep in box cars, train cars, you know?," Reeves asked.
The arrangement lasted a few months, before Reeved ended up back in the states.
"They had a big breakfast waiting for us when we got there, Reeves said.
Reeves' had a lengthy career.
"20 years and 13 days", Reeves recalled.
His service took him all over the world: from Germany to France to Korea. Reeves work earned him several medals including the bronze star.
After 20 years of service Reeves said he still hadn't had enough.
"17 years and 9 months in Civil Service," Reeves said.
Next Tuesday, Bedford's D-Day Memorial will host a Black History Month Program where they will feature author David Colley, who will discuss his book which highlights the Red Ball Express.
For more information, contact the National D-Day Memorial at (540) 586-3329. This lecture is part of the Memorial's annual series of educational programs. For more information about this and other National D-Day Memorial lectures and programs, visit http://www.dday.org or call (800) 351-DDAY.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch and enjoy the discussion. Colley's book on the Red Ball Express will be for sale at the lecture and a booksigning will take place immediatelyafter the presentation. This program is free to the public, though donations are welcome and appreciated.