Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.
Date of birth: July 16,1926
Dates of service: October 1943 to August 1946
Lives in: Clovis
Theater or location of service: South Pacific
Rank: Technical sergeant
Unit and Specialty: 77th Infantry Division 10th Army
After discharge: Clovis
A recipient of the Purple Heart, Gallegos was trained in “jungle warfare” from enlistment in preparation for combat in Japan. He said the Japanese were like “savages” when it came to warfare, saying a full invasion and ground war in Japan would have come at a high price and with great loss of American life. While among forces attempting to take a hill from Japanese forces in Okinawa on May 16, 1945, Gallegos was hit by small arms fire in his right side “they (Japanese soldiers) were standing on top of the hill and they were shooting us like fish in a barrel,” he said. Doctors told him had the bullet struck an inch more to the left, he would have quite likely lost his leg. He was carried by tank off the battle field to an Okinawan field hospital and later flown to Hawaii for treatment. Gallegos said relief swept through the soldiers at the hospital when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because those of them who were expected to make a full recovery knew they were being prepped to go back into combat for an invasion of Japan.
Dates of Service: 1943-1945
Lives in: Dora
Theater or location of service: Mesa, Ariz.
Rank: 2nd lieutenant
Unit and Specialty: Flight instructor
After discharge: San Angelo, Texas
Field served as a flight instructor throughout his enlistment in the Army.
Dates of Service: 1944-1946
Lives in: Clovis
Theater or location of service: Guam
Rank: RM 3rd class
Unit and specialty: Guam NOB Communications Office
After discharge: Tucumcari
Wright remembers a great excitement among his group, saying “when the bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki we knew it was the end of the war and we would be going home.”
World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: