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: Sept. 13,1921
Dates of Service: May 1942 to August 1944
Lives in: Clovis
Theater and location of service: Brazil, Italy and Africa
Branch: Army Air Force
Rank: 1st lieutenant
Military unit and specialty: 454th bomb group; pilot B-24
In his words: When war broke out he knew it was time to keep his promise and leave medical school for the war. He had attended a government sponsored pre-flight training program — held at air field where Greyhound Stadium now stands. After training, they were asked to take an oath — if their country ever needed them they would volunteer.
Piloting a bomber with a “scantily dressed miss America “44” painted on its nose, Neff and his crew of 10 men helped bomb the oil fields of Ploesti, Romania.
“If you weren’t scared there was something wrong with you,” Neff recalls, describing that the B-24s held the same level and altitude for seven minutes during runs, rendering them extremely vulnerable to the enemy.
World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: