James “Bud” Shipley, Eugene “Tooter” Fish

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.

James “Bud” Shipley
Date of birth: Sept. 4, 1924
Dates of service: 1944 to 1946
Hometown: Clovis
Lives in: Clovis
Theater and location of service: European
Branch: Army
Rank: Tech sergeant
Unit and specialty: 102 Infantry, 405th Regiment, platoon sergeant

In his words: As a platoon sergeant, Shipley had distance between himself from his men, although “most of the time they were close. At times you had to use your authority.”

Beginning in Krefeld, Germany, crossing the Rhine River and marching through to the Elbe River, Shipley’s unit spent three months on the front lines.

It was the end of winter, early spring— wet and muddy. “At times it was miserable. … We did a lot of scavenging in the cellars. We found canned goods that the Germans put up. We would eat that when we couldn’t get supplies.”

In addition to crossing the Rhine and advancing to the Elbe river, Shipley took part on the capture of a barge-load of 600 German soldiers, served as an occupation guard over 6,000 German prisoners, and commanded a garrison on the Czechoslovakian border before returning home.

Eugene “Tooter” Fish
Date of birth: Oct. 5, 1925
Dates of service: 1944 to 1946
Hometown: Clovis
Lives in: Melrose
Theater and location of service: California, Camp Roberts
Branch: Army
Rank: Battalion sergeant major
Unit: 81st Infantry

In his words: Stationed at Camp Roberts for the duration of his tour, Fish said he enjoyed his assignment. He was responsible for processing troops. “I took orders in and sent people out” he said. Overseeing three companies, he recalls things being relatively calm.

“I was on a softball team. I wasn’t a drinking man so I didn’t go do that. We had a lot of fun with it (softball). We won the camp championship.”

As war drew to a close and his service came to an end, Fish was ready to come home. “I had farm land and I was ready to get to work.”

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com