ATMORE, Ala. (WALA) - A local World War II veteran has written a book of his memoirs as a flight engineer and gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
John Shiver, Jr. said as long as he can remember all he wanted to do was fly.
"Since I was 3 years old playing in the yard, I'd look up and see the birds flying in the sky and I wanted to see what they saw from the air," said Shiver.
But little did the 92-year-old from Atmore, Alabama, know then that decades later he'd be flying across the globe during World War II.
Shiver joined the Air Corps in 1942, eventually becoming a flight engineer and gunner during combat missions throughout Europe.
Shiver wrote the book, "I Always Wanted To Fly: Memoirs of a World War ll Flight Engineer/Gunner", which is based off his personal experiences which he marked down in a journal during his time serving.
He served three and a half years and despite the dangers he always made it back.
"Fighters would hit you before you got to a target. They'd have time to go fuel up and hit you again as you left the target. There would be bomb shells exploding around you, so you had to fight your way around the target," Shiver said.
He said he often thinks about his friends that didn't survive.
When his time was up, he said he never thought about going back, namely because of his wife of 69 years Myrtle, who passed away in 2011.
"She was a wonderful wife to be and a mother to our children. My desire to come home and start a family with Myrtle was greater than my desire to fly. My desire to fly was fulfilled," said Shiver.
Shiver left the Army in 1945 as a Tech Sergeant.
"I Always Wanted To Fly: Memoirs of a World War ll Flight Engineer/Gunner" can be found on Amazon.com.
Shiver will be at a signing event at the VFW Post in Atmore on Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m. until noon and Friday, February 1, from 2 until 4 p.m.
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