World War II Veterans
Concordia Parish, Louisiana
Ferd S. Godbold II
He was born in Greybull, Wyoming in 1921 but was raised near Frogmore, Louisiana and graduated from Ferriday High School. He attended LSU and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1941.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he reported for active duty as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to an Engineering Battalion in Trinidad in the Caribbean. As this was pretty far removed from action, he volunteered to become a pilot in US Army Air Corps.
After completing pilot training at various US locations, he received his pilot wings and was assigned to the 340th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Groub, 15th Air Force stationed near Foggia, Italy. He flew bombing raids over the Alps and into enemy territory, specifically German manufacturing plants and rail yards and the Ploesti oilfield in Rumania. This included daytime flights in large formations with limited fighter protection. He and his crew also flew solo flights at night.
His plane was shot up several times and on one occasion, one of the engines caught fire. He was able to fly his crew and plane back to their base on every mission.
He completed 35 combat missions and received the following awards:
• Distinguished Fly Cross
• Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
• European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 5 bronze stars
• Air Combat Balkan Battle Star
• American Theater Campaign Medal
When the war was over in Europe he was mustered out with the rank of captain and returned to his job with Humble Oil as a civil engineer. He retired to Natchez, Mississippi in 1984 after completing 42 years with Humble Oil and Exxon.