December 20, 2010
Five sons of Landon and Grace E. Edwards have a total of more than 100 years of active military service. Each put in at least 20 years.
Lewis C. Edwards
Lewis C. Edwards, of Camdenton, served in the old Army Air Corps, the Army Air Forces and then the Air Force, when it became a separate service. He served seven years overseas during World War II, the Korean War and later. He was also stationed in the British zone of Germany during the Berlin Airlift in 1948. He retired in 1965.
Clell C. Edwards
Clell C. Edwards retired as an Army master sergeant in 1968. He served overseas in Korea, Vietnam and in the American sector of Berlin, Germany. A highlight of his German tour was a week in Antwerp, Belgium, where he met up with his brother, Lewis Edwards. He came up from the American zone and meanwhile, another brother, James Edwards was docking at Antwerp on a Navy ship. Clell later died of Agent Orange.
Joseph V. Edwards
Joseph V. Edwards, of Sherwood, Ark., joined the Navy in November 1945. He went to San Diego for boot camp. He went home on leave and then to Shoemaker, Calif. He was assigned to the USS Hornet, CV-12 in San Francisco. After 10 months in the Navy, he was discharged. He stayed in the reserves for 10 years. He returned to the Navy in January 1958 and was stationed at Lambert Field in St. Louis. When they closed the installation, he was transferred to Alvin Callender Field in New Orleans, where he worked as a photographer.
James Edwards, of Sedalia, said, “I was born in the bootheel of Missouri. Down there it was pick cotton, and I’m no cotton picker, so I left and went into the service.”
He enlisted in the Navy in March 1948 and went to boot camp in San Diego. In June 1948, he was assigned to the USS San Pablo, AGS-30, for four years. He was an oceanographer. Sometimes the crew would drift for 15 to 30 days. They took samples of the water down to about 5,000 feet and bring them back to the States for testing.
He was discharged Jan. 26, 1952, and three days later he got married. He couldn’t find a job, so he went into the Naval Reserves in St. Louis. He re-enlisted in March 1954 and was sent to the naval air station in Willow Grove, Pa. He was stationed at Lambert Air Guard Station from 1954 to November 1957. When his enlistment was up, his wife didn’t want him to go back to sea, so he joined the Air Force. He went to Little Rock Air Force Base on Nov. 1, 1960, and transferred to Ashia in Japan. When it closed, he was transferred to Yokota Air Base in Japan. His wife was able to join him there.
“I was fortunate. One of my brothers came over and he was stationed on the same base I was for about 18 months. The day he landed, my wife gave birth to our third child. He had his wife with him... We really enjoyed Japan,” James said. He wasn’t sent to Vietnam, because one of his brothers was already there.
He returned to the States in January 1962 to Findley Air Force Station in North Dakota. He was there for 30 months. He transferred to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., in 1963. He was assigned to Osan Air Base in South Korea in 1964 and then to Whiteman Air Force Base until he retired in 1970. Though he quit school in the eighth grade, he wound up with a two-year college degree.
Charles W. Edwards
Charles W. Edwards, of Orlando, Fla., joined the Air Force in July 1952 at the age of 17. He received electronics training at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. After training, he was sent to Nagoya, Japan. He was later stationed at A-Dact Station in Alaska, Taipei, Tiawan; Kahana, Hawaii; and Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. He also served at Key West Naval Air Station and MacDill Air Force Base, both in Florida. He retired in 1975.