Reluctantly leaving his mother and five younger siblings, Henry Forrest Fisher was inducted into the United States Air Force in 1942 during the Second World War.
“There was six of us, so there was Mom and five others and I was all of the income there was,” Fisher said. “And they took me, left them standing right there with nothing.”
Fisher would keep back a dollar or two back, but the rest of what he made came back home to his family.
“I never did keep over two dollars. Everything went to mom and them kids,” he said.
He also took on extra jobs, ironing for the other guys and such to make extra money to support the family. Fisher said he even worked nights, helping put down concrete for the runway because the big airplanes would sink in the desert black top like it was mud.
“So they let some of the GI’s work at night,” said Fisher. “Gosh, we was getting a big check, getting 87 cents an hour… I had room and board and everything, and clothes and things, so it was a good job.”
Fisher was inducted at Oklahoma City then went to Fort Sill. He then came back to Oklahoma City in the Air Force for about six months. He was then moved to Barksdale Field at Shreveport, La., on to the Army Air Base on the Mojave Desert at Barstow, Calif., and then to Fresno Army Air Forces Training Center.
“And then I went to Grand Island, Nebraska. There’s a B-29 base up there,” Fisher said. “And then that's when things happened. So, they transferred me from the Air Force to the Army.”
His transfer was during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.
“I didn't serve under the Battle of the Bulge. We just cleaned up,” Fisher said. “After the war was over, they transferred me to the Trucking Quarter Master,”
As a medic, Fisher said he did a little ambulance service. One of his jobs was giving shots. He said one Lieutenant came in saying he was going to show the boys how to take a shot.
“We hit him on both sides. Bam,” Fisher exclaimed. “He hit the floor and we didn’t even have time to catch him.”
Fisher also ran the night club for the soldiers, driving the truck to villages around the base gathering up girls for the guys to dance with. He said he was chosen because he didn’t drink or smoke.
“Oh, no,” was Fisher’s answer when he was asked how he’d like to run the club. “They wanted someone who didn’t drink and I never had a drink in my life. Not one.”
At 120 pounds, Fisher often found himself carrying a machine gun and ammunition along with his regular weapons.
“I carried it half way across Germany,” Fisher said.
The prisoners they took in Germany were glad to see the U.S. GI’s because they were starving, according to Fisher. They often ended up with more prisoners than they had soldiers.
“They didn’t have nothing to eat,” Fisher said. “Course the German people, they didn’t want that war. There wasn’t nobody but old Hitler and his SS troopers. That’s all that was.”
Fisher was awarded two Bronze Stars for heroic achievement in a combat zone.
“Seventy years ago, when we were over there, why, what we were fighting then is just exactly what’s going on now,” Fisher mused. “But they ain’t doing a very good job at it now.”
Fisher came home in 1946 and helped his mother run a cafe in Boise City.
Fisher went on to work for Noble Drilling Corporation, with nine rigs in three states and 155 employees he supervised. He received the Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award commemorating his achievements in the oil and gas industry.
Fisher, 97, now lives in Woodward.
Reporter's Note: Few of these heroes are left to speak to anymore. The dedication they have given our country both in and out of their military service is inspiring. Whether carrying a weapon, a medical bag, a rope or a wrench, the heroes of the United States of America are all around us, every day. They’re hard working men and women, providing for families, paying taxes and fighting for the liberties of the next generations.
Thank you Forrest Fisher for your service.