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 Ed and his lovely bride Mary
April 9, 1943
   Ed holding his picture of USS Endicott
March 2010

Thanks very much to Mr. Edward Bower, long time Falls Church resident and US Navy veteran, who agreed to participate in this project, and became the first veteran interviewed and published on this website.

Ed was born on January 5th 1921 in Philadelphia, PA where he grew up and attended Germantown High School. Upon graduation, he started working for Western Electric, a division of AT&T, installing telephone central office equipment.


On 16 February 1942, Ed was registered for the draft, and became classified "1A" on July 31st 1942.

"Immediately thereafter I made a decision to volunteer for the Navy because of their long standing reputation for good creature comforts. After passing my initial physical, I was advised on August 15th to report to the recruiting station on august 24, 1942 for my final physical and induction."

That Monday Ed enlisted in The US Navy, and was inducted into the Naval Reserves at the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station, Custom House, Philadelphia, PA. Serial Number 651-08-20.

"The group of enlistees met at the Custom House, we boarded a leased trolley car decorated with red, white and blue bunting and equipped with a large banner on both sides reading "U.S. Navy Volunteers". We travelled through the downtown Philadelphia area by a most circuitous route to the Reading Railroad terminal on Market Street where we boarded special cars for Newport. My father and my fiance, Mary Frances Burnett, were there to see me off".

Ed talks about his experience at the Custom House.... sound icon

wwii honoree bower