America was at war in the summer of 1943 when Ernest Gallego graduated from high school. He tried to enlist but had to wait until he turned 18 that November for the Army Air Force to take him. His ambition was to be a pilot but he failed the depth perception test and chose gunnery school because it offered him a faster track to an assignment overseas. From their base in Italy, he and his crew flew more missions than they originally thought would earn them rotation back to the States, because the brass increased the magic number. After V-E Day, Gallego was on a ship headed home, expecting to fly more missions, when he heard the news of the Japanese surrender.
We honor you, Ernest Gallego.