WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
PORTLAND, OREGON

http://www.wilsonalumni.com

MILITARY SPOTLIGHT

GEORGE PERRY (1919-2007) WILSON TEACHER (DECEASED)
WWII US ARMY PILOT


George Perry passed away on August 22, 2007. George taught Shop and Math at Wilson High School from 1956 to 1979. He will be missed. One of George's students, Gary Severson '61, has vivid memories of George and thought his students might enjoy reading some of his memories from his days in class with Mr. Perry. According to Gary, George "used to tell his classes about his harrowing experience of being shot down as a B-17 pilot in WWII on the anniversary of that flight. (He stopped this in 1961 or 1962 when there were no more war brats at WWHS.) Sometime in 1943 he was returning from a bomb run on the oil facilities in Ploesti, Romania when he had to ditch his damaged plane in the Adriatic Sea. He was badly hurt and spent a couple of years in a German stalag. I last saw George just after a huge fiftieth anniversary celebration of┬áthe B-17 (sometime in the mid-1980’s) in Seattle (Boeing was one of the manufacturers). Several hundred Army Air Corp flight crews convened in downtown Seattle hotels for the big reunion. One of George’s most poignant experiences there was when the rear gunner from the B-17 in front of his found him and tearfully recalled how he’d seen George’s plane ditch. The gunner had wondered for over 45 years whether George and others from his crew had survived. Even more remarkably, another B-17 from George’s squadron had been shot down on the same raid, and that pilot was also located at the Seattle reunion.