Bob and Mac Eads
Mac Eads grew up in Nebraska and joined the CCC building duck habitat in his home state before the war broke out. Inducted in the Army just days before Pearl Harbor, his construction equipment skills would be put to use when he arrived in Chernofsky Bay on Umnak Island. He trained as a heavy weapons operator and had the chance to test his skills as Japanese and Allied aircraft fought over Umnak in early June 1942. He was involved in a burial unit retrieving the bodies of service men around the state and participated in body recovery for downed Canadian flyers at Makushin Bay. He returned to the Aleutians after the war working on salvage operations with his brother Bob.
Bob Eads had a love for aviation and signed up for whatever aviation positions the Army Air Corp had to offer. When finished training for aircraft mechanic he was transferred to pilot training and was assigned to fly the C-47. He flew for the 436th Group, 81st Squadron dropping ammo, supplies and paratroopers into seven major invasion fronts on the Eastern Front. After the war Bob and Mac married two sisters from Seward and started a variety of businesses that has kept them in Alaska ever since. Both brothers just barely survived the tidal wave following the 1964 earthquake. Learn more about the wartime history and lives of these two brothers in the interview below. Download a full transcript of the interview with Bob and Mac Eads.
Robert and John “Mac” Eads Transcript Summary (download full transcript above)
Part 1 of the Interview.
[0:00:13.2] Introduction of the people present.
[0:00:46.3] John “Mac” Ead’s birthplace and where he grew up.
[0:01:01.8] Working for the CCC in Valentine Nebraska.
[0:02:29.7] Working in California.
[0:03:36.3] Joining the miliary.
[0:04:32.9] Mac’s memories of hearing about Pearl Harbor.
[0:05:27.3] Being sent to Camp Roberts, California.
[0:06:22.0] Stationed in the Aleutians.
[0:07:42.2] Chernovsky Bay.
[0:08:27.5] Shooting at the Zeros and at the Americans in Umnak.
[0:10:44.5] Shooting down and recovering Japanese Zero.
[0:13:04.5] Chernovsky sheep ranch.
[0:13:49.2] Fishing for pink salmon with Captain John Hoff.
[0:14:32.3] Food while aboard ship at Umnak.
[0:15:56.3] Canadian P-40s at Chernovsky Bay.
[0:16:44.0] Crew aboard the ship at Umnak.
[0:17:40.9] John Hoff introduced Mac to his wife.
[0:19:21.5] Coming to Seward.
[0:21:23.9] Working at the generator plant while waiting for ship repairs.
[0:23:42.6] Other crew assignments while waiting for ship repairs.
[0:24:26.9] Mac’s wife and family.
[0:25:31.2] Returning to the Aleutian Islands and transporting USO troops.
[0:28:22.0] Assignment to a burial unit.
[0:29:15.7] Crew member drowning at Kodiak.
[0:30:58.0] The battle at Kiska.
[0:31:48.1] Returning to the Aleutians after the war.
[0:32:54.2] Recovering scrap metal in the Aleutians.
[0:34:44.1] Leaving the military.
[0:36:01.5] Begin interviewing Robert (Bob) Eads.
[0:36:16.6] Robert’s birthdate and family history.
[0:37:14.5] Joining the military with parents’ permission.
[0:38:57.5] Robert’s training in the military.
[0:43:04.7] Discussion about the flight crew.
[0:44:02.2] Military assignments.
[0:45:07.2] Utilizing the CG-4 gliders.
[0:48:09.3] Based in Great Britain and flying to various locations in Europe, including Normandy and the Netherlands.
[0:49:04.0] Robert’s memories of D-day.
[0:51:35.6] Close calls during the war.
[0:52:31.4] Reference to the Green Light.
[0:54:15.6] Briefing the pilots.
[0:56:56.3] Crew morale during difficult times.
[0:57:46.6] Military censorship of personal letters.
End of Part 1 of the recording at 0:58:15.6
Part 2 of the Interview (download full transcript above)
[0:00:00.5] Second part of interview begins.
[0:00:27.0] Robert’s last invasion, Germany.
[0:00:48.3] Time in France.
[0:03:46.8] Finding out the device (bomb) had dropped and then the end of the war.
[0:06:46.3] Heading to Boston aboard the Mariposa.
[0:07:52.3] Destroying the airplanes that were used in Europe.
[0:10:04.6] Dutch windmills that were used as flak towers.
[0:12:00:8] Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne.
[0:12:31.0] German souvenir, a dagger, from a German officer.
[0:14:18.9] Robert meeting his wife (Mac’s wife’s sister) and getting married.
[0:16:35.2] Driving the Alcan Highway in a convertible in November.
[0:22:16.0] Settling in Seward and going into business with Mac.
[0:22:41.1] Logging business in Seward.
[0:24:05.9] Chartering their boat.
[0:25:12.6] Their salvage operation in the Aleutians.
[0:27:16.3] Building the road to Lowell Point.
[0:29:57.2] Story of the 1964 Alaskan earthquake and tsunami.
[0:33:45.0] Surviving the tsunami.
[0:35:15.0] Going back into Seward after the tsunami.
[0:37:32.3] Damage to their homes from the earthquake.
[0:38:31.9] Closing and plans to interview again at a later date.
Part 2 of the Interview ends abruptly at 0:39:03.9