Guy Gunter

Born in 1918, Guy Gunter grew up the son of a policeman in the East Lake community of Atlanta. He graduated from Tech High School and studied electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He never graduated because he had already found success working as a salesman for General Electric. He and his friends were at a drive-in movie when news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor aired on the radio.

Gunter entered the Army Air Corps and trained at Sheppard Field in Texas, where he was a member of the first graduating class of glider pilots in 1942. Gunter was first posted in North Africa, where he piloted high-ranking officers across the continent. During the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, Gunter had to land his glider in the Mediterranean because of anti-aircraft fire. He was injured and spent the night in the water before a Greek destroyer picked him up the following day. On Gunter’s twenty-sixth birthday, June 6, 1944, he landed a glider carrying a “Pathfinder Group” of thirteen soldiers behind enemy lines during the invasion of Normandy. In September of that year, Gunter participated in the Allied invasion of the Netherlands as part of the largest force of gliders – over 1,800 – ever launched.

On VE or Victory in Europe Day, Gunter celebrated with thousands of others on the streets of Paris. He returned home and married his junior high sweet heart, Evelyn Davis, and had three children. Gunter started a high-end appliance company, Guy T. Gunter & Associates, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Growing Up in Atlanta

"I grew up on Marbut Avenue. 1535 Marbut Avenue, which is the end, the dead end of a street. And we didn’t have much back in those days. And we bought the house. My father bought the house for $2,900.95. And we paid $100 a month, I think. But…

General Electric

"I went to Murphy High School. That’s a junior school. And then I went to Tech High School, and then I went to Georgia Tech...I never completed. I was working while I was going to Tech. I went to night school. And the war came along in 1942.…

Pearl Harbor

"I was at Tenasin’s drive-in with a bunch of buddies. And I had a bunch of half bottles of whiskey in the trunk of the car. And we all got pretty well soused... We thought the world’s coming to an end. We didn’t know what to think. We…

Basic Training

"I was fortunate enough to get in the Air Force...That was in Texas, the worst part of Texas. Sheppard Field...It would rain on your head, sand was blowing in your face, and you were standing in water up to your knees. It was a horrible…

Link Instructor School

"So I went to Chanute Field...I had enough college so they would let me go to Link instructor school, which was a school for training pilots to fly instruments. And we learned to fly the Link instructor, which was a container like a box. And…

Primary Glider Training

"I told the school officer I just had to fly. So I went back to my Link office. He called me that afternoon, and he said, 'Hey, Guy. How would you like to be a glider pilot?' I said, 'What is that?' He said, 'You fly…

Advanced Glider Training

"Then we went into advanced, and they had some sail planes that we flew which were a lot of fun. And then towards the end of the training, they brought in the CG4A’s. And that was interesting. The people that brought them in were fighter…

Marriage Postponed

"There were 109 of us in the first class at Lubbock...We graduated on November the 10th, 1942...That was South Plains Air Force, they called it. And we were supposed to remain as instructors. Well, we get orders to transfer us to Austin,…

Shipping Out

"We sailed out of Virginia on December the 1st, I believe it was. Norfolk, Virginia on the Mariposa. And that was a beautiful luxury liner. Very fast. 21 knots. And we went over without an escort ‘cause we had submarines all over the place,…

Egypt

"We landed in Fayid, Egypt 45 days, 43 days later. And Fayid, Egypt was where we were stationed. We had nothing to do. They had no gliders. They didn’t know what to do with us, but they wanted us overseas. So we were on a British base, and…

Flying Missions in Africa

"We went to Blida, Algeria, which is 60 kilometers outside of Algiers. And we flew copilot on C-47s while we were there. And we would fly flights from Blida to Casablanca, Blida to Gibraltar, Blida to Cairo. And they were long flights, boring.…

Mission to Sicily

"Then they came up with the mission to Sicily. And 36, well more than that, volunteered to fly as copilot with the British into Sicily, which we did. Out of the 36, 16 of us got back. And the reason for that is, the American tow pilots went into…

Battle Injury

"We were picked up the next day by a Greek destroyer. And they took me into Algiers to the hospital. And of course the only thing they know to do in these army hospitals is cut your leg off if something’s wrong with you...They were gonna take…

President Roosevelt

"A C-54 came over with President Roosevelt in it. And he came over to do whatever he was gonna do to Patton. And a bunch of generals were waiting there for him. And when Patton came up, they all walked away from him. They wouldn’t have…

Preparing for D-Day

"Let’s see, from there we went up to England in Oct-, March of ’44 to train for D-Day. And they sent me down to my base. We were based in Cottesmore, England, 316th Troop Carrier group. I was in the 36th Squadron."

The Invasion of Normandy

"The day that we went over to in the, D-Day, the night before, this chaplain [named] Fitzgerald came up to me. He said, 'Lieutenant, you mind if I pray for you?' He said, 'I’m Catholic, and I know you’re Protestant.' And…

A Day in Rome

"We were going to fly from England to Italy for the southern France invasion. And [Rev. Fitzgerald was] all set to go. I told him I’d take him to Rome, and we’d go and see the pope and all this. I’m just talking [laughs]. And they said,…

The Invasion of Southern France

"We went into southern France. Of course that was an easy mission. And we had anti-glider and anti-parachute poles, pine trees that they’d [the Germans] planted in the big field we were going to land in. So we landed the gliders in between the…

The Invasion of the Netherlands

"We went back to England and got ready for the Holland invasion, biggest invasion we ever had. 1,876 gliders. And we went in the 21st of September, I believe it was. We were in there 21 days. It was a long steal. But it worked out all right. We…

VE-Day

"Then we had VE [Victory in Europe] Day. And that’s a funny one. I had my little motor scooter that I had mechanics build for me, that I designed in Paris. I was riding up and down the streets of Paris on VE-Day with a beautiful young lady…

Marriage Proposal

"When I got home, Evelyn came over to the house to see me. I didn’t know she knew I was at home. Somebody told her. And anyway, she said, 'You ought to go to church tomorrow.' And I said, 'Yeah.' So we went to church, and…
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