Victor Traylor: World War II Veteran

Victor Traylor is a World War II veteran who was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 13, 1919. His father was a plumbing contractor who became the Chief Plumbing Inspector for the City of Birmingham. His mother, meanwhile, served as the secretary for his father’s business. Victor has a sister 7 years younger and a brother 3 years older. The brother also fought in World War II; he participated in the Battle of the Bulge.

During his high school years, Victor attended a vocational school during the day and Philips High School at night. Around this time he also apprenticed as a plumber and worked at Hughes Aircraft Company as an engineer. He went on to work at Rust Engineering, where he spent 22 years. There, he became the Senior Design Engineer.

After this, he retired from Rust Engineering and went to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Well, after 2 years of retirement, Victor realized that he had retired too early. So he went back to work in Florida for 9 years for an architect engineer. During this time, he designed the plumbing for important buildings such as hospitals and industrial facilities.

During his 20’s, Victor enlisted in the military as World War II broke out. At first he was not allowed to enlist due to his status as an engineer, but he was finally able to get permission to join the military. He had a sincere desire to fight for and defend his country.

After training in the States, Victor departed with a convoy to North Africa. He

spent about 45 days in Africa receiving more training, until he was finally sent on the “slow boat to China.” On his way there, his convoy was attacked by German submarines, and the ship just behind the one he was in was sunk. Victor eventually made it to India, where he had to “fly the hump”–or fly across the Himalayas into China.

Once in China, Victor spent his time doing various tasks, including engineering work, which he enjoyed. He got to know General Claire L. Chennault during that time, who he considered to be a real inspiration and hero. After his time in China, Victor came back to the US, and eventually wrote a book about his experiences in World War II.

“The main thing is to love our country, love your Lord, get in church, and behave yourself. Live a good life, and just try to be a good person. Try to be a benefit to your country, because you live in the best country in the world.”