By Dawn Arden
Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 23, 2019) – 1st Lt. Ralph Goldsticker had never been in a plane before he enlisted in the U.S. Army Aviation Cadet Corps in July of 1942 at the age of 20. He would go on to fly on 35 missions, in some of the most noted battles of World War II.

Goldsticker will speak to Fort Leonard Wood service members and community members, at 1 p.m. June 4 in Baker Theater about his time spent with the 452nd Bombardment Group, 728th Squadron.

Air Force Lt. Col. Josh Aldred, 368th Training Squadron commander at Fort Leonard Wood, first heard Goldsticker’s story while listening to a radio interview. He said the interview demonstrated that Goldsticker had some “amazing” experiences he felt were important for those just beginning their careers to hear.

“I wanted to open the event to the whole community because there are so few WWII veterans left to tell their stories,” Aldred said. “Mr. Goldsticker is 97 years old, and we truly want to honor his service by having a packed house in Baker Theater. We could all learn something from Mr. Goldsticker’s resiliency and resolve in combat.”

During his visit, Goldsticker will talk about his part in the D-Day Invasion, in which he spent 14 hours in the air between two bombing missions.

Goldsticker also shares about being stranded in Russia for two weeks during a mission, his most memorable mission, his worst mission and his experiences during the Battle of the Bulge.

“I’m hopeful that Mr. Goldsticker’s story will be inspirational to all who attend,” Aldred said. “We welcome everyone to hear an amazing story from a true American hero.”

The event is open to the public.


1st Lt. Ralph Goldsticker, World War II bombardier (right), with Wiley Campbell, crew chief, standing in front of the Deuces Wild plane. Goldsticker would fly a total of 35 missions throughout his time in the war, to include missions during the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Courtesy photo.

About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 82,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps and Air Force detachments on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: