COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Moses Eldridge was born in 1917 and grew up during the Great Depression in a segregated America.
His father and brothers worked in the coal mines of West Virginia, but Eldridge wanted more. He went to college on a scholarship.
In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, ending up on the Sea Snipe, a cargo ship transformed into a troop carrier.
“When we got to New Guinea and we set up camp, I was the water purifier for Company A and Company B,” Eldridge said.
Providing clean water is essential for troops. Eldridge recalls an incident he is still extremely proud of, one that earned him a medal.
“It stormed a lot over there and we had a hospital there that was almost ready to be washed away,” Eldridge said. “Our company got a medal for that because we turned the river, we turned the path of the whole river from going into this hospital.”
Now 102 years old, Eldridge said his time has taught him a lesson.
“It taught me one thing: war is Hell,” he said.