World War II veteran and Prisoner of War (POW) Ed Reader of Manchester was named Grand Marshall for the upcoming Veterans Day Parade in Winchester, TN according to Ray Cobb, American Legion Parade Coordinator.
On May 18, 1977, Reader was shot down over Celone, Italy, on what he calls his “23 1/5 mission,” according to Kimberly A. King, Commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10904.
“He was shot in the arm by a bullet he describes as ‘as big as a quarter.’ It hit his left arm, above the elbow and his plane was hit by a German Luftwaffe plane. Ed said he flew so close that he could see the pilot in the plane.
“The plane caught fire so Ed had to bail out and his only thoughts were that his parachute would open. He had never jumped until that moment,” King said.
Reader was then sent to a POW camp in Belgium until he was released at the end of the war.
The 95-year-old will be the parade’s Grand Marshall. The parade will be held Nov. 11 in downtown Winchester, TN. Lineup begins at 1:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 2:30 p.m.
The parade will feature many counties, including Moore, Coffee, Grundy, Franklin County and as far away as Ashland City, TN, Cobb explained.
Also making an appearance in the Veterans Day Parade will be the Coffee County Red Raider Band. "We are honored to have the opportunity to participate in the parade. The band will be in full uniform to show our respect to the veterans." said Band Director Luke Simpson.