Dallas W. Greene
Master Sergeant
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 07/17/1943 - 11/26/1945
Fire Fighter, 455th Air Service Group

Dallas was born in Shreveport at home to Dallas W. Green and Eunice Ester Green, one of four children. His father was a plumber, whose sons, Dallas recalls, always worked with him. "Even after I left the service and got married, on my days off from the Fire Department I was working with him," he remarks. During the Depression, however, his father worked when and where he could, and moved the family frequently. "I'd say, from the time I was born in 1923 until 1937 we had moved 18 times. Lots of times, we weren't able to pay our rent," he says. Despite hard times, he recalls, "we always had something on the table, our clothes were always clean. Mother and daddy always took care of us." Each Sunday the family attended Queensborough Baptist Church. While attending Fair Park High School (where he was a member of ROTC) Dallas worked for a tackle shop and service station, making fifty cents an hour. He also picked up fifty cents an hour by playing softball for Arkansas Fuel and Oil and working for the company. After graduating from high school in 1941 he worked for Arkansas Fuel and Oil, then was hired by the Shreveport Fire Department in 1942. Dallas entered the U.S. Army in August of 1943 and was sent to the Engineer Aviation Fire Fighting Platoon at Harding Field in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "We were really in the engineers but we were attached to the Air Corps as a fire-fighting unit," he says. Because of his ROTC experience in high school, he helped give basic training to other firefighters. He also attended Fire Fighter School in New Orleans. By the fourth month in service he had made staff sergeant. He sailed to Great Britain in December of 1943, and arrived in January of 1944. He was assigned to the 455th Air Service Group on a base with some 98 C-47s that would carry paratroopers and pull gliders for the invasion of Europe. Dallas was fire chief of his unit, with trucks that held 250 to 300 gallons of water and foam. The firefighters wore protective suits and a helmet, but carried no oxygen. Days before D-Day, he recalls, the C-47s at his base "would take off every night at certain time, exactly the same time. They would fly the channel and turn around and come back. They did that for days and days." After D-Day his unit was sent into France. He recalls C-47s from his base having a hard time flying reinforcements because of bad weather during Battle of the Bulge. One plane "pancaked" at the end of the runway on Christmas Day. Dallas fought the fire. He recalls little leisure time. "There was no time that you were off," he says. "You were always on duty, even though you were able to sleep when you could," he says. The men lived in four-man tents, reinforced with wood and heated with a stove that burned wood and coal. Dallas was in Orleans on V-E Day. "Never saw that many drunk people in my life," he recalls of the celebration. Soon, Dallas was promoted to first sergeant of the 455th. It appeared the unit was heading to the Pacific. "We were a few days out of Marseilles on the way to the Philippines when they declared the war over in the South Pacific," he says. "So they turned our boat around." The ship sailed to New York where the Red Cross arrived with fresh milk and sandwiches with tomatoes. "That was the greatest meal that I ever ate in my life!" he recalls. "I think I drank two quarts of milk before I ever stopped." Discharged at Fort Wayne, Indiana, in late November of 1945 with the rank of master sergeant, he re-joined the Shreveport Fire Department where he served for 47 oe years. He was chief from April 13, 1965 to October 31, 1989. On October 4, 1947, he married Alice Whittington. (They would have one daughter, three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.) Dallas is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a past commander of a local post of American Legion. He is also a member of the Forty and Eight Club.