Freedom Fighters: B.C. Selden - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: B.C. Selden

(KLTV) -

B.C. Selden of Gilmer, Texas, flew twelve combat missions as a navigator and bombardier in a B-25 Bomber during World War II. On a bombing mission over the Rhine River in Germany, Selden was wounded when his plane was struck by shrapnel.

"I wasn't used to being shot at. I grew up having a quiet life. Nobody shot at me until then," he recalls. 

But during WWII, there was a whole lot of shooting going on.

"I came within an inch, two inches, I guess, of being killed, and a lot of other times, too, I guess.  And the Lord's just been looking after us," he said. 

Selden flew twelve combat missions during his time ni the Army Air Corps. He says the first one didn't count, because his plane had to turn back with engine trouble. But the second mission more than made up for the first.

"The next one we were crossing the Rhine River. We were bombing it and I got hit by a piece of shrapnel. That was the scariest one there, My first time into combat and they really shot at us and I got hit, thought I was hit bad."

Selden's plane was hit by ground fire and a piece of shrapnel came through the windshield of the lane and hit Selden in the face. He insists it wasn't a bad injury, but just seemed so because of the impact. 

"It knocked me off my stool," he remembers.

Selden continued flying after his injury.

"The last part of the war, we were getting those German jets down in Southern Germany," he said.

By all accounts, the German Messermit C-262s were superior aircraft. On Selden's last mission, which was also the B-26's last mission, American planes destroyed a number of the German jets at an air base near Munich.

"They didn't get hardly any of them off the ground because they were shot at first, so there were a lot of them on the ground and we bombed them 262's on our last mission," he said.

Selden was discharged from the air corps in 1946. Because of the G.I. Bill of Rights, he was able to finish his college education, securing a degree in petroleum engineering.

"I thank the American people for the fact they sent me to college," he said.

As for the war itself, B.C. Selden is proud to have served his country. 

"I'm glad I did it, I'm glad I did it."

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