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for Greenville--History--World War II, 1939-1945
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During the 1940s, Greenville became a \"liberty town\" for many soldiers. One of the soldiers, Frank Lang, flew a dive-bomber under the Greene Street Bridge in 1943. Buddy Waters and Charles Dudley recall riding in a car over the bridge at the time that the plane was about to fly under them.
In 1940, M. O. Minges, the head of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, gave $5,000 to the City of Greenville to build a Fire Drill Tower for use of the Fire Department. The six- story Fire Drill Tower was built in 1942 on Chestnut Street near West Greenville School. The Fire Drill Tower was not only used by local firemen, but by other departments in eastern North Carolina and the Civil Defense auxiliary firemen. Fire Drill Tower was dedicated on April 13, 1943.
The five sons of Walter Brown Wilson and Brittannia R. Saunders had various appointments and stations, fighting in World Wars I and II. The Wilson family of Greenville once had the distinction of being the only family on record in the War Department with five sons acting as officers in the United States Army.