entering the military service, Chaplain Pelt was pastor
of a church in Durham, North Carolina, and had been
in the Gospel Ministry for 11 years. Before Durham,
he was pastor in Greenville and Avden, North Carolina.
On April 3, 1992, he will have served in the ministry
for sixty years, having begun interim preaching during
the second year of his ministerial training at age
entered Chaplain Indoctrination School at Harvard
University on July 13, 1943. Upon graduation, he was
assigned to the First Air Force Headquarters, Long
Island, New York. From there he was transferred to
an Airborne Aviation Training Group at Bradley Air
Force Base. Connecticut, a unit that was designed
to train men to be dropped in gliders upon bombed
out Japanese air bases; extinguish any fires and make
necessary repairs to air strips and buildings for
immediate friendly use. Needless to say, the idea
failed because the Japanese went underground during
air bombardments only to emerge and destroy both men
and gliders as soon as they landed. As a result, all
of the glider units were deactivated and their personnel
given other assignments.
Pelt was sent to the 2nd Air Force Headquarters in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, he was temporarily
assigned to assist the Chaplain at Dyersburg Air Force
the meantime, the ground echelon of the 39th Bomb
Group was being organized in Dalhart, Texas to which
Pelt was assigned after about four months. Soon after
he arrived at Dalhart, the entire ground personnel
were moved to Salina, Kansas to join the air echelon.
There, both echelons began training for service overseas.
Coleman (Catholic) as assigned to the 314th Bomb Wing.
He served both our Catholic men and those of the 29th
Bomb Group. There was no Jewish Chaplain assigned
to our Wing, and only once did one visit our unit
- during the Passover Season. At the time the 39 th
arrived on Guam, they were told they would not have
a Jewish Chaplain. Therefore, the Group Chaplain would
be responsible for Jewish religious services, something
Chaplain Pelt had been trained to expect. He proceeded
to call a meeting of all Jewish personnel to select
a Leader and a Reader for their religious worship.
Chaplain Pelt was asked by the Jewish congregation
to attend their assembly with them and deliver a lesson
from the Old Testament. He gladly consented to do
so. For him, it was a great opportunity to learn more
about the Jewish form of worship. News about his service
in the Jewish Worship on Guam followed him back to
the States and he was frequently called upon to participate
in many base Jewish religious services throughout
the balance of his military career.
active military service, Chaplain Pelt chose to remain
in the Active Reserve. He was honorably discharged
in 1972 with the rank of full Colonel. He had served
his country 29 years. From the date of his separation
from active service in 1948, he went on to teach at
Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, his hometown,
until 1973 when he was forced to retire following
a heart attack.
Mildred, his wife, he moved back to Florida in 1948
and bought 287 acres of land near his father's estate.
There, the Pelts set about to establish 250 acres
into a planted pine forest, and the balance of 37
acres into a cattle pasture. At the time of his heart
attack and the entrance of their only son into the
University, it became necessary for him to give up
their hobby cattle ranch. However, with the aid of
the local county forestry service the Pelts were able
to continue their tree farming, which they still do.
free of his teaching responsibilities on Saturday
and Sunday, he was free to do weekend preaching in
churches that did not demand much attention during
the weekdays. He enjoyed this until such time as his
heart condition compelled him to retire from regular
church duties in 1975. He continues to serve on an
interim basis for sick and absent pastors, and has
no plans of giving up this service in the Lord's church.
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