George B. Edwards
6 Years 1941-1946
George B. Edwards
George B. Edwards served as Buffalo Soldier in the Army during World War II. He currently resides in Cathedral City, California. In addition to being awarded the Purple Heart, he was also recognized as the 2010 California Veteran of the Year. In addition, he also received a Bronze Star for going beyond the call of duty.
Edwards was born October 17, 1919 in Evansville, Indiana, which was a neighbor slave state to Kentucky at the time. George was born next door to a Ku Klux Klan headquarters. He came from a family of twenty children, whom he credits his early strength and resilience for. As a child, George was gifted with the ability to be a fast runner. This skill helped him tremendously later on in his service in the Army. He said that he learned how to “fight dirty” from his siblings. George B. Edwards knew he wanted to serve in the military at a young age after reading King Arthur’s Roundtable Knights. According to Edwards, the United States needed to be rebuilt during the 20s and 30s and he enlisted at twenty-one years old because he had something to fight for. The nationalism he had in his early years is still with him to this very day.
At 93 years old, First Lieutenant George B. Edwards is one of the last living Buffalo Soldiers. On his first day at boot camp, another solider who was 6’4 tried to intimidate George. George was nowhere near this guy’s size, but he stood up for himself. The two got in a fight and George won by banging a chair over the soldier’s head. As a result, he was imprisoned in Mexico for a night. He was released and then offered a sergeant position in his first week in the military. Edwards became a staff sergeant in three months, first sergeant in nine months, and master sergeant in eleven months. He climbed quickly through the ranks because he “fought hard.” George was promoted all the way up to first lieutenant.
Edwards fought in the European theatre of World War II and North Africa. He served as a Company Commander and Captain in 1948-1950. George’s parent unit, the 25th infantry, was in the battle that prevented Spain from acquiring the Philippines. In Europe, he fought against Nazi Germany and was involved in the Italian campaign with other Allied forces. He also participated in secret operations in which he was not able to provide information about. Edwards said, “I’d have to kill you if I told you.” In addition to fighting, he also trained soldiers. To relieve stress, he wrote his thoughts and feelings down. He injured his spine in the Northern Alps and was paralyzed for three months and hospitalized for six. He received the Purple Heart on March 8, 1945 and modestly pointed out that he did not ask for the prestigious award at all. George was in the hospital when the war officially ended. He appears in a documentary about General Patton’s training in preparation to invade North Africa fighting General Rommel, the desert fox.
The Buffalo Soldiers experienced discrimination during their service in the Army. Edwards served in 368th infantry regiment, 92nd infantry division, 369th infantry regiment, and 93rd infantry division. White Southern officers were in charge of one of his infantries. In some instances, his infantry had only knives to defend themselves against guns in hand-to-hand combat. He even bit the ear off a German officer before killing him. Even though the Buffalo Soldiers experienced discrimination, they fought extremely hard. He told a story about his voyage back from Europe. The ship was full of Buffalo Soldiers and the captain was instructed to take a certain route in which the soldiers could not see the Statue of Liberty. George endured such discrimination because he loved his country and would do anything to defend it.
His service ended when he was called to Fort McClellan, Alabama to take an American orientation course. First Lieutenant Edwards met his wife when he got caught buying whiskey. They have four daughters together. George had a son as well but he passed away at a young age. Unfortunately his wife passed away and Edwards has been a widower for sixty years. He never remarried in respect to his wife. Edwards raised their children on his own, an accomplishment he is very proud of. He sent them all to college and believes that it is most important to be responsible. Edwards had a successful public accounting practice and became the president of a Lions club. His strength on the battlefield was found later on his life. He also was diagnosed with cancer, but he overcome that obstacle and is now cancer free.
George B. Edwards has participated in King High Remembers for eight years. George wants the future generations to learn obedience, for there is a lack of respect in society today. He believes his Army experience has definitely been a positive one. Edwards is a firm believer in “country first.” George B. Edwards’ letterman style Buffalo Solider jacket is surely unforgettable. It is adorned with many patches that highlight Edwards’ tremendous accomplishments, but more than that, the patches represent his courage and fearlessness. Edwards literally wears his purple heart on his sleeve, as words cannot do justice in describing how much he loves his country. He fought for America because he thought, “If you’re not willing to fight for them, shoot them.” His dedication and love for the United States of America is truly inspiring. The United States is the great country it is today, all due to brave soldiers like George B. Edwards who fought valiantly for our freedom.