101-year-old veteran pays visit to Museum of the Forgotten Warriors
MARYSVILLE, Calif. — A 101-year-old veteran got a glimpse into the past he lived at a local museum on Friday.
Dr. DeWitt Potter, honorably discharged from the Army as a staff sergeant at what was then Camp Beale, visited the Museum of the Forgotten Warriors at Linda for the first time.
Potter was with his son, Rick Potter, 66, of Los Gatos, who helped him through the museum.
"The way his eyes lit up as he looked at the displays is what it's all about," said museum founder Dann Spear.
Potter donated his Army Eisenhower jacket, combat boots and other memorabilia for display.
Potter was drafted at the late age of 29 and was in high demand as a doctor. The retired Woodland podiatrist, who was born in Pennsylvania, came to Beale by way of Illinois in the 1940s.
"We didn't know where we were going. They just put us on a train," said Potter.
He said that because of his medical skills and the fact that his commanding officer had bad feet, he was kept home instead of being shipped to the South Pacific with his unit during WWII.
"I trained with all those guys and knew them," said Potter of his fellow soldiers.
As a doctor, he wasn't allowed to have a gun, so for training they issued him a club.
While on guard duty, he had to use the club instead of a gun and ask, "Who goes there?"
During his time at Camp Beale, Potter also worked at Rideout Hospital.
Often times he would ride his bike back and forth from the hospital to the base.