Three months before receiving his diploma from General Motors Institute, Pearsall signed up for flying lessons with a friend. Going to school by day and learning to fly at night, Pearsall would graduate from GMI and receive his private pilot license. A license to fly planes gave him an advantage for becoming a Flight School candidate when he enlisted in the Navy.
Pre-flight training school sent him to the University of Iowa, where he would meet his future wife, Marge. During this time, the Navy offered his unit a volunteer opportunity to go to Navigation School, which required a one year commitment to serve in the Atlantic/European Theater. Most of this navigation duty was anti-sub patrol, covering much of the North Atlantic from Reykjavik, Iceland and extended coverage as far south as Africa. Completing the required year of navigation, he was promoted to LT (j.g) [junior grade] and called back to the states to complete flight training in Dallas, Texas. He extended his military experience with two years in the Naval Reserves.
History of his military record can be viewed on the National Flight Log #835
- Iceland and European Theater; awarded one combat star and the Victory Medal.
- Pre-flight School at the University of Iowa (1942)
- U.S. Naval Air Navigation School in Hollywood, FL (1943)
- assigned to the VPB-128 Bomber Squadron (1943-44)
- Got his wings in Flight School - Dallas, TX, Pensacola & Lake City FL (1944-1945)
- Last tour of Duty as a maintenance officer Beaufort, SC - Marge moves back to Iowa until the war is over.
- Honorably discharged in Nov 1945
- Served in the Naval Reserves (1949-1951).