Pace admitted that boot camp was very nerve-wracking mentally because he was a bit underweight. He humorously recalled that a military doctor told him to eat bananas and drink lots of water to gain weight before his next weigh-in. It didn’t work; he was still underweight, but was cleared by the doctor to remain in the service.
After his initial training, Pace was assigned as a navigator in a B-24 on the lead crew of the 489th Bomb Group, 2nd AD, 8th Air Force, and later as a Battery Commander with the 623 Field Artillery Battalion. He praised his crew, especially his pilot, who were exceptional individuals who worked together to get us home to the U.S.
Pace served in England in World War II and later in Korea.
When he advanced to First Lieutenant during World WarII, he said that it meant he was doing his job as a lead navigator aptly enough for his superiors to have enough confidence in him to promote him.
He was most honored to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross because it represented his entire effort during all his combat missions in Europe.
After retiring from the military, Pace realized that he had learned to not sweat the small stuff in life.
Pace’s wife, Mary Margaret, passed away last year. They have two sons, Jimmie (wife Donna) and Doug (wife Paula), four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.