Sergeant Vernon Pederson served in the United States Army during the Second World War. He hailed from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.A. Before the outbreak of war, Vernon worked in a bakehouse in his hometown.
Sergeant Pederson arrived in Northern Ireland on 26th January 1942 aged 27 years old as part of the first contingent of American troops. When interviewed by a reporter from the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper, he stated:
I think the British Army have treated us swell. They gave us a great show and have done all they could. We ought to feel at home among such friendly people.
As a former bakehouse worker, food was on Pederson’s mind when interviewed by a correspondent from the Belfast Telegraph newspaper:
The trip over was dandy. Naturally, the grub was not all we had in America, but we know we’re at war. The welcome we had in Northern Ireland was swell; it was just what we expected.