Ferrell joined the Army Air Corps on November 2, 1942 along with his brother James at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Basic training began at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and was later continued at Columbus Air Force Base. Following basic training, Ferrell started to Link Trainer School in the fall of 1942, but shortly afterward in January, 1943 he was sent to Monroe, Louisiana as a Link Trainer Instructor where he set up a new Link Trainer School at Selmar Field.
In the early fall of 1943 he was transferred to Brady, Texas and then in the spring of 1944 to Lubbock, Texas. He was stationed in Lubbock when V-E Day (Victory in Europe) day came. He had already been scheduled to go to advanced link training school in Bryan, Texas. He was stationed in Bryan when V-J Day (Victory in Japan) day came. Following the war, he was sent to Barksdale Field in Shreveport, Louisiana and to his last duty assignment in March, 1946 in Harshing, Austria.
One of his most vivid memories of his service was his return trip from Austria on a Liberty Ship. He stated that the trip over had taken 10 days, but the trip home took 14 days, four of which were in a severe storm. He says “the waves were so high that the ship would seem to balance on them momentarily then dive over leaving the propeller out of the water. This would cause it to race and vibrate the boat as if it would break up”.
Ferrell was discharged at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on November 2, 1946. exactly four years from the date of his enlistment.