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“It all started March 16, 1943 when I officially entered the service of the United States Army. Except for trips made to Vidalia, Georgia to see relatives, I had never been away from home or Cincinnati. What a surprise I would have for the next three years.
“The first order I received was to proceed from Cincinnati Oh. to Fort Thomas, Ky. to report to the commanding officer for duty. Upon arrival we were outfitted with clothes two sizes too large and told we would grow into them.
Stay - Trains - Destination - Secrecy - Order
“After a short stay, we were herded onto trains to be sent to a “secret” destination. Secrecy was always the order of the day and only guesswork was available. This was the Army way. We finally arrived at Camp Stewart, Ga., where we were supplied with tools and told to police the area, even though it was pouring down rain (like cats and dogs) and it was 3 o’clock in the morning.
“After eight weeks of basic training, I was assigned to an aircraft unit only to be told months later that the first company had been sent to India-Burma area only to experience huge losses.
Unit - Cadre - Non-coms - Officers - Camp
Our unit was disbanded and a cadre of non-coms and officers were then sent to Camp Pickens, Va. Our mission was to train others and we were delighted to find our trainees to be washed out aviation cadets heading for the infantry. We graduated the group and when last seen, they were headed for Europe.
“Within a few months we headed for Fort Ord, Ca. and were assigned to the 160th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 40th Infantry Division, which I believe became part of the 8th Army.
Stop - Board - Troopship - USS - President
“Our next stop was to board the troopship USS President Polk, a ship that seemed larger than life. It looked like it couldn’t...
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