His next question was, "you all want a singe?" I said, "I don't know, what is it?" "Two bits," he says. "you take a soda straw stem and light one end of it and then he'd burn all the little ends of hair around on your head. That was a singe. Well, I had a singe.
George Cox was a cowboy from Medford, Oregon and our company Mess Sergeant. He and I went to the Greensboro (North Carolina) State Fair. The grounds were completely covered with wood chips and people who were drinking beer would throw their empty glass bottles on the ground. A lot of people who wouldn't see the bottles in the chips would fall down when they stepped on one.
Ed, George and I decided to go to Raleigh, the Capitol, one weekend. It was wartime with no vacancy rooms and hotels. We were walking around the Capitol Building and there was some stuff falling "splat" on our caps and uniforms. We looked up and saw hundreds of pigeons roosting in the overhanging roof. Seeing as how we probably would be unable to get a room we decided we would buy a pint of Apricot Brandy and a couple of newspapers to cover us while spending the night sleeping on city park benches. We had no more than gotten comfortable when a policeman's night stick was giving us a tap. "Sorry, Gents. You'll have to move on." About 1:00 am Sunday morning we were still walking up a rustic street and noticed an old building that was probably built during the civil war with the words "Hotel" and one light bulb hanging in front of the door. We were tired and desperate. We entered and the proprietor in a long night shirt said he had one room left for $5.00! It was a very old and dingy place with plaster falling off the ceiling and walls. There was one old double bed in the room and we were three of us. So the man brought in an old cot which Ed said he'd take. He got on the cot and his bottom went to the floor with his head and feet at each end way up high. We all started laughing so much we decided to sample the brandy. We started singing the old sow song-"There was an old sow, she had nine little pigs"-etc. When we came to the part where you go "sh-sh-pl-pl", Ed was unable to do it and all that came out of it was a whistle!
Sunday morning we looked for a place to eat. North Carolina's health department and sanitation department wasn't too strong. We looked at a half dozen places before we found one that we thought was clean enough to eat in.
We got to the point where we were doing 25 mile hikes with full field packs. One night we timed ourselves. We were going eight miles an hour at half trot. Then we received orders to move to the Atlanta Ordinance base depot about 18 miles south of Atlanta, a giant spread and we moved to Atlanta. I found out that I could have my wife come down. Boy we started negotiating right away. She came from Seattle on the train.
Another soldier who had come from Fort Lewis with us was John B. Wilford. He was part owner of some auto parts stores in Shelby, Havre, and Glascow, Montana. He had just bought a new Cadillac convertible when he was drafted in the service and had to put it in storage. Every month his company sent him a check for $1200.00! His fiancee, Anita, was on the same train with Gladys. Shortly afterwards we were witnesses at their marriage. While Gladys was looking for an apartment she was amazed at the managers, bus drivers, and street car motorman who all spoke like little girls.
For a while we had to live in a couple of upstairs rooms in an old house on south Washington street. The stairs were steep like a ladder and there was an old two burner gas cook stove. One night I came in from the base and she wanted me to look at the beautiful cuts of pork that she and Aggie had found in a meat market. As she was preparing dinner there was a very strong odor. Dinner was finally ready and we sat down opposite one another at the little table. I cut off a little piece and put it in my mouth and realized I would be sick if I didn't spit it out. She was watching me and I said, "Put this meat in the garbage!" She was starting to cry. It was pork from a bore pig that hadn't been castrated and tasted worse than a skunk smelled.
One of our T-5 Corporals was from Cincinnati, Ohio and his last name was Schott. His folks owned an amusement park and he was driving an Olds Convertible with the first automatic transmission I had ever seen. He had rented a suite in the Briarcliff Apartment Hotel. It was the finest in Atlanta and seemed to be open twenty four hours a day with a lot of lovely young belles coming and going. I doubt if he knew any of them. Sometimes Curley, Ed, and I would ride with him in from the depot with the top down and every time we saw a couple of girls walking we'd pull up and make a date. One evening on the way into town we had made and written down thirteen different dates! After the war Schott married a girl by the name of Marge. She now owns three car dealerships as well as the Cincinnati Reds. He was rather obese and died years ago.
Word came down through channels that we were to have a new battalion commander. One evening at sunset we were ordered into formation (three platoons) and the first sergeant introduced the major to us saying that the major would handle that evenings retreat. He didn't know any of the commands. He had to ask the sergeant each time! We later learned he had been given a Major's commission right out of civilian life. He had been a professor teaching Elizabethan lyrics in the San Francisco University! Most of us felt like going AWOL!
Bill Knudtsen was President of General Motors at this time and word came that he and some army brass wanted to take a tour of the warehouse. We had these electric tractors similar to fork lifts that could pull a train of cars down the aisles. Each car could hold six people. There were usually six cars behind the tractor which was equipped with an intercom consisting of a mike and loud speakers on each car. They came one afternoon after lunch. Bill Knudtsen was in the first car with a Negro colonel. We had both whites and blacks at work and one man came running up to me all excited, "Man, did you all see dat culad conel? Do you all mean to say you have to take owders from him?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Doggone if ah wood."
One Saturday Gladys said she needed to get a new dress and we would be going down town. Well, we went down early and spent the whole day looking at dresses and came home empty handed! We were both worn out and I said, "Never again!" She could go by herself next time.
It was always interesting to ride the buses or streetcars as the blacks were still required to sit in the back and their conversations were unique. Some carried live animals in gunny sacks such as chickens or small pigs.
We got a nice little apartment over a garage out at Morningside. Aggie came down to stay with Ed. I had charge of a 13 acre Parts Depot under a roof out there. One of the black boys carried a possum in his pocket when he was working all day and then when he had his lunch he'd take it out and pet it. We had some good times in Atlanta. We saw some sights down there and got together on Thanksgiving and had a turkey dinner where I got sick-ate too much and George Cox met his wife to be (Irene) out at the dance in West Atlanta.
We got orders to go to Pamona, California. Naturally our wives couldn't go with us. We started out three days before they did on a troop train. We went the round about way clear to Tallahassee. Every morning at 10:30 the train would stop and we would run double time up the track for about a mile and do calisthenics for 30 minutes. Like I say we started three days before they did, but they got to Pamona before we did. And of course when we got to Pamona they restricted us to the area. The wives had found some places for us to live. Well, it was nice in Pamona. I had charge of the parts depot there for the '41 desert maneuvers. Guys from Los Angeles were trying to wine me and dine me and the wife and take us out on their boats. They wanted our parts business. We went down to Knotts Berry Farm. Neil Olsen was in the Navy. He came to see us one weekend. Then they said that a Jap sub had hit Long Beach. We were all rushed out to the canyons and stayed out there with our guns. We didn't know what was happening.
I was trying to go to OCS. I had tried in Ft. Lewis to go to the financial OCS but they said I had to be of limited service or 45 years of age so that let me out So I tried again and one day a major who came around to interview me. But he was one of these guys that wasn't going to let me go. He interviewed me in my tent in Pamona there in the Los Angeles County fairgrounds. He said that I was going to thank him for his telling me that I wasn't eligible or officer material. He asked me a question "Do you know how long I was a corporal?" I said, "no sir". "Four long hard years." I couldn't care less but anyway I found out the next morning that he was no longer there and had been transferred.. And they said "you have got to go to a board of reviewing officers over at Banning California. You can take a command car tomorrow. You are supposed to be there at ten o'clock. So I went over to Banning next day. I don't remember the questions they asked me. It seemed I must have been giving them the right answers. Every time I gave them an answer they were all smiles and laughing. Finally they said "good luck sergeant". We will see you in Aberdeen Maryland. So now I am supposed to go to officers candidate school. So I get permission to take my wife back to Seattle which was pretty nice. And then I came back to Pamona and I hopped a train to the Aberdeen Proving grounds. This was to be a thirteen week session. And we lived in a place called Skunk Hollow. I lost 25# there in thirteen weeks because they continually called your name out at any hour of the day or night on any detail. We always ran, nobody walked.
Chow time usually took five minutes because you had to eat fast and hurry. I was told to get a hair cut and asked where to go. One of the officers pointed at a line of men curled around the top of a sand dune. At the head of the line was a tiny shack with one barber. I counted the number ahead of me and there were 86! I figured I'd be in line until tomorrow. Guess what? I was in that barber chair, if you can call it that, in just under twenty five minutes. The line was moving quite fast. The barber would say "next". He had an electric clipper in one hand and a comb in the other. He didn't use a scissors. About seven passes with the clipper and he'd yell, "next!" At noon on Fridays we always had fish with flies fried in oil. The temperature was usually in the nineties and the Japanese Beetles would fly into your face and your clothing pockets. At the end of the first two weeks we would have to rank ourselves in each barrack. Each of us would list everybody with the best at the top ten and the worst then at the bottom. Most of my worst ten were "washed out", and sent back where they came from. After this happened we felt pretty proud of ourselves and a little more brave. Guess what? We had to do the same thing at the end of the next two weeks. Things began to get a little rough. We went through this process three times. Over half of the original group of 325 were gone. One day at the noon formation my name was called out (mine only) to report immediately to Colonel so and so in bldg. #010. I looked at the map in the orderly room to find out where this building was. It was a long building. I knocked on the door, perhaps a little timidly, and a deep voice said, "come in." There was nothing in the place except a desk and a colonel sitting in a chair at the far end. I stopped in front of the desk, saluted, and said, "Mr. Hansen reporting, sir." He looked up and bellowed, "Did you just wake up from a nap? Go back outside and do it over. This time make it a little more snappy." I was angry and don't believe I did it again any snappier, but he said "That's better" Then he said, "Tell me everything you know about a P-38. I did and he said, "Dismissed." I forgot to say that I was an eager beaver and came to Aberdeen a week early before the class was to begin. I was put to work digging sewers that week. I also got infected with the worst case of athletes foot which didn't help on marches. As we approached the last four weeks we were informed that we could choose a specialty. I chose automotive. The class was taught by a young 2nd Lt. from Detroit. His father had invented the "Holley" carburetor. His instruction were to wash out some of us or a certain percentage. After holding his first session with us he apparently had his mind made up as to who he would get rid of. At the next class he asked me a question about a starter. If ever I knew the answer about anything, I knew that one and answered the question. He then proceeded to tell the entire class that I was wrong and didn't know what I was talking about. The next day he did exactly the same thing with a simple question. After that I said I didn't know the answers to his questions. He gave lectures and quizzes. It wasn't long before my name was called again at noon formation to report to a major immediately. This building happened to be two miles away and I ran all the way. The major gave me "at ease" and said, "I understand, Mr. Hansen, that you are having trouble in the automotive class and do not have a passing grade, so far." I said, "Sir, I have kept an exact record of my grades and they do not agree with yours." He said, "Just a moment." He phoned someone who had access to the automotive class records and inquired about me. he said, "Oh, yes, uh huh, I see, very well" He said, "Apparently there has been some mistake. Maybe you and I both learned something. You are dismissed and good luck."
During the next to the last week we were sent out around the Cheasapeake Bay on a three day bivouac with full battle gear. This took place in a heavily wooded swampy area. The temperature and humidity were almost unbearable. We were in muck up to the knees most of the time. Most of the time we had removed our shirts which was bad because quite a few had gotten ticks in their backs and were having to have their partner remove them with lighted cigarettes. We were than brought back to an area of blacktop with our unshaven faces, mud, dirt, and all. We were told to "close in." In the center was a little Lt. who informed us that our bivouac was the poorest performance in the history of Aberdeen Proving Grounds. All of the time he was speaking, he never looked at us but down at his feet. We were just tired out and I think we all sneered upon dismissal. The last two days before graduation we played with a tank with two diesel engines that had the turret removed. About eight or ten of us would get in and stand up taking turns driving. There was a swamp with about a foot of standing water and thickly covered with small three inch diameter trees about twelve feet high. The tank would go about fifteen miles an hour mowing trees down like grass. Very powerful. Of course we got full of mud and water soaked. It was fun. We had already been fitted for our new officers uniforms which were now hanging up behind each bunk. It was time to don our new duds and head for an outdoor ceremony on a platform to each receive our commission individually. One member of our barracks had his uniform on and yelled at one of the company officers, "I'll see you as soon as I get my Lt's. bars." He never got his bars. They "washed" him out immediately for talking to an officer as an equal and taking too much for granted.
You never knew until you were issued your commission in writing whether you were going to make it or not. Anyhow, I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I made it. So now that I am an officer, I figure I should come back to Seattle. This was an impossibility because it is war time and all transportation is bottled up. I couldn't get a flight anyplace but my buddy from Palo Alto, John Harriman was going to marry a little gal from Ontario, California. They were going to get married in Chicago. He wanted me to be his best man and he would get reservations for me at the Palmer House. Well, we could get to Chicago so that is what we did. I attended their wedding in Chicago and from there I went to Fort Cook, Nebraska. And all we did at Fort Cook was a little training. I'd be the officer of the day, or take the camp out and do calisentics or something like that and we'd go to Omaha once in a while. One afternoon, I got a wire that I was the proud father of a baby girl. Marian was born. While I was there in Fort Crook, my cousin Bernard who had the motorcycle was in the Air Force in Port Angeles, Washington. He was killed in the crack up of an A-25 and his funeral in Kimballton, Iowa would be the next week. So I took the train and went to Bernards funeral. I saw everyone and then I got orders to go to Polacios, Texas way down at the Gulf of Mexico, close to Corpus Christi. They had taken hundreds of thousands and tons of sea shells and pushed them out in the gulf and built the post out there. They had a general in command down there by the name of Lee and no relation to the cival war general. He had a rule that if you went to town and you saw an enlisted man in a store and you are an officer, you can't go in. Well, as a result of that whenever we went to town we couldn't go anywhere as there were enlisted men everywhere. So we just walked around a little bit and everyone went back to the base. We got orders to go overseas. We were getting organized and finally the day came when we were all packed and loading the train. The post band played "right in the fuhrers face." So we boarded the train and headed for Camp Shanks, NY. We got to Camp Shanks and crossed the Hudson River on a ferry. It was about 13 degrees and a strong wind was blowing from the north. Our coats were in the bottoms of our duffel bags. We had to march a mile and a half on ice. We almost died but we got up there. I was the supply officer and they said we were going to hit the coast of Norway. I had to go down to Ellis Island to get our gear, our clothing, our guns, our ammo, whatever. So we took a fleet of trucks and took a ferry to Ellis Island. We hauled it all to Camp Shanks, unpacked and issued it all to the troops. We just barely get through with that and they said "no", we are going to have to turn it all back. The men had to return it all. All of the crates and boxes had to be refilled, sealed, and hauled back to Ellis Island. We then boarded the train for Camp Miles Standish, Mass. It was kind of cold because it was winter time and Camp Miles Standish was in the woods, and there was snow, deep snow. They scooped paths all around. I was one of the guys who had to go on the boat a couple of days early because we weren't going to go for a week and they needed to have a boarding party. The streetcars couldn't even run in Boston because of the snow drifts and here is this liberty ship. I got aboard that and got acquainted with a couple of the other officers. They said the mess hall is located so and so, time to eat. Well, it was evening meal and on the ship everybody is to be dressed formally to go into the officers mess. So I got down there and one fellow who was a warrant officer was sitting at the table kind of quiet. I sat down there too. All of a sudden he looked kind of white and stepped away from the chair. I didn't see him for 15 days. That ship was just as solid as a house is but he got seasick, anyway I guess. Even Boston Harbor which is a big one had ice (this is salt water) Anyway we finally got loaded and we broke ice out through Boston Harbor as we traveled for three days up to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where we were joined by 120 assorted ships that I could count. There was only one flattop, and about two battleships. The rest were liberty ships, victory ships, destroyers and a couple of submarines. We take off and about four days later it is so hot we were laying around with our shorts on and sweating. Four days later it was just the opposite. We were in a big storm and the swells were about 40' high and nobody could go outside. Our commanding officer was a little fellow who was given a commission right out of civilian life from some catholic school in Detroit. We were called up in the officers lounge for a meeting with the troop ship commander and of course it was pretty rough riding. The ship would lay down on one side and you had to hang on to your chair when you were sitting down. The troop ship commander gave us a little talk and our officer said "sir, do we have wear our Mae West Jackets in bed?" and the commander kind of chuckled, laughed, and said "you know that question is usually asked by the nurses". "No Captain" he says "it wouldn't matter whether you had it on or off because if you get in that cold stuff out there you won't last more then 60 seconds anyway." We got back to our stateroom and the captain says "boy, is he a smart aleck." We kind of laughed about that.
We had one old sergeant who got hit with mustard gas in the first world war and his legs were still running sores. They let him go up on the top deck and fire 50 caliber tracers for practice every morning.
About thirteen days go by and someone looks out the porthole and they said there is some life way out there. So we asked somebody who knew where we were and he said that those were the Shetland Islands. We wound up in what is known as the Firth of Clyde up in Scotland on a nice balmy night. We stopped there, set out anchor, and put a string of lights out on the deck. One guy came out with an accordion. Another came out with a guitar and the guys started dancing with one another. We sat out there all night. The next morning a tug came out, hooked onto us, and pulled us up the Clyde River to the King George the fourth dock in Glasgow Scotland. While we are going up the river the riverbanks were lined with Scots girls and all the GI's ran over to the one side. Over the intercom our commanders yelled "hey you guys, get back." The ship started listing. The soldiers were throwing fruit and candy to the girls. I remember one girl got hit splat right in the middle of the face with an orange. I remember what she said "I got the alf of it anyhoo!"
Well, we got in and tied up at the dock. We were boarded by a British Colonel. He was going to welcome us to the shores of Britain. I thought to myself if he is a sample of a British officer, my goodness. He looked like Icabod Crane. His uniform was too short, too tight and he had a little paunch in the front and he was too tall. But after he opened his mouth I forgot all about that. He was a real good speaker and he said "gentleman, I want to welcome you to the shores of Britain" and he went on and on and then "as to our li-dees I am sure that you will find they are very congenial." That was about the end of his speech. We drew straws to see who could go ashore for a few hours. Well 14 of the officers got to go ashore and I was one of them. There was a dock area down the plank, that went to the end of the warehouse. I was shocked when I saw what I guess you could call a bag lady and she was peeing in the gutter. She had her skirts pulled up. When we came around to the end of the warehouse we just stopped, I guess our mouths fell open and I remember what she said "Gowan you bloddy yanks", and at that time I was thinking about the colonel saying that we would find the ladies pretty congenial. We visited downtown Glasgow and they said "this evening you are going to load up on the train. That evening we boarded trains and went down to Ross-on-Wye which is on the Wye river. Ross-on-Wye is in Herefordshire. It is close to Cheltenham and west of London. We were billeted in an old, old hotel that was built in 1450. It was three stories high and there was a water tank up in the attic with an open top that furnished running water, cold only. Ross-on-Wye had an old Cathedral and a market place right in the middle of town where the farmers came every Saturday with their ducks and geese and goodies. The market place building was built in 1200. This was quite an experience. I got acquainted with the town mayor and the banker. We ate in the drill hall. The drill hall was a very damp place. It had two open fireplaces and some young kids would put our toast over by the fireplace and it came back black and charred. It was very damp with moisture just dripping all the time. When I went to high school and college I hated history because I had no interest in any thing that had happened in the past. I was only interested in what I was going to do in the future. But here I was in Great Britain where all the things I was supposed to have studied actually before my eyes. It was incredible..
The first thing I did was to buy a bicycle. I went to Cheltenham to buy a bicycle and started pedaling on weekends around to all the old castles. There was a castle right in Ross-on-Wye. A lady had a bed and breakfast right in front of the old castle and she had a lot of books on the castle. One of the things I noticed right away was the British trains and the little box cars they called goods wagons. Their steam engines all sound like a steam kettle on wheels. Sunday mornings in little farm towns you would hear all the church bells (chimes) ringing. They all ring about the same time and it is kind of pretty. I decided that I'd heard so much about British fish and chips that I had to try some. I realized it was during war time, but I couldn't eat all of them and I got sick. I didn't know it was so greasy. I decided to stay over in the drill hall and eat with the rest of the guys and not try any restaurants in Britain because they were really rationed. None of them could get meat. They couldn't get any eggs, and they couldn't get any soap. Everybody rode bicycles and the girls couldn't get stockings. Their legs looked raw like strawberries. We had heard that one weekend there was going to be an otter hunt. Some of the guys said "are you going to go to this otter hunt?" I said "well, what is it like?" Well you get with the gang there and you go across country and you hunt for otters. I said "well that sounds like a good deal, we will get a little exercise."
We were supposed to gather down in the town square. We got down there an all it is is old fellows because all the young men are in the service. There are all old men and little bitty kids with a bunch of dogs with them. We head out across country. You go over fences and rivers and everything but I found out there are no otters over there. What it is is a good excuse to get away from the old lady and every time we come to a crossroads or pub everybody stops and goes in the pub but we did get a lot of exercise out of it and it was kind of fun.
We went to Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon . We were walking along the street and we saw this little car parked there. I'd never seen one like it before. It had real high wheels. It was a roadster. I walked around it and it said MG on the radiator. I'd never seen anything like it. Three old fellows come walking along and I said "Pardon me". They stopped and I said "Would you mind telling me what kind of automobile this is"? They kind of shrugged and just took off. They said "Do ;you mean to say that you have never heard of Lord Morris so-and -so?" He had about 15 names I guess. I said who is he? I didn't know if he was alive or -they said "Well, for your information he is the Henry Ford of Britain and gives away many more million a year to charity than Henry Ford." That was my first acquaintance with an MG.
In the big cities they had big theaters where they would have GI's mingle with British GI's and they would have dances and programs to keep them occupied. But England was getting so saturated with our men and materials that we were getting in trouble because they resented the GI. GI's were arrogant, they had money, they were buying hard drinks for their daughters which wasn't too good. The colored boys were telling the British girls that they were American Indians or they'd tell them they were night fighters. The gullible British girls believed it. I forgot to tell you the first night on Ross-on-Wye , the German airplanes came over. They made a big u turn right over Ross-on-Wye after going over London. We went to London and stayed in the hotel there and watched all the fireworks, but didn't get hit. That was enough of that. Finally I had the job of running around procuring small odd parts that we needed in our motor pool. They gave me a 12 ton wrecker with a big siren and flashing lights and I never had to shift it, all you had to do was step on the gas. It had great big pistons and six cylinders. It took up the whole road because they didn't have any freeways over there. All the little roads have square corners and narrow bridges with turn outs in them. I would go to Scotland and it would take me three days because of the way the roads were. I'd be down in Cardiff, Wales, one day or I might be up in Liverpool. I'd be all by myself driving a twelve ton wrecker to pick up a couple of bolts which was ridiculous. I did get acquainted with the countryside. I went up to the Chester warehouse one day and there was a girl, kind of pretty with a white spot in her hair. I said "How did you get that?" She told me she was from Transvall in South Africa. "Oh, I got that", she said "when I saw my first yank!". I guess he must have scared her or something.
I had dinner with the local banker in Ross on Sunday a couple of times. Their food was something else. We always had a little thin slices of something like Rye bread and a light creamy cheese paste with maybe bits of parsley in it with tea.
Over there when you drink tea you have two pitchers, one with tea and one with milk. You pour both at once. So then you drink half tea and half milk which has a resemblance of dishwater. But that is the way they drink it. Anyway it was never satisfactory-any meal I had there. I jumped him one night about-I said "how come Britain has never paid their debt to the US from WW1.?"
As a matter of fact he says, if the other countries had paid Britain we would have been happy to pay America. Well I could understand that. We had a lot of questions like that. We discussed Churchill who he didn't like at that time. We discussed Bing Crosby vs. Sinatra-which I was a Bing Crosby man and he was Sinatra. He had a lot of different slants on things. Then one day I got a check for $900 dollars. It was made out in British pounds and it was made out to Barclays Bank . Ross-on-Wye did not have a Barclays bank. They had a Lloyds Bank. I went to get it changed into dollars. So I went to Lloyds where they had about twelve elderly tellers. I said "I'd like to cash this check" "I say", he said, "this check is drawn on Barclays. This is Lloyds you know." "Well so what!", I said. " If I was in San Francisco in the morning and I got a check from a bank there and flew to New York, I couldn't cash it in New York?? He didn't understand anything like that. They had a big confab there for thirty minutes all of them-all twelve of them plus some other people. Finally he cashed it but he told me it was the first time they had ever done anything like this that he knew of.
I began having a very sore throat which bothered me greatly and I went on sick
call. I was told it looked like my
tonsils were bad. I told them I had
had my tonsils out. Well they said
there are some tags left that are very swollen and should be removed. What we think you should do is go over to the hospital at
Great Malvern. So I went to the
hospital. There they said we are
going to see if medication won't help. We
will check you for a few days. Of
course this was at a hospital that I
didn't realize was going to fill up with casualties from D day landing which
happened the next day or two. I
was there a few days and there were a couple guys that flew a B17 low everyday
and leaned out of an open door, banking sharply and waving at his girlfriend, a
Second leuitenat nurse.
Anyway after about three days the nurse was going to remove those tonsil
tags. Well she was a young thing,
I guess she might have been about twenty-two.
She said , "Well it would be better if you would stand up.
I could see better." She
stood on a stool. I stood up and
she tried to squirt Novocain with a
needle in my throat. Of course the
tags were old scar tissue and they were hard and the needle would not penetrate.
Pictures from the War
Bombed out city of Aachen
Bombed out city of Aachen
A tank hit by an 88-shell. The driver has poked his head out, his remains, completely shrunken and charred
This picture was taken by my dad as I got drafted. We were boarding the bus to go to Tacoma, to decide whether we are going to be drafted or not. I am the fifth guy from the right.
The war has ended and this picture was taken in the little town of Hirschlenden. We are all waiting to come home.
New Ford tank gun in background
Our first official "date." This is the first time she ever really had a date. We were accompanied by Gladys' sister, Dorie and husband, Don at Lake Coeur d'Alene
Little trailer Willie made for us to fight the war in. We had two beds in there. Willie had made a heater out of tank engine to keep us warm.
All tanks have an escape hatch in the floor. I imagine that this tank, when it hit the mine, not only blew the track off but also blew everything up from the floor.
Shot up German Pantzer, near Verviers, Belgium.
The Luddendorf Bridge, just after it fell, at Remagen, Germany, along the Rhine River.
Repairing an American half track, after hitting a mine.
The Burgermeister (mayor) of Hirschlanden
Civilians, and the rest of the countryside had run out of gas. Somehow, however, the Burgermeister's son was able to take his girlfriend out cruising around all day. We were curious how he was able to get gas. Turned out he was paying Schnapps for gas, from one of our sargeants. We ended his joyriding days, real quick. And the only thing we did to the sergeant was make him pitch his tent in the street.
Charcoal burner on left, and gas burner on right.
The Burgermeister goes out to the field, to fertilize the fields.
Outside of a town called Gottlingen, we parked 5,000 tanks, here. I can remember 2 other parks the same size. Then, we left and came home.
Here I am, standing in front of a T-26, one of the new Ford tanks we got when the war ended. I'm very proud to be holding my hand onto the fender of that thing, more powerful than anything we had. Just give it a little gas, put a little water in the radiator, and man that thing had more power than you'd believe.
We're in the Russian zone and we gotta pull back because the Russians are coming. It is like Boeing plant II, Kothen. Here is where they gathered up all the B-17s and they are gathering up all the parts to make them good to fly. We're in one of the buildings before the Russians could take over.
Tiger tank. Willie the Whip and our platoon worked on this thing for a week, in a swamp. The drive, on the left, was sawed off. We figured it'd be boobie trapped. It had a Maybach 12-cylinder engine, in it, and besides the big ammo, weher the shells were two feet high, there was also a pin-striped suit, and a set of silverware, in there. It weighed 72 tons, and would take up the whole road, to drive. It had a steering wheel like an airplane. We tied it to a five-speed, automatic jeep. We took off, wide-open down the road, the whole countryside shakin' going only 24 miles an hour.