SINCE “WAR STORIES” are so much in style these days, and there appears to be so much interest in them I thought I might commit a few more of them into print.
At the outset be it understood; there will be only stories of amusing nature, and none describing my ten months of combat in Patton’s Third Army.
My military career started immediately after graduation from The University of Oklahoma in the spring of 1942. I had been in advanced ROTC in the field artillery, and had completed the entire course with the exception of the required six weeks of summer camp.
There were five or six of us from each of ten universities unable to be commissioned for the same reason.
On a very hot day in early June sixty college boys arrived unexpectedly at Fort Sill as a complete surprise to the army who had no idea of why, or what to do with us.
The mere fact that we were not in the army and there was no authorization to feed, clothe or house sixty college boys was a major problem to the whole army.
I have forgotten where we ate and slept on that first night, but I am sure it was not at the Officer’s Club.
The next morning a truck took us to the base dump where, still clad in civilian clothes and saddle shoes, we were put to work stomping thousands of sections of soot filled stove pipe so they would take less dump space.
You can guess what we looked like.
The next day brought a shower, wool uniforms in June, a meal in the mess hall, and news that we would be in Class 20 of OCS.
It didn’t take long to figure out that sixty college boys were not a bit welcome by the regular army NCO’s trying for a commission.
There was an obvious chill on the part of instructors and tactical officers too. Reserves just weren’t popular; particularly one’s unable to make a bed or drill properly.
It is a wonder that any of us graduated from that twelve weeks of hell, and not all did.
The fact that we were being trained to be forward observers who held little promise of survival did not dampen our spirits when, in the tenth week, told it would be time to buy our new uniforms.
Handset in Perpetua and letterpress printed each month for the fun of it by Robert and Harriette Orbach in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116