As I sit here reading this book, I can not help but realize how fortunate our family is to have this information. Most people in this day and age don't seem to hang onto the things from their past. They may cling to a few odds and ends here and there, but most people prefer to trade in their older goods for the latest and greatest gadgets. I suppose there is initially nothing wrong with this. But as time ebbs and flows, things are misplaced or perhaps thrown away which perhaps should have been saved and remembered. It seems inevitable that history will get lost. But then there are always people who dig it back up again or those of us who are too sentimental to ever bury it to begin with. This is where I'm thankful for my family. And although we may hold on to more than is needed, at least we have all of our history from the past, and we are able to pass it on to generation to generation.
I enlisted on the 12th of Oct. 1942 at Portland Ore. I sat in the recruiting office from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. We (39 of us) left Portland for St. Lewis at 4:30 P.M. on the way I met Herby Concamron, Claude Green, & Louis Penner. We arrived in St. Louis at 8:30 P.M. Mon. Oct. 12, I was at St. Louis for 5 days getting shots, tests and clothes. (Walt Ide received his first tooth brush when he entered the service.)
We left St. Louis at 5:30 P.M. Sat. Oct., 17. and arrived at Minter Field, at Bakersfield, at 7:00 A.M. Mon. Oct. 19. We were at "Minter" for 3 days. We left Minter where I met T.C. Hartman and Bill Whitford.
On Oct. 23, at 11:30 A.M. and arrived here at Gardner at 1:45 P.M. on Oct. 23, 1942. We lived in "Tent City" for 1 month. In our tent was T.C. Harman, Claud Green., Lewis Stoner, Bill Whitford, and me. We drilled for the entire month. During the time we spent in "Boot Camp" we had 1 "Dust" storm and 3 "Rain" storms. We moved into Barracks on Nov. 23, I got in the 328th B.F.T.S. Barrack D, upstairs, 4th Bunk from the end on the right side of the isle. The five of us split up. The only one left with me was Ted. Hartman.
On the 13th 14th 15th of Nov. I made a trip over to Oakland to see my sister, Brothernlaw, "very blurry.. possibly niece" and my Dear Mother, who was visiting my sister and family. I really enjoyed myself over there. And hated very much to come back to camp.
On the 30th of Nov. I entered Gardner Field Hospital. I had my tonsils removed the next day. (Dec. 1) I stayed in the Hospital 9 days. When I got out I really felt fine!! I did detail for a week... and then went to work on the "line" for a week.
On Dec. 21, I started A.M. school here on the field. I am getting "fair" grades! I'm indifferent in what I want to do, so I guess they will make up my mind for me. I don't care too much for mechanics. The afternoon of Xmas Eve (Dec. 24) A Buddie (Ray Drey) and I headed for Los Angeles. I tried to get a "3 day" pass to go to my sisters place but I justcouldn't make it. I did get "2 days" so we used that in making a short trip to L.A. We went into Taft where we bought a round trip ticket to L.A. We left about 6:30 P.M. (Dec. 24) and got to L.A. at about 12:00 midnight. It was raining all the way and also at L.A. As usual we left our raincoats at the field, so we were dashing around in the rain trying to find an address of Stan. Stan's girl friend who's apartment where we where supposed to meet Stan, and Bob Ingleis (Ray's cousin) at. At last we found the apartment incidentally we never knew if it was Stan's girl friends or whose apartment it was. It was late and we decided we wouldn't bother who ever was there, so we trudged off looking for a place to spend the night. There was nothing left. All apartments were filled so we took a bus out of town, about 20 blocks. We accidentally ran onto The Elks Club out there. They were all filled up, but they said we could use there Lounge Room and sleep on the Davenports. We rested for about 4 hours. A radio was blasting out with good "hot" music all the time we were trying to rest.
We got up at 6:00 A.M. (Christmas morning). Put on our shoes, cleaned up, Brushed the wrinkles out of our pants, and started out for the address we had been at the night before. We had breakfast first in a Ritzy, high class Restaurant 50¢ for "french fried toast". We met a pretty nice girl there. Then we went out to look up that apartment. Stan's girl was there and Stan came in about 9:00. Except Stan had to leave that afternoon so we talked most of the morning. We saw Stan off for Sandings at about 3:00 that afternoon. Then Ray and I looked over the town and took some pictures. Then we went back to the apartment. (Peggy) Stan's girl had went over to a Xmas dinner she hadtoattend and wasn't home yet. Ray & I sat & listened to the radio, pretty soon Bob Ingleis came in, He's Ray's cousin, then we called up an address Ray had of a girl who was a girl friend of a girl Ray & Bob knew. It turned out to be a good deal and her Dad came and got us and took us out to their place. It was about 9:00 P.M. These people's name was "White" and they were "classy" (with an extra curly "y") people. They owned a corporation. Mrs. White fixed us up a swell meal and then we went to bed. Ray & Bob slept at Mr. White's brother's home, which was a few blocks away. And I slept at these people's house. (I did the dishes before I went to bed.) It was some bed & some nights sleep.
I got up at 8:30 and Ray and Bob came in so we all had breakfast here with Ruby White and Mrs. White. After breakfast Mrs. White took Ruby, Ray, Bob & I over to there corp. and the Largest Farmers Market in the World at which Mrs. White had a "fish stand." After looking around we went back to The House, let out Ruby, and Mrs. White took us down to Peggy's apartment. Them, Peggy, Peggy's girl friend and Bob, Ray and I rented a car and went on a sight seeing tour, in Hollywood. We got back at about 4:30. Then Ray and I decided to start out for camp. We "hitched hiked" and made it in 9 rides, walking about 10 miles. One of the rides was in a truck loaded with pumpkins heading for S.D. We were kind of worried when we were 21 miles from camp and no cars on the road. We walked about 6 miles of that 21 and then a car (coupe with a man, woman and baby) picked us up. It was crowded but we made it. They took us right out to the field which took them out of their way several miles. It did get us back to camp on time. We got in at 11:00 and our pass was up at 12:00 midnight, Dec. 26th "were we tired!"
Jan. 1, 43' Everybody had been swell to us down there in L.A. and we really enjoyed ourselves. "No Kiddin" Well "New Year's" same and it's Jan. 1, 1943. The years really roll by. I spent a quiet evening playing pool in the Play Room. (I drank five cokes.)
I graduated from A.M. school on Sat. Feb 6, 1943. I got a 90% Average in the courses. On noon Sat. Feb, 6, I left for Oakland to see Gretchen and Danny. I arrived in Oakland at about (midnight-crossed out) 10:30 Sat night. I had a swell visit with them and I am sure sorry to see them move away to Oregon. They're moving on Feb. 13, I stayed till Mon. Night Feb. 8. At 8:30 I started for Taft. I got in here at Taft at about 7:00 Tues. Morning I started "Link Trainer" school the same morning I got back (Tues. Feb. 9, 1943) It's plentytough, but I like it because it is very interesting!! I graduated from the "Link" school yesterday (Fri. Mar. 16) and started instructing Mon. Mar. 29. I completed 36 Hours flying time and 36 Hours instructing time so far in the "Link." I've been going to school now for 14 weeks. During those 14 weeks I had no K.P. or Fatigue. But I'll start pulling it now. Yes, they gave me K.P. for tomorrow. A nice "grad" "present"!!!
We had a "ShAke-up" In our squad last week. Now we're the" 98th B.F.T.G. Headquarters & Headquartermaster Squad." All office workers moved into our squad and the "Line" men from our squad moved into other squads here on the field. I lost a lot of "Swell Buddies"! I stay in the Squad because I'm a Link Instructor now. "(White Coller)"
I was over to Reinemunds last Sunday (Mar. 21, 43) I stayed all day. We had home cured sausages that the folks sent from Oregon. We planted a V-Garden in the afternoon. Ruth baked a swell cake!!
Yesterday was Easter April 25, 1943. I went into Bakersfield to church in the Lutheran Church. They had verynice Service. Rev. R. Swanson is Pastor. After church I went home with one of the church families (Johnsons). They had a nice daughter (red)!! In the afternoon they showed me the town. Bakersfield is really a pretty nice town (lots of parks with green grass and trees.) I hitch-hiked both ways. It's about 50 miles over to Bakersfield from the field here.
Today is "Mother's Day." May 9th 1943. I stayed here on the post all day. Last night I visited Reinemunds in Taft. I had a very nice time.
I'm still instructing the "Links", and pulling K.P. I like my work a lot.
Last Wed. May 5th K. Kyser was here on the Post. He put on his "College of Musical Knowledge." from our Hanger here. Each of us got a pack of free cigarettes.
It's really getting hot here!!! (May 9th)
Today, May 10., I went up in a "B.T." We flew the Bakersfield Range I went up with Lt. Burton in Ship "324" We were up about an hour and a half. He really put that "B.T." thereto paces!!!
May 30, 1943 Today we (our Squadron) went on a Picnic. We went to Kern Co. Park. Kern Park is about 10 miles the other side of Bakersfield. We left at 8:00 A.M. on G.I. trucks. "I saw Miss. Johnson in Bakersfield!" We had a swell time at the picnic. I was swimming and "Bike" riding (tandum bike). We had all we wanted to eat and drink. We got back to the field about 8:30 P.M. this Sunday evening. I and "Gill" went to the show after we got back from the picnic this evening. It was sure a "Big" day!!
June 11, 1943 I left for L.A. about noon on the 11th. Got a ride with an aircraft designer. He bought me a meal and took me right into Pasedina. Then I took a red-train accross to L.A. I got off at Union Depot. I wanted from 3:30 till 7:20 P.M. for Hanks train to come in from Texas. Boy, it was wonderful to see him. Hank really looked swell! We went up to Florence Vaughn's place. She is Mother's cousin. She and her daughter were very nice and put us up for the night. Then we spent all day Sat. running arround L.A. Then Hank and me took the train for Bakersfield at 5:30 Sat. evening. We had a swell trip up to Bakersfield together, but we were delayed about 5 hours because of a train wreak ahead of us. We got into B.K's F. at 4:30 Sun. Morning. I got off and Hank went on up to Portland. I fooled arround Bakersfield till about noon Sunday. Then I took the bus out to Taft. I took a taxie out to Carl's & spent Sunday afternoon & evening at Reinemunds. I had a swell time! I'd sure have loved to went on up to Portland with Hank.
Well, today is July 9th I'm back from a "wonderful, unexpected" furlough. On Mon. June 21th at about 5:00 P.M. I took a bus into Bakersfield where I stayed till 3:30 A.M. Wed. Morning when I caught the train which Hank was "surposed" to be on and rode down to L.A. Hank wasn't on that train. I found out from Vern. Sture who I met accidentally in Union Station (L.A.)! Hank arrived Thurs. Morning at 9:55. Then Him and I bummed arround L.A. all day Thurs. (24th) Then Vern went to San Diago and brought Stan, his brother, up to L.A. So all four of us were together for a short while. Then that evening Vern & I came back up to Portland. Hank left for Texas and Stan left for San Diego, where he is stationed in the Navy. Vern and I had a swell trip on the train even though it was crowded and we had to stand up about half of the way. We arrived in Portland Sat. (June 26th) morning at 10:00 A.M. I then enjoyed a "wonderful" furlough at home!!! I stayed til Tues. morning July 6th at 8:00 A.M. at that time I caught a train ("Klamath") for Martinez, Calf. At Martinez I caught a streamliner for Bakersfield. I arrived in Bakersfield at 4:00 P.M. Wed. July 7th. I then took a bus out to Taft & then another bus out here to the field. I arrived here at the field, very weary, & tired, at 7:00 P.M. Wed evening. The train was not at all crowded coming back from Portland. It as sure swell riding the "streamliner!"
Today July 25th, 1943 Sunday. I went up with Lt. Meiz in ship 900 with flew the Bakersfield Range. We were up from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
Today is July 26th, 1943, my "Birthday." I worked the same as any other day. This evening I'm going to Taft to the U.S.O. Dance. I went swimming in our "Pool" this afternoon.
Mon. Aug 9th "43" I entered Gardner Field Hospital with a case of "San Jauquim Valley Fever." It causes some fever & settles on lungs. For first "3" weeks I was a bed patient. Then for the next "4" weeks I was allowed up for meals. Then on Sept. 23rd I left on a "15" day convalesent furlough. I sure surprised all the folks. (I had not told them I was in the Hospital or had been sick.) I spent a swell furlough at home & on Oct. 8th at 8:00 A.M. I headed back for "Dear Old" Gardner. ("Very down hearted.")
I arrived in Bakersfield at 4:00 P.M. Sat. night Oct. 9th & got out to the field at 7:00 oclock P.M. On the train I met 3 people in particular they were: Alma Pratt (Mannings Portland) James Dowell (Navy) Mrs. Wright (3 times married.) In going threw Salem Oreg. I met "Donna Hinkley." We stopped in Salem for 20 minutes. She's really a swell girl!!!
While I was home I went out with "Polly" Callister and put on a show for the High School in Assembly on Oct. 7th (thurs.). Now I'm going to sweatout the war so I can take a "permanent" furlough "home."
On Oct. 23 about noon I left for "L.A." I went with Les Davedron and Bob Jennings down to L.A. Bob drove his "Nash" We went to the "So. Cal." "College of Poc", football game in the stadium. There were about 60,000 people there and the stadium hold 115,000 - "So Cal." won by a score of 6 to 0. In the evening Les & I went to Pasadina I went ice skating & then we went to the dance at the civic auditorium. There I stayed over night in the Y.M.C.A. In the morning Oct. 24th, I went over to L.A. There I visited with Florence Vaughn & in the afternoon we went to West Lake Park. Then in the evening Hilda Gremmel came over & we sang till about 8:00. Then I took a bus out to Wilshire & Fairfort Ave. where I met Bob at 10:00. Then we came home. I drove the last 50 miles! We made it home in 2 1/2 hours. Pretty good time. All in all I had a swell week-end!!!
On Nov. 15th, I went up in ship "309" with Lt. (Brown.) We flew the Bakersfield Range. We where up about 1 1/2 hrs. and it was a swell ride. I got in about 1 hour "stick" time.
On Nov. 18th I went Roller skating in Bakersfield with Rocky Gruthies. We had a swell time and met lots of nice kids. I met "Doris Maple" who works at the airplane - plant in Bakersfield. She's a "riveter" ("Rosie") we went over to "Bake." in a bus & came back with a kid from Gardner. Got in at 2:00 A.M.
On Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving) at 7:30 P.M. I left on a "3 day pass" Which included the 26th, 27th, & 28th of Nov. I caught a ride to "Bake" with a soilder & sailor, then after waiting about 20 min. I got a ride with a kid (soilder) who took me all the way to San Jose, which is about 50 miles from San Francisco. From San Jose I rode the G.H. bus into San Francisco. I spent Fri. & Sat. with Herb & Ruby. Fri. was there 1st Wedding ann. (Nov. 26th 1943.) So we celebrated all day Fri. On Sat. Herb & I went down town & then Herb left for his work (on "action") on Sat. afternoon.
Then on Sat. evening Ruby & I went down town. We sure did a lot of "Window Shopping." I met a "gal" on a street-car gong out to Herb's place, on Calif. St. Her name was "Helen Krueger." I plan on seeing her again sometime!!!!
Herb & Ruby are expecting a "baby" in several weeks, they sure want a "Herby Jr.!!" On Sun. (28th) At 7:30 A.M. I caught the "Ferry" at the "Ferry Bldg., St. It took me accross the bay to "Oakland." Seeing that sun-rise & the bridge & all was one of the mostbeautiful sights I've ever seen!!!
I boarded the San Joaquin "Daylight" at Oakland & headed for "Bake." I met a Lt. Brady (M.P. officer) on the train we had a swell "chat" together. I got a freemeal on the train from some boys who had a extra one. We got into Bakersfield at 4:00 P.M. Then I went roller skating in the evening and rode out to Gardner with Sgt. Lurface who I met in the U.S.O. I also met Sgt. Porterfield in "Bake."
At the "rink" I met a nice little "Blond" (Francis) I got into bed at 1:30 A.M. Mon. morning. My pass was up at 6:00 A.M. I really had a swell 3 day pass!!!!!
I believe the following will be one of my most exciting & happiestexperiences in the army.
On Dec. 22nd I got a 3 day pass & went up to Portland with Claud Green & his wife. We left Taft at 2:30 P.M. on the 22nd. We drove steady for 24 Hrs. We drove it in a 40' "Willys." Our gas cost us $8:25. And we used no oil. The 3 of us changed off at driving. We stopped just for gas and averaged 50-60 m.p.h.
We stopped off at Salem & gave Ted's sister Ted's luggage. I located Al & Nita at about 5:00 P.M. Dec. 23rd. They took me out to Ruth's and then home.
Everyone was sure surprised to see me!!!! I got 5 Hrs. sleep on Thurs. night Dec. 23rd & that was all the sleep I got on my pass.
Dec. 24th I visited and saw lots of my friends Xmas-Eve. We had our celebration. Then we (Norm, Leroy, Trudy; Erwin, Dorris, Grace & I) at 2:30 A.M. went Xmas caroling. We (Dorris & I) had a swell time. After caroling we all went to church. Mother, Dorris & I went together. I left church at 6:30 A.M. and took Dorris home & also all the folks. Then Al got out of bed & took me to the depot. I caught the 8:00 A.M Xmas-Day train from Portland. I had a pretty good trip down on the train. (I slept about half of the way!)
Got into Bakersfield at 5:00 P.M. on 26th. I went over to Johnson's & they fed me & sent my telegram home. Then they took me to the bus depot. I met Capt. Farthing (aside: I also met Cecial Sager) at the bus depot, and we went out to Taft & then out to the field together. All together my pass was 100 Hrs. (60 Hrs. traveling time, 40 Hrs. at home!) Distance from Port. to Taft. Calf. is 885 miles!
All in All I had one swell pass even though it was pretty "rough" traveling.
Tonight Dec. 27th I opened all my Xmas gifts I brought a few extra from home. I sure got a swell bunch of gifts!!! All the fellows just sat in "Amazement" as I opened all my gifts!! I treated them all to my goodies.
I hope by next Xmas we'll all be home with our families and friends!!!!!!!
Today Thurs. Dec. 30th I went up on a "Hop" with Lt. Trussel in the ship "233". We flew The Bakersfield-Range. I flew the ship back to the field from Bakersfield (on Int.) under the hood. We did a few acrobatics at 8000'. I got an earache in my rt. ear. I think it was from the "high" alt. (Just an old softy!)
My ear "hurt" for 5 days so I went to the Hospital. I had a 99.4 Temp, so I stayed for "12 days"!! I entered the Hospital on the 4th of Jan. & got out on the 17th of Jan. (Side note in circle: Jan. 1, 44)
New Year's Eve I went to bed early. My ear was "aching." (Rough)
The Doc. said my ear trouble was caused from an insect bite that infected the middle ear. (In later journal we learn that he burst his inner ear drum, but that's not in this one.) I got out on the 17th. (Mon.) Then I left on a 2-day pass at noon. I went down to L.A. Hitch-hiked down in 4 Hrs. Hank had sent me a telegram & said he was expecting to arrive in L.A. at 6:30 P.M., on a furlough. His train got in at 9:45. It was sure wonderful to see him again!!! I thought maybe he couldn't make it, but he arrived O.K. We went out & had Dinner together then we took a street car out to Vaughns. She put us up for the night. The next morning we caught the 8:00 A.M. train for Bak. & Portland (San Jaquin Daylight.) Got into Bak. at 1:10 P.M. Then I got off & Hank went on up home. We had a nice ride up together. (talked & talked!) The train we came up on was a "streamliner". I'd sure loved to went on up with Hank!!! I hitch-hiked out to Taft & took the bus to the field. Got out to the field at 5:00 P.M.
Jan. 29th I got a pass from Noon till Jan 31st at 6: A.M. Then I met Hank in Bakersfield at 4:30 P.M. when he came in on the train from Oreg. I got on the train & we rode down to L.A. together getting into L.A. at 10:00 P.M. Sat. evening (29th). We stayed Sat. night at the Service Men's Center out on Hollywood Blvd. Then on Sun. we fooled arround down in L.A. We went to the Show: "You're for Fun" at the Music-Box theater Sun evening. Then Hank decided to stay over another day!!!
Also on the Sun. afternoon we went out threw Hollywood & we had our picture taken beside a P.38 plane?! We saw the "Hollywood-Canteen" too. Then Sun. Evening we rode the back to Gardner together with my Buddie "Bob Jennings".
Then Hank & I stayed in Taft at the "Fox Hotel" that Sun night. Then on Mon Morning Jan 31st we went out to the field together. I got a pass from The Link Dept. for that day & also Hank met all my Buddies & saw our field. Then at 10:00 A.M. I got paid. The in the afternoon at 1:00 P.M. we hitch-hiked down to L.A. we got into L.A. at 3:30. Then I stayed in the depot with Hank till 5:30. Then I had to say good-bye to him and hitch-hike back to Gardner. Hank caught his train for Texas at 6:45 P.M. that Mon night (Jan. 31st) I caught a ride all the way to Gardner Field with a kid from the field that I knew. So I got to the field at 9:30 P.M.
Then the fellows told me we (8 of us Link-Instructors) were being shipped to Minter Field the next day on D.S. to stay 5 days, helping out with the instructing of Minters Cadets. So the next day (Feb. Ist) we shipped to Minter with enough clothes to keep us 5 days. We got to Minter Feb. 1st about 4:30 P.M. They gave us beds & put us in Barracks. We were attached to the 302nd HQ. & HQ. SQD. We went to a "refresher" course in the Minter field System the next day (the 2nd.) Then that afternoon we started instructing at 2:00 & worked till 10:00 P.M. Getting up the next morning at 4:45 going to work at 6:00 A.M. & working till 2:00 P.M. Then on the (4th) we finished up their Cadets & we left Minter at 2:30 P.M. in the afternoon. We went to Bakersfield. Stayed in Bakersfield till 10:00 P.M. that night. Then during that evening Bob Jennings & I went over to "Johnsons" & spent an enjoyable evening!!! with "blurry" & "Leon" Then at 10:00 P.M. we took a bus out to Taft. (singing all the way!) Then we rode out to the field getting out to Gardner at about 12:30 A.M. Minter field is O.K. but Gardner Field is better!!!
Reinemunds had there baby. He was born on Feb. 3rd (44') They named it "Richard Michael" ("Mike") He's sure a cute baby!!
On March 5th (44') at 5:30 P.M. I and Erwin Jessen left for San Fransisco on a 3-day pass. We traveled all night, taking 14 Hrs., to get up to Frisco. of course we hitch-hiked. I visited cousin Herb., Ruby & Mary. On Fed. 6th Ruby took me down to Fleishhacker Zoo in S.F. Then on Feb. 7th Herb. & Ruby & I went to the beach. We visited The Cliff House,Playland, etc. We had a swell time! Then the morning of the 8th I visited Herb. at the St. Scott. Then in the afternoon at 1:00 oclock I left for Taft with Jessen. We made it back to "Bak". by 7:00 P.M. Then we Hiked out to the field by 9:30 or 10:00 oclock. Ide's little girl Mary is sure "cute"! She's growing fast too!
Today my cabin fever finally reached the advanced stage where I MUST get outside rain or shine. Luckily for me, it rained all day up until I reached the creek and it stayed nice until I left. I ended up not even needing my coat, although the rain boots were a plus since it was a bit muddy. I saw all kinds of neat stuff down there including a deer and the largest slug I've ever seen in my life. It turned out to be a nice day despite the bursts of rain.
This is an uprooted tree that got caught in these trees during flood stage.
Here is the largest slug I've ever seen in my life. It's actually larger than my cell phone. I'm so glad I don't have slugs like this in my garden. He could eat all those baby plants in one giant gulp!