Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 13, 1943 - Camp Pendleton

Upon graduation from boot camp, Daddy went to Camp Pendleton for training.  He remained there until January 1944.  His training record lists it as "Field Artillery Instrument Course", which must have been how he was a fire control specialist at some point.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 1943 Commandant of the Marine Corps' Birthday Message

LtGen Thomas Holcomb is seen delivering the Marine Corps Birthday message in 1943.

Major General Clayton Vogel cuts a piece of cake at the Marine Corps Birthday celebration in San Diego, 1943.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 1943 - End of boot camp into Camp Pendleton

I'm not sure what the date of Daddy's official graduation from boot camp into the Marine Corps was, but he obviously was "set free" to some degree on November 9th, because he sent a telegram home asking for money.  He probably figured this may be his last time to ask before being shipped overseas.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 1943 - Boot Camp

As boot camp continued at RDMCB San Diego, Daddy had quite a few memories in the making.  He recounted a few of those experiences to our family over the years.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 1943 - Boot Camp

70 years ago, Daddy was in the first two weeks of boot camp.  This was a whole new life for someone as pampered and spoiled as he was.  I'll spare details, but there was plenty of proof as to just how spoiled he (and probably his sister) were.  My grandparents were great people, and provided a wonderful life on a quaint city street that was a scene right out of a movie.

Friday, September 13, 2013

In His Own Words - September 13, 1943 : USMC Boot Camp

RDMCB San Diego Circa 1940's

The days of "living it up" had come to an end.  September 13, 1943 brought the arrival of Daddy and the other future Marines to San Diego, where they were transferred to buses and brought to R.D.M.C.B (Recruit Depot Marine Corps Base) in San Diego.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 10, 1943 - In His Own Words : Active Duty and Train to San Diego

Not sure that Daddy and his fellow Marines-to-be were in troop sleepers, as they were not in full use until late 1943, but he does mention being in a nice Pullman coach.  Daddy always liked to talk about his trip from Jackson to New Orleans to San Diego via the train.  It was a calm before the storm; he was very impressed with the food (always a high priority to him!)  I think he considered it a grand conspiracy to treat them like kings before they got off the train and stepped onto the yellow footprints at boot camp.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 1943 - Sworn In to the Marine Corps

Now that Daddy, in his words, " tired of fooling with the Air Force", he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was sworn in August 27, 1943.  70 years ago today, he stood with other young men from Mississippi at Camp Shelby (near Hattiesburg) and gave his oath to defend our country and constitution.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In His Own Words - Why Daddy chose the Marine Corps

The reason?  It isn't nearly as inspirational or patriotic as you may think!

My family members had the foresight in 2002 to conduct a formal interview with my father regarding his service in the United States Marines.  If I remember correctly, my sister got the "script" of questions, etc. from the Veteran's History Project.  I think all of us wish we had done this 10 years or even 5 years prior to this as by January 25, 2002, the date of the interview, my father had either become very camera shy or was in the beginning phases of Parkinson's disease.  He had quite a few "stories" he would tell over the years about his service, and some didn't surface during the interview.  However, there were still great moments and he gave very detailed and interesting answers to the questions.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 1943 - Air Corps Denial Letter

Well, this was probably discouraging.  A letter dated July 12, 1943 to my father informs him that he does not qualify for Aviation Cadet Training (for the Army Air Corps.)  Now I am beginning to think that it was at this point he began eating so much to try to gain weight (not starting the previous year.)  He would have received this letter, and then tried for a little over a month to gain the weight he needed to qualify.

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 25, 1943 - Air Corps Induction Letter

The summer (especially the late summer) of 1943 was when things started picking up with Daddy's enlistment into the military.  He must have been very happy to receive this letter from the Air Corps directing him to report on July 8 for training.

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 1943 - Navy Officer Candidate School Letter

My father must have really been reaching out to see what his options were regarding enlistment and training.  The Navy V-12 program was offered at his new alma mater : Millsaps College.  This would have initially kept him close to home and would be a nice option for the future.

Had he been accepted, he might have rubbed elbows with Johnny Carson.  The famous comedian and host of The Tonight Show joined the Navy in June of 1943 and received his V-12 training at both Colombia University and Millsaps College.

It was not to be, however, as Daddy got his first denial letter.  They do not detail the reason(s) for the denial, but I'm sure Daddy still felt like he could join the Air Corps.

(Click Here For Full Size)

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 1943 - Third Letter of Recommendation

This is the last of three letters of recommendation we found in Daddy's files with his scrapbook.  It appears that he was also interested in the Navy V-12 program; I will post the letter he received from the Navy V-12 in a week.

(Click Here For Full Size)

If not on the radio on May 6, then I'm sure the news spread rapidly via newspaper that the Philippines had fallen.  Daddy's connection to the Philippines, while distant, would be part of his experience to come.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3, 1943 - Another Letter of Recommendation

World War II was still churning across both oceans east and west of Jackson, MS.  My father was nearly through is freshman year at Millsaps College.  Now that he was past the limitation of being 18 years old, he was making plans to join the Army Air Corps and be a pilot.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Never Give Up

While my father was still very young, he obviously had a "never give up" attitude already.  The Army Air Corps recruitment officer had already told him he didn't qualify because he didn't weigh enough.  Determined to be a P-38 pilot, Daddy ate like he had never eaten before.  He was naturally slender, as his father before him. Gaining weight at his age was harder than it seemed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Guadalcanal and Millsaps College

Just before classes would have started at Millsaps College, the United States began the "boots on the ground" invasions in the Pacific.  Marines of the 1st Marine Division landed on Guadalcanal August 7, 1942...Daddy's 18th birthday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

First Things First...

Hopes of becoming a pilot aside, the reality for Daddy in 1941/1942 was that he had to finish high school, and would not be 18 years old until August of 1942, which put him at the mercy of his parents.  He had to continue his education, I'm sure they told him.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

December 7, 1941 - A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

People say you always remember exactly where you were, what you were doing...sometimes even what you were wearing...when significant events happen in life.  This day was full of those memories.