Sometime in January, 1944, the President sent his "greetings" -- I was now in 1-A and would report for a physical March 21. Living in Prescott, Ariz., at the time, I had my papers transferred from Missouri and at the appointed time went to Phoenix for examination. It was not quite the case of "if you're still warm, you're in" but almost. I passed.
Two months later, May 31, I took the fatal step forward, said "I do" and was in the Army. This was at Ft. MacArthur, Calif., a few miles from Los Angeles. By June 7, I was at Camp Roberts, Calif., starting 17 weeks of basic infantry training. Miles of marching with full field pack, rifle, steel helmet in California's 100-degree-plus sun, firing our new rifles, carbines, mortars, machine guns, BARs, listening to lectures on first aid, scouting, gas, running through various combat courses, crawling under machine gun fire, wearing ourselves out on obstacle courses, drilling, taking calesthentics. It wasn't fun. But by October 7 we "graduated" and were supposed to be soldiers and ready, if not willing, for anything.
After a 12-day delay enroute furlough I found myself at Ft. Meade, Md., a staging area for overseas shipments. Here we drew all new equipment and were oriented again and again on insurance, mail, and in general how to behave in a foreign land. We got plenty of "shots" here, too. Our next stop was in Camp Miles Standish, Mass., about Nov. 3, a POE. And on Nov. 10 we were boarding the USS Wakefield and heading. ..... for what , no one knew.
BRUNSWICK, MO. Aug 17, 1944-------
Squirrel hunting in Missouri paid dividends in California for two Chariton County youths recently when they tied for top score as rifle experts in the same infantry training company at Camp Roberts.
In addition to receiving rifle expert medals, each of the soldiers, Pvt Arthur Clayton of
Brunswick and Pvt Ernest Drew of Keytesville, was awarded a $25 War Bond by the company
commander for scoring 185 in the tests. High score for the entire battalion was 187.
Pvt Clayton formerly was editor of The Brunswicker here and for several months prior to his induction was an editor on the staff of a Prescott, Ariz., daily. He is the son of Postmaster and Mrs. A.J. Clayton. Pvt Drew is the son of Mr. Wilbur Drew of Keytesville and is a brother-in-law of Mrs. Romie Drew of Brunswick.
- From K.C. Star-
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