Four days later, Friday morning, found us on a troop train, bound for
Miami Beach, Fl. Upon our arrival Saturday afternoon, we were taken to
our hotels. These were to be our barracks during our Basic Training period.
We were now in the Army Air Corps.
Miami Beach, January 1943
Stationed in the jungle, the enemy was only one of our concerns. Mosquito's carrying Malaria
and Dengue Fever, poisonous snakes (King Cobra's, Cobra's, Kraits) leeches in the streams,
biting and stinging insects, and tigers, were all threatening factors. Early one morning,
a 350 lb. tiger was shot and killed near our mess hall!
TIGER, TIGER, Shining Bright,
in the forest of the night.....
This tiger was shot as it came into our company area,
during the early morning hours. (I'm at the lower right.)
The war in Europe ended in May, but in Burma the fighting was still going on. By the end of June,
Japanese airplanes were a thing of the past, and their troops were practically eliminated in Burma.
In July, we were sent back to Kharagpur, a large B-29 airfield in India. Here we began to train
for what was to be the invasion of Japan. Dropping the atom bombs in August
brought the war to an end, and V-J Day in September was the finale.
Holding a Japanese flag
In October the entire 33rd fighter Group airlifted to Karachi, India. Along the way "Honorable Discharge".
we flew over the famous Taj Mahal, circling the area several times.
That is truly a magnificent structure.
After a short time in Karachi, we boarded the Norwegian freighter MS Torrens, and departed
for the good old U. S. of A.! Unlike the Gen. Randall,this ship held only 1500 men,
1000 of them being the entire 33rd Fighter Group. (58th,59th,and 60th Fighter Squadrons)
And now it was through the Indian Ocean, into the Red Sea through the Suez Canal,
and a brief stop to refuel at Port Said, Egypt. Then it was into the Meditteranean,
past the Rock of Gibraltar into the Atlantic, and straight into New York Harbor.
Our arrival on Dec.7, was greeted by fireboats in the harbor, spraying red, white,
and blue water into the air. Ships blasted their horns, and sirens wailed.
Big signs on the shores stated, "Welcome Home, Well Done". The Empire State building,
and our "lady in the harbor", the Statue of Liberty, never, ever, looked so good.We docked
in New Jersey. This 21 day voyage, Karachi to New York, was a "pleasureable cruise".
Here we boarded trucks, and were taken to Camp Shanks, Orangeburg, N.Y.,
where we spent the night, but not before we had our first stateside meal. (1:30 a.m.)
That traditional steak dinner, which was served to us by German prisoners of war.
The next day it was on to Fort Dix, NJ. Three days later, December 11,1945,
we were presented with that long awaited piece of paper, with those wonderful words,
There is my saga, covering a period of
2 years, 11 months, and 14 days.