That was terrific.
We would swim in that pool and in the ocean before breakfast. And then the only way to get out of staying there forever was you'd apply for OCS. So I applied and was taken to the OCS. That was four months. It used to be a ninety-day wonder, but by the time I got there, it was a hundred and twenty-day wonder. And all kinds of strange things happened. I had roommates who were cashiered, thrown out, because they were Jewish, or they couldn't march straight. And that was very, very interesting. I learned how to paraphrase, how to And I had been an English major so this was duck soup for me.
We even learned how to wash windows with newspapers on the side. And I arrived Oh, I had time in Chicago with my friends from the University of Chicago. We had quite a ball, and you know when you're all dressed up in You're around your Second Lieutenant with all the, you know, the pinks and the uniforms and stuff [showing things on his clothes]. So that was fun. Then we got to And then, that And I remember lying in the snow teaching the younger soldiers how to fire a weapon, how to fire a carbine, how to fire a. And that went on for about three or four months.
And it was the first time I'd had egg foo yung was at a restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, in Salt Lake City. It was delicious. Camp Stoneman was actually in Pittsburg, which is next to Concord. And on the way I managed to visit friends in Hollywood and Pasadena. My mother and father were married in Pasadena and I had some relatives there and I saw them.
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I had a wonderful time. And I ended up in Concord with a group of ten cryptographers, Cryptographic Security Officers, and we were going to disperse to the South Pacific. It's amazing how intricate the military can be in their planning. I know the Pentagon, it's not my favorite building in the world, but they do a lot of marvelous things, like the internet, things like that [chuckling].
So Concord. I was driving.
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It was in the spring and the flowers were so beautiful between Concord and San Francisco where four ofus rented a room at the Fairmont Hotel, and one of us stayed at the Base to warn the others to get back because we were going to be shipped out. We didn't know when so that went on for several weeks.
Then we were shipped to We got our orders. It was very beautiful. And on board, some six thousand, five hundred troops, there were five hundred WAC's. You needn't put this in, but two of them got pregnant. I don't know how [chuckling]. So I remember a couple of us were dragged up by some Australians to a radio station.
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We had to talk to one of the people, one of the Yanks. We weren't there very long. We went to Townsville which had a big air base. There's where I spent probably I forgot. Four or five months. That's where I saw Lindberg one night at the Officers' Club. Nobody made a fuss over him. It was like New York. You know, Greta Garbo could walk by and you'd just leave her alone.
I loved Townsville. I wrote a short story about it. I was writing stuff all the time. And I didn't know that being an officer, you could censor you own stuff, although there's a super-censor who even censored officers. I waited quite a long time and I remember just everyday you got up and waited to get on a plane.
And then there was a Red Cross canteen with coffee and donuts and there was a nice girl there who saw me and invited me in to help her. And we became friends for life. But I had My main job was with the 86th Fighter Wing. I would get delivery of the Landing Codes for all aircraft so they didn't get shot down trying to land.
And I got orders I had to deliver them to various fighter squadrons allover the place [showing with his hands].
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And I could just get on any plane, go anywhere. I flew about seventy hours a month delivering these things.
Boy, I was in charge of it but the enlisted men ran it. They knew what to do. I didn't I couldn't. I didn't know how to run one of the [showing typing] radio things. The shortwave. And that was the job I'd wanted to get [chuckling]. And I ended up in charge of two hundred people who were doing it. The only thing that happened there, we got bombed one night. I wrote it down. The Japanese, there weren't very many Japanese planes left.
Wed. Feb. 18, 2015
But I didn't find out until long after the war that over the mountain behind us, there were fifteen thousand starving Japanese. We were lucky that they were just too weak and helpless to do anything but they'd get a few planes up every night. You'd hear them. They were like washing machines [making a grinding noise]. And that was Sansapor.
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Then where did I go? Oh, I guess the Philippines. And I remember going to Leyte. We stopped there briefly.