by Jack W. Mills
The time spent at Fort McArthur Induction center at San Pedro, California was an exercise in confusion, and a thing to behold, I had never seen so many inept people that were so important, a PFC acted like a one star general, I felt like Jethro going to brain surgeon school, but I got through it I guess OK. They really don't care one way or another anyhow about a person , they're just cannon fodder.
While there one night at the canteen I lifted Lana Turner up on the counter and she sang and entertained the confused and homesick. While standing there by me, she said to me," Well are you just gonna stand there or you going to help me up." I didn't know what to do, I thought she might break or something. I had never been that close to a celebrity before. While I was there several Hollywood personalities came there to entertain. I don't remember who all came there, but I do remember Lana Turner. Several others came and that was their contribution to the war effort. You have to remember, I was just in town for the first time and right out of the country.
I tried to get into the U.S. Army Air Force, as it was called then, but they were all filled up and weren't taking any more in. I then tried to go into the Signal Corp, but after testing on the Morse code dot and dash, I couldn't tell a dit from a dah and I didn't get in it. I tried to get in the Navy but it turned out that I was color blind, I couldn't pick out those colored dots in that circle. I never got in it and after that boat ride over there in November of 1943, I'm glad that I never got in it. Its true though like a Navy boy told me in there that if they have a bed its a dry one. They do live pretty good to, nice bunks and good food. Beans three times a day.
I was just left to go wherever they wanted to put me. I knew that I didn't want in the infantry but I also knew that I had no choice where I would go, and was just going to try to get along wherever they said to go, there was nothing that I could do about it anyhow.
I was assigned to the 210th Military Police Company, unattached, that meant that we were just sort of a bastard company that nobody wanted. We were shipped to Camp Maxey, Texas, just out of Paris, Texas, located some 60 or so miles Northeast of Dallas, just across the state line from Hugo, Oklahoma. They sent us by Pullman from California to Camp Maxey and we had a layover in Ft. Worth, Texas and spent the night. I guess I got off on the wrong foot with the Military there that night because another boy and I crawled out the window of the Pullman and went to see a girl that I had got acquainted with when I lived there with my Sister in Ft. Worth and I ask the Corporal in charge of the train if I could go out and he said no one was allowed to get off the train. When we come back, we had to wake him up to get in and he gave us what for and we had to sit in a seat the rest of the way and not allowed to talk to no one and he reported us to the higher ups when we got there but nothing was done about it. He thought that he was a one star general. He sure was on an ego trip. I never got to see the girl either. Her name was Katie Presley.
Graphics by Jelane's Free Web Graphics
Document Last Modified: Saturday, 01-Nov-1997 18:27:42 UTC