Monday, February 22, 2016

4) Technical Training at Buckley Field, Colorado- Early Dec. 1942

After basic training a new soldier usually went on to some type of technical school for further specialized instruction. During the early years of World War II the city of Denver purchased a 5,740-acre parcel of land several miles east of the city and donated it to the Department of the Army. Construction on this base, Buckley Field, began in early 1942. On 1 July 1942, the Army Air Corps Technical Training School opened at Buckley Field. It consisted of bombardier and armorer training for aircrews on the B-17 Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers and also armorer training for fighter planes. At this school, Jack would have learned how to install, inspect, clean, load and repair guns for aircraft.

As you will see from the letters, Jack was first assigned the graveyard shift, working from 10pm to 6am. Later in December, he was moved to the day shift. He mentions his expected graduation from this school as Feb. 1, 1943, so his entire training here was probably about eight weeks.

After graduating from Armorers School at Buckley Field, Jack was sent to Hammer Field in Fresno, California, where he awaited a permanent assignment.

Buckley Field, Colorado 

4:20 PM 

Dec. 3, 1942 

Dear Betty, 

Well I am finding time to write at last but I will not have time to write much. 

I am going to Armorer’s School here and will not graduate till about Feb. 1st. I am on “C” shift from 10PM till 6 AM and when you aren’t use to working at night it sort of gets you tired at first. 

Tell me what is the news out at Anchorage and how is everybody? How much longer does Bob have to go before he solos? I hope he makes it before Xmas like he wanted to. 

Well I know this a short letter but I have to go now and I know if I don’t mail it now I probably will wait a day or so. 

Love and please write, 


P.S. enclosed find post card I didn’t mail the other day. 
My address: 
756th Tech School Squadron (SP) 
Buckley Field, Colo.

(On back of enclosed postcard)

Dear Betty
Well here is a sample of what Colorado looks like.
I will try to write more next time please write to me.
Love, Jack

Postcard enclosed in this letter.

“Bob” ---refers to Betty’s 1st cousin Bob Giltner. At this time Bob and his younger brother Bill lived with their grandmother, Nanine Fairleigh at her home on Westport Road. Betty, her sister Anne, and their mother (Emma) also lived in this home on Westport Road. Bob and Bill’s parents lived on their farm in Shelby County but wanted the boys to attend Anchorage High School. Bob was the same age as Betty and Bill the same age as Betty's younger sister Anne. Jack Riley had attended Anchorage High, with Bob and Bill Giltner and Betty and Anne Geiger, before starting his military service. Bob Giltner learned to fly as a teenage, his father owning a small plane.

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