Monday, February 22, 2016

3) Enlistment--Oct. 1942


Jack enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Saturday, October 31, 1942. He had turned 18 in June of that year and had completed four years of high school. He never received a high school diploma because he was a few credits short, probably because of moving schools and states. I think he started high school when he was living with his parents in Queens, NY. He decided to join the military instead of returning to Anchorage High School in the fall to complete his required credits.

Jack enlisted at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana and his terms of enlistment were for the “duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President.” At the time of his enlistment his height was listed as 5”11” and his weight 185 lbs.

He probably underwent physicals and tests at Ft. Harrison for several days and then on Tuesday November 3rd , a group of recruits were given orders to be transferred by train to Bowman Field, Louisville, Kentucky, the following day. The orders listed Jack along with 48 other newly enlisted privates. Jack was appointed as Acting Corporal and placed in charge of the group for the travel to Bowman Field. He had no prior military experience so I'm guessing that he was given this temporary leadership role because he had been a summer camp counselor. I assume that the soldiers were then assigned to basic training sites from Bowman Field. I don't know where Jack received his basic training. It was possibly at the Atlantic City Training Center, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There he would have had several weeks of training in basic military conduct, use and care of weapons, gas mask procedures, rifle range experience, and physical conditioning.

The first letter that I have is dated December 3rd of 1942. At that time he is in Armorers School at Buckley Field near Denver, Colorado. The bombing of Pearl Harbor had been the previous year, Dec. 7, 1941.

Note: clicking on the attached images will open them up to a larger view.

Orders for transport of enlistees from Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IN to Bowman Field, Louisville, KY
This photograph was probably taken before Jack enlisted, perhaps so the family would have a nice picture to submit to the newspaper for his enlistment notice. 
Another pre-enlistment photo of Jack with his parents Avery and Jack Sr.

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