Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oldest Military Blogger at Camp Myles Standish

Oldest Military Blogger at Camp Myles Standish

On our arrival in South Boston we were billeted in
a warehouse on Summer Street that was converted
into sleeping quarters.
This location made Castle Island very accessible.
New Years Eve of 1943, there was little need for celebration
because duty demanded, shipping stuff out to the troops
abroad, was much more critical.
New Years Day at 6 A.M. our C.O. had the Officers
and Non-Coms wake all the men in the Company, to take
a hike, with full gear.
We marched to East Cambridge and back under
extreme protest from the men and Officers alike.
Three days later, a visitor from the Adjutant General's
Office arrived at our warehouse to respond to some inquiry.
When he left, our surly Captain went with him, fully packed,
never to be heard of again.
His replacement an "Old Army" Captain, assumed
Command of the 301st Port Company.
Within a week, he took away the chevrons of every
Technical non-com in the Company.
He issued a statement that, " No man will wear stripes
without his sanction and authorization".
I did not get my stripes back until, sometime after, we were sent to
Taunton Massachusetts, January of '44 ..
We were kept busy and physically fit in Camp Myles
Standish,in Taunton MA. which was about 60 miles
from South Boston.
We were taking 3 mile runs with light field packs
almost every afternoon.
This was later increased to 5 miles around a lake area....
On one section of the run we had to cross a foot bridge,
across part of the lake, three feet above
the water level.The bridge had rope hand rails, on both sides
of the wooden, flexible track.
When you ran you had no concept of moving forward
except for the blur of the hand rails.
Very few of us could finish that one..
Many men got disoriented and barely finished.
Most evenings, we had surprise night marches, with
Combat field packs.
We casually could be lounging around and
one or two of the Platoons would be called upon, to participate,
in an exercise without warning.
They would have to dress and be ready to move out
in very few moments.
They might ask them to join another unit in this night maneuver,
to attain some target in the wooded area surrounding
the camp, just to find out how they worked with unfamiliar Officers.
One evening the entire Company was activated in this
manner and we were off .
On this sortie, our Platoon was sent off in another direction
than the point the Company had taken.
We had been instructed to follow the path South until we
would meet with the main body of our Unit, less than
a mile away.
The first minutes down the path were uneventful, until suddenly,
the path was obstructed by a concertina of barbed wire.
When Lt. Petrie started to look for a way around the wire,
Oakie and I were at the head of the First Section in our Platoon.
We sprawled across the wire, side by side and the section
then ran over us across the wire
The remainder of the march was without incident and we
met up with the rest of the Company.
At the end of the debriefing back in camp, the Company Commander
told us that he had been informed of an action by someone,
unknown, who helped to allow the men in his group
to overcome the barbed wire.
He wanted to know!
"Who was it?"
He stared accusingly from one side of the Mess Hall to the other.
Many heads turned to Okie and myself, but no one spoke.
Okie and I were silent.
We were not sure if we were right, or wrong.
Never the less.........
Three days later, we, got our stripes back!

A few weeks later we shipped out on the S.S. Argentina,
over the North Atlantic, bound for Scotland.


Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for another interesting story. Now I know why I fret losing my memories! It's because your's is so darn good!

Your stories give us/me insight into "how things were." Love it...

solfine said...

Thanks Pat...I get great pleasure reading your blog because of the honest forthright style you put into your efforts. Keep It up!

Pat Tillett said...

Thank you Sir!
Coming from you, that means a great deal to me...

Anonymous said...

I am impressed with the detail you so
vividly is said, "Elephants never forget!" Quite
probably , Veterans never forget ...
they simply suppress their memories
of wartime experiences. MBK

Sherrie said...

I just read your Blog Sol... an amazing experience you went through and you are destined to do this for all of us and that is why you have a good memory and why you write your Blog... to counsel us !
We cannot imagine what went on in your world back then, only with pictures and the movies, now you have given us the words. Thankyou !

membrain said...

I've just caught up with all of your latest posts. I must say I marvel at your memory. The detail that you put in your writing creates pictures of your past in my mind.

Thanks so much for doing this.

Take care.

Elizabeth Bacher said...

Dear Sol, I've been following your blog for quite a while and just became a "follower" on your page. First of all, I want to thank you for your service. I have enjoyed reading your stories. I also want to thank you for inspiring me to create a blog for my dad, a WWII pilot. Before he passed away in '99 I had him dictate some of his war stories on cassette tapes. Years later I reduced them to CDs. I wanted to do something special with them but didn't know what...until I started researching on the internet and stumbled across your blog and others. The stories you wonderful gentleman told were amazing and I am so humbled. Thank you for your inspiration to do something special for my dad. I think he would have liked it. Here is the site. I would be most honored to have you as a follower. It's still in its infancy. I blog excerpts (verbatim) from the CDs along with letters to home and also pictures I have found in scrapbooks in the attic. I feel like sometimes he's looking over my shoulder and smiling. I really miss him. Thanks again Sol. Respectfully, Liz Bacher

Anonymous said...

in 1970 i worked at the old boston army base us postal service warehouse, section c, 7th day we opened up a large warehouse room for inventory and i saw hand writing on the walls of ww2 servicemen. they wrote notes like, Joe from tyler,texas, july 8,1944. etc. it was like finding a lost treasure for me as i am a ww2 buff.i enjoyed your story on the 301st and its hike to my hometown of east cambridge.god bless you.---mike