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.