The museum has a collection of files on individual veterans who trained or worked at Camp Gordon Johnston. We will be (slowly) adding their stories to the website. Click on the blue links to see their stories below:
EDWARD J. BABOR
EDWARD J. BABOR, Warrant J. G., son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony A. Babor, was born December 29, 1910, in Astoria, N. Y. He was graduated from Newtown High School in Elmhurst, and attended New York University, where he studied banking, finance and advertising.
Prior to his induction on March 16, 1943. he was an advertising salesman for the N. Y. Herald Tribune. He was stationed at Mitchel Field, after which he studied at the Army School of Piloting and Navigation at Bar Harbor, Me., and at East Greenwich. R. l. Officer Babor was in charge of a Crash boat for several months and was later transferred to Camp Gordon Johnston. Fla., where he was connected with tug boat transportation. Sent overseas on March 7, 1945, he served at Leyte and Manila, and with the Army of Occupation operated with the 347th Harbor Craft Company at Yokohama. Officer Babor was awarded the Good Conduct Medal. the American Theatre Ribbon. the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with one Bronze Star, the Army of Occupation Ribbon, World War Il Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. On September 5, 1946, he Was discharged at Fort Dix. N. J. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948)
Dr. William Donovan
DR. WILLIAM DONOVAN, Captain, son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Daniel J. Donovan. was born on October 18 1913. in New York City.
He was graduated from Fordham Prep School and earned his B. S. Degree at Manhattan College and his M. D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York. Before enlisting in the Army he was with the N. Y. State Department of Health. Attached to the 533rd Engineer Amphibian Regiment, Third Brigade, he served as a Doctor in the Medical Corps at Camp Edwards. Mass., and later with the 543rd Engineer Amphibian Regiment at Camp Gordon Johnston. Fla. Sent overseas, Captain Donovan served in the New Guinea area and the Philippines as a Medical Officer with the Amphibian Engineers. After his return to the United States he was assigned to the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Croft. S. C, as Medical Advisor to the Personnel Disposition Board. Captain Donovan was honorably discharged at Camp Gordon, Ga.. on December 1945. He was entitled to the AsiatiC-Pacific Ribbon with three Battle Stars, American Theatre Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Battle Star, and the Victory Ribbon. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948).
Howard P. (Bud) Helmer
Howard P. (Bud) Helmer, P.E., Woodgate Manor, Boonville NY, age 98 passed away April 28, 2020. Bud was born on April 5, 1922 in Kast Bridge, NY to the late Howard P. Helmer Sr. and Bessie Francisco Helmer. He grew up in Herkimer, NY and graduated from Herkimer High School in 1939. He entered the Army on January 23, 1943 during World War II and trained at Fort Devens and Camp Edwards, MA, Norfolk Navy Base, VA and Camp Gordon Johnston, FL. He was a member of the amphibian engineers, 534th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. In April 1944, he was sent to the Pacific War Zone where he served for 23 months. He was stationed at Milne Bay, Ora Bay, We Wak and Aitape in New Guinea where he participated in the invasion of Morotai and Luzon, the
occupation of Japan on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. He wore five ribbons with four battle stars and one arrowhead for service in the Asiatic Pacific Region, American Defense, Good Conduct, Philippine Liberation and Final Victory. He also shared the Meritorious Service Citation. He was honorably discharged from the Army at Fort Dix in January 1946.
Known as “Handsome Harry” for his movie star good looks, James Harry Taylor was born on May 20, 1919, in East Glenn, Indiana, near Terre Haute in the west-central part of the state. Taylor was one of four children born to Cyrus and Lottie Burk Taylor. He had two brothers, Paul and Kenneth, and a sister, Betty. In 1938, after graduating from Fayette High School, he signed to play for Tallahassee, a Dodgers affiliate in the Class D Georgia-Florida League, but was released without ever getting into a game.
Nineteen days later, on the advice of scout Chick Mattick, the Chicago White Sox signed Taylor and sent him to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association. Except for a brief stay with Richmond of the Class B Piedmont League in 1939, Harryr remained with St. Paul until he enlisted in the Army in 1941. Pitching mostly in relief, he won nine games and lost twenty-seven over three years, with an earned-run average of 5.30.
During his time in the military Taylor managed and played for several Army teams, pitching three no-hitters. On December 6, 1942, while stationed at Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, Florida, he married Beulah June ‘Boots” Collins. Harry’s wife was also from Indiana, having been born March 19, 1920, in Tecumseh, Indiana.
When Taylor returned to St. Paul in 1946, the Saints were a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team. His years in the service had been beneficial to his baseball career. Taylor credited his playing baseball in the army with creating a turning point in his career. “Before I went into the army I didn’t study the game much,” he said. “Because I was the only guy with pro experience on the team, I was made manager. Then I came down with an injury and couldn’t play so I had to manage the team from the bench. Sitting there and watching, I began to follow the game in all of its phases. I’m sure it had a lot to do with my success after my hitch was over.”
Taylor, a six-feet-one, 175-pound right-hander, threw with three different motions; overhand, three-quarters, and side-arm. He liked to make the batter guess what angle the next pitch was coming from. He used either his fastball or his curve as his out-pitch, though when in a jam, he preferred to throw the curveball.
By June 5, 1946 Harry had already won seven games for the Saints and was called the “league’s leading chucker” by The Sporting News. He was one of six pitchers selected for the eleventh annual American Association All-Star game. In Louisville, on August 18, he came within a “scratch bingle” of pitching a no-hitter. Overall, he won a league-leading fifteen games against seven losses with an ERA of 3.33 and ninety-one strikeouts. The Dodgers noticed. On September 3 they paid St. Paul $15,000 for Harry’s contract. Two weeks later, after the Saints were eliminated from the American Association playoffs, he was called up to Brooklyn.
The Dodgers and the Cardinals were in the midst of a very tight pennant race when Taylor made his major-league debut at Boston on September 22. With two on and one out in the seventh inning, and the Braves up 4–2, Harry struck out the next two batters to end the threat. On September 25 he was one of a then National League record eight pitchers used in an 11–9 loss to the Phillies. In all, he pitched four and two-thirds innings in four games, with no decisions.
In 1947 Taylor made the team out of spring training, winning a spot in the bullpen. But on May 28, with the Dodgers trailing the Chicago Cubs by a half game, new manager Burt Shotton inserted Taylor into the starting rotation. Harry pitched a complete-game five-hitter to defeat the New York Giants, 14–2. He also had two hits and two runs batted in. Taylor’s win and a Cubs’ loss put Brooklyn into first place. Four days later he pitched another complete game in leading the Dodgers to a 6–1 victory over St. Louis, and he followed with a two-hit shutout against Pittsburgh. By July 4 Taylor had seven victories and seven complete games in ten starts. On July 29 Taylor’s three-hit shutout at St. Louis helped the Dodgers stretch their lead to eight games over the New York Giants.
An injury Taylor suffered in a game against the Cardinals on August 18 may have been the reason for his short career. Harry hurt his elbow as he threw a curve to the Cardinals’ Whitey Kurowski, and while he got credit for his tenth victory, it would be his last of the season. Taylor did not pitch again for more than five weeks, and when he did come back, he threw just four innings in two relief appearances. He attributed his elbow trouble to an old injury; whether or not that was true, Taylor was never again the same pitcher. He ended the regular season with a record of 10-5 and a 3.11 earned run average.
The Dodgers won the pennant, and manager Shotton reluctantly started Taylor against the Yankees in Game Four of the World Series at Ebbets Field. The first four Yankees reached base on two hits, an error, and a bases-loaded walk to Joe DiMaggio. When Dodgers coach Clyde Sukeforth came to the mound to take Taylor out, Harry said stubbornly, “I haven’t started to pitch yet, Sukey.” Sukeforth replied, “I know, but we haven’t any more bases to put those fellows on.”
Taylor’s inauspicious performance, which would be his only World Series appearance, was overshadowed by the dramatic events at the end of the game. The Dodgers were held hitless by Yankees pitcher Floyd Bevens until Harry Lavagetto delivered a game-winning double with two outs in the ninth inning. The Series went seven games before the Yankees triumphed.
Taylor won his first start in 1948, a 5–3 decision over the Giants on April 22. But an emergency appendectomy seven days later kept him from pitching again until he made a two-inning relief appearance on May 26. From there on, he was largely ineffective. By July 19, when he was 1-4 with a 5.16 ERA, the Dodgers sent him back to St. Paul to make room for twenty-one-year-old Carl Erskine. Taylor pitched in nine games for the Saints, logged a 3-4 record with a 3.95 ERA, and returned to the Dodgers in September. He finished the ’48 season with two victories, seven losses, and a 5.36 ERA.
Taylor never again pitched for Brooklyn. He spent the next two seasons with St. Paul, going 11-6 with a 3.89 ERA in 1949 and 13-9 with a 4.02 ERA in 1950. On September 18, 1950, with Taylor out of options, the Dodgers sold him to the Boston Red Sox in a cash deal, variously reported as “considerable” and “not too far from the $100,000 level.”
The Red Sox were still in the pennant race, and Taylor wasted no time trying to impress his new manager, Steve O’Neill. He pitched a two-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 25 and a six-hit victory over the Yankees on October 1, the last day of the season. O’Neill liked what he saw and declared that Taylor “will be a big winner for us next year.” But when next year came, the magic had disappeared. Taylor’s 1951 record was 4-9, and his 5.75 ERA was the worst of his major-league career. He started eight times in thirty-one appearances, gave up 100 hits in eighty0one and a third innings and walked nearly twice as many (42) as he struck out (22).
In the first week of the 1952 season, Taylor pitched a six-hit victory over the Philadelphia Athletics. On May 4, he pitched one inning in relief against the Cleveland Indians. Soon after, the Red Sox sent him to the Louisville Colonels, where he spent the rest of the season. Back in the American Association, he was 9-10 for the Colonels with a 4.32 ERA in 25 games.
Taylor was with the Williston (North Dakota) Oilers of the semipro ManDak League in 1953, where he was 9-2. In 1955 he pitched for the Paris (Illinois) Lakers in the Class D Mississippi-Ohio Valley League, going 7-2 with a 3.82 ERA, and then retired from baseball. In his six major-league seasons, Harry Taylor won nineteen, lost twenty-one, and had a 4.10 earned run average.
After leaving baseball, Taylor lived in Shirkieville, Indiana, near his home town, and did some farming. He later worked for the Bemis Manufacturing Co. and Visqueen, a maker of building products. He was a member of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni and the West Terre Haute Masonic Lodge.
Raymond L Hefty
January 23, 1924 ~ December 31, 2017
Raymond L. “Hoover” Hefty, was born January 23, 1924 in Auburn to Harry and Pauline (Ketel) Hefty. Hoover was a 1942 graduate of Waterloo High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in December of 1942 and went to training at Fort Devens and Camp Edwards, both in Massachusetts. He took Amphibious training at Camp Gordon Johnston in Florida. He served in the South Pacific including New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, Solomon Islands, Philippine Islands, Murottal, Dutch East Indies. After the Japanese surrender he served in the occupation of Japan. He was honorably discharged on January 9, 1946 as Tech. Sgt with the 544th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, Bronze Arrowhead, American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic – Pacific Theater Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star, Sharpshooter medal and Good Conduct Medal.
ALFRED MclNERNEY, Sergeant
son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Mcinerney , was born on August 14, 1918 , at Central Islip. After four years of High School, he became employed at the local State Hospital. He enlisted in the Army on Jam1ary 15, 1941, and was placed with Co. A of the 533rd Engineer Amphibious Regiment. Early in 1943 he was at Camp Gordon Johnston at Carrabelle, Fla. Prior to enlistment he was in the local branch of the National Guard and spent time at Fort Ethan Allen, Vt. He was assigned to Battery B of the 187th Field Artillery and received his discharge in late 1945. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948)
Frederick L. Horn
FREDERICK L. HORN, Private First Class, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Horn, was born on December 5. 1924, in Brooklyn. After his graduation from Sayville High School in June 1942 he entered Cooper Union in N. Y. City. He was called for Army service in June 1943 and received his basic training at Camp Fannin, Tex. He completed a Mechanical Engineering Course at Purdue University in January 1944 and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood. Mo. with the Engineers, building roads. In June 1944, Private Horn was sent to N. Y. City for a course in electrical engineering which he completed in August 1944. He was returned to Fort Leonard Wood and then transported to Camp Gordon Johnston. Fla. with the Amphibious Forces. At this time he was Chief Engineer on his ship. He received the American Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal. and World War Il Victory Medal while serving in the Gulf of Mexico. He was discharged on March 12, 1946. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948)m
On July 5, 2018, Willard Reynolds passed away peacefully at his home in Jarrettsville, MD. Born August 11, 1920, Mr. Reynolds grew up in St. Petersburg, FL, during the great depression. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1938 before beginning his career as an aircraft tooling inspector for Pratt & Whitney and later Bendix Aviation. As the U.S. entered WWII, Mr. Reynolds entered and completed training at Florida’s Maritime School and Transportation Corps Marine Officers’ Cadet School.
Bill continued his education at New Orleans Port of Embarkation and then was reassigned to the U.S. Army Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. During WWII, Mr. Reynolds oversaw vessel operations of the inner harbor at the port of Le Havre, France, which at the time was a primary port for military supplies for the battles in Northern Europe. During that time, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. In late 1946, he was transferred to the Port of Bremerhaven with the position of Principle Marine Superintendent. In 1947, Mr. Reynolds was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. He continued to serve in the Army Reserves. During his stay in Germany, he met his wife of 59 years, the former Gertrud Kamysz. They married in 1959.
In 1961, Bill returned to the U.S. to become the Chief of Operations at what was then the Eastern Area Command headquartered in Philadelphia. In 1962, Mr. Reynolds accepted a position to open the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) Baltimore Outport. During his 20 years at Dundalk Marine Terminal, he supervised over 350 employees. Not long afterwards, the U.S. Army targeted him for a priority mission assignment to prepare special surface movement schedules in support of certain limited war contingency operations plans in case of military intervention. That mission was later known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1966, Bill retired from the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged with the rank of Major.
He is survived by his wife, Gertrud, and children: Gale White, of Vallejo, CA; Dr. Sue Smith, of Atlanta, GA; Bill Reynolds, of New Port Richie, FL; Liz Reynolds-Jordan, of Monkton, MD; and Frank Reynolds, of Jarrettsville, MD.
Private John C. (“Jack”) Goettman
John C. Goettman officially enlisted on March 25, 1941, see: Goettman, John C, Jr, Army Serial Number 33034450. Jack wrote from Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, Florida, in February 1943. “This is about the first chance I have had to drop you a line. Thanks a lot for your thoughts of me again…. It is the only chance I now have, as we are busy every other day and night. This is a real commando training, and just as tough as any training existing today. All we do is work, eat, and glad to fall into bed at nights. I am right on the Gulf. This place has few comforts or facilities as the training is made to be as much like actual warfare as possible. Especially the conditions which the marines are now encountering in Guadalcanal & the Solomons. I sure am glad I can still swim as much of the training is landing operations from boats. Also the firing of every weapon in the marines & army. We are the first Division to receive this new training.”
His 28th Division deployed overseas in October 1943, and after further training in Southhampton, England, landed at Normandy in July 1944. The unit pushed into Germany by early November. On December 16, 1944, they engaged the German army in what became known as the “Battle of the Bulge.” As the 28th fought to hold the Ardennes region, Goettman was reported captured on December 17, 1944. According to the official record, he ended up at Stalag 2D, a German POW camp in Stargard, Pomerania (near the northern border between Germany and Poland).
JOHN D. BELL
Born 13 November 1915
Died of Wounds in England 22 June 1944
Buried at Fort Hill Cemetery, Cleveland, TN
Private First Class
22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Company J
The Cleveland Herald, July 14, 1948
The body of Pfc. John D. Bell, former Herald pressman who as killed in France in July 1944, will arrive here Thursday night and will be taken to the home until the funeral services are held Saturday afternoon. Services will be held from the Wildwood Avenue Church of God. A military burial service will be conducted by the local veterans organization with a firing squad and pall bearers from the American Legion and VFW. Bell died on June 22, 1944, as a result of wounds received in action. He was a machine gunner with the infantry of the Fourth division, one of three divisions which captured Cherbourg.
The young man, a pressman at the Herald for some ten years, entered the army on June 6, 1941, being one of four men making up this country’s tenth draft call. He trained at Camp Wheeler, Fort Benning and Camp Gordon in GeorgIa, Ft. Jackson, S.C., and Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla. He went overseas shortly before the invasion and he went ashore in Europe on Omaha beach.
Edward S. Smith
DR. EDWARD S. SMITH, Captain, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley M. Smith. was born on June 19, 1911, in Sayville, N. Y. After graduation from Sayville High School in 1930 he attended Philadelphia Osteopathic College from which he was graduated in 1937. Previous to his Army service, he practiced as an osteopath in Sayville for five years. In 1943 he enlisted in the U. S. Army and received basic training at Camp Gordon Johnston. Fla. in the Transportation Corps. As a First Lieutenant. he trained men in Camp Gordon Johnston to use boats in the Transportation Corps under the Harbor Craft Companies whose duties were to maintain and operate Army boats and ships of all sizes. Captain Smith served for 21 months overseas in the European Theatre, where he was stationed in the Navy Bivouac Area. On April 12, 1946, he was honorably discharged from the service at Fort Dix, N. J. under the Army point system. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948)
JOHN S. MICAL
1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Soldier Profile: John S. Mical
Company B 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
In this undated photo John S. Mical is on the left
John Stanley Mical was born in Franklin Borough, Cambria County, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1918,
the son of Joseph and Victoria Mical. Franklin Borough was part of the overall metropolitan area of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Mical was drafted into the Army on April 25, 1942 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. At the time of induction he had completed one year of High School and was single, without dependents. He indicated his civilian occupation as Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor.
He was sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia, for two months of Radio Operator School. The date of his assignment to the 22nd Infantry could not be found, but it is quite possible he was with the Regiment at Camp Gordon in 1942. He was certainly with the 22nd Infantry by 1943. Mical was awarded the Good Conduct Medal as a Private in Company B, in Headquarters 22nd Infantry Motorized General Orders Number 5, dated 8 June 1943 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He went through amphibious training with his Company at Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, and moved with the Regiment to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in preparation for deployment overseas. He sailed with the 22nd Infantry to England
aboard the British troopship Capetown Castle on January 18, 1944, and arrived at Liverpool on January 29, 1944. He and his Company trained in England until they embarked for France in June.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944 Mical landed on Utah Beach in the second assault wave, as a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. Upon landing, he and his Battalion waded inland through the swamps and areas flooded by the Germans, reaching dry land in the vicinity of St. Martin-de-Varreville and moving on to St. Germain-de-Varreville, where they bivouacked for the night. Casualties during the day had been light. The next day, June 7, Mical’s Battalion moved through St. Marcouf and began the attack against the powerful German coastal battery at Crisbecq. Advancing under intense enemy artillery and machine gun fire, the Battalion suffered heavy casualties, and was pushed backby German counter attacks.
On June 8 the attack against Crisbecq began again. Mical’s Company B led the attack, along with Company A. They were unable to destroy the fortifications, and the assault developed into close fighting with the enemy in the trench system around the gun emplacements. Once again the Battalion had to pull back to near the village of Dodainville. On June 9 the decision was made to bypass Crisbecq, and attack toward the Quineville Ridge. The attack was begun late in the afternoon, and was stalled by heavy German resistance. The Regiment halted for the night. On June 10 Mical and 1st Battalion attacked Fontenay sur Mer, but were prevented from entering the town and dug in for the night.
The next day, June 11, they continued the attack against Fontenay sur Mer, and also moved against the German positions at Dangueville. That same day, the 39th Infantry of the 9th Infantry Division landed on the beach and took up positions to the right of Mical and 1st Battalion.
With the right flank now secure, the 22nd Infantry was free to make a concerted attack against Ozeville, which began on June 12. All three Battalions of the 22nd Infantry assaulted Ozeville, with Mical and 1st Battalion pressing the attackon the right side. Advancing under overwhelming firepower, which included naval support, the 22nd Infantry took Ozeville. During the attack, at about 1600 hours, Mical was struck by German artillery fire, which sent shrapnel into his back, immobilizing him, leaving him prostrate upon the battlefield, and taking him out of the fight. He was picked up by medics from the 9th Division Clearing Company, who were operating in close proximity to his unit, and he was eventually sent across the English Channel to the 96th Evacuation Hospital at Crewkerne, Somerset. Since his whereabouts were unknown by his Company, he was marked in the Morning Report for Company B(of July 5) as Missing In Action on June 12, 1944.
By June 24 he was in the 130th Station Hospital at Chisledon, Wiltshire, where his wounds were assessed by the 621st Clearing Company. He was sent on to several hospitals in England for treatment and recovery. From June 26 to July 30, he was in the 97th General Hospital at Wheatley, Oxfordshire. From July 30 to September 12, he was in the 318th Station Hospital at Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire, then at the 4145th USAHP (United States Army Hospital Plant) at Lichfield, Staffordshire. From September 12 to October 14, Mical was in the 312th Station Hospital, part of the 4186th USAHP at Shugborough P, Staffordshire. His wounds were sufficient to prevent him from returning to front line service.
On October 14, 1944, he was released from the hospital system and sent to the 10th Replacement Depot in England. Mical served the rest of the war as a hospital technician, surgeon’s assistant, and orderly at several hospital locations in England and France. From October 21, 1944 to January 16, 1945 he was at the 4185th USAHP at Lichfield, Staffordshire, then at the 33rd Station Hospital at Leominster, Herefordshire. From January 16, 1945 he was at the 203rd General Hospital at Broadwell, Gloucestershire, then went to the 4316th USAHP at Paris, France, where he remained until November 22, 1945, when he departed the European theater. He arrived in the United States on December 9, 1945 and was discharged from the Army on December 17, 1945 at the Unit A Separation Center #45 at Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania. Though his final Military Occupational Specialty was 861 Surgical Technician, his last duty unit marked on his discharge document is Company B 22nd Infantry 4th Division.
Decorations of John S. Mical
After the war, Mical returned to his job as a driver for the Inco Beverage Company in Johnstown, PA.
Some time around 1953, he began working for the Bethlehem Steel Company in Johnstown,
where he worked until his retirement. He married Yolanda (nee Mayher) in 1948, and they later had three children, Stephen (who died as an infant), Patricia, and Janet. John Mical and Yolanda were married for 50 years before she passed away in 1998. John and Yolanda were the proud grandparents of six grandchildren. He was also an avid gardener and baseball fan. John Mical passed away on October 18, 2006, at the age of 88.
Burial: Grandview Cemetery, Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Grave marker for John S. Mical.
Robert M. Melampy
Robert Melampy was born on April 1, 1909, on a small family farm in Lebanon Ohio, on the outskirts of Cincinnati. During his early school years, Robert had a keen interest in animals and how they functioned. Upon graduation from Mason High School, he enrolled in Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio, and graduated (1930) three years later with a B.S. degree in chemistry. He received an M.A. degree in chemistry (1931) from Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. at Cornell University with a major in biochemistry and minors in physiology and animal nutrition (1935).
With the outbreak of World War II, Melampy requested a leave of absence from LSU to join the U.S. Army as nutritionist, in the Sanitary Corps, and served from November 19, 1942, to May 5, 1946, holding the rank of 1st lieutenant, captain, and major. His relentless work ethic and attention to detail were rewarded by the Award of the Legion of Merit and by a letter of commendation. He served at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C.; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida; Thayer General Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee; Camp Ellis, Fulton County, Illinois; 312th General Laboratory, APO 75; and 120th General Hospital, APO 1011; and was awarded the Luzon Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star and the Victory Medal of World War II.
After prolonged illness, he died on May 27, 1984.
By Bill Stevens, Tamp BayTimes Correspondent
Published July 1, 2017
PORT RICHEY — After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Walter left his family’s commercial fishing business in Carrabelle to join the
Navy. He was aboard the USS Ticonderoga on Jan. 21, 1945, during World War II, when fighter planes attacked off the coast of Formosa in the South Pacific. He rescued pilots and sailors on the deck before a second kamikaze plane struck the ship where he stood. His wounds were extensive. n an interview in 2011, Walter said, “A dentist at the naval hospital in Jacksonville told me he was on the Ticonderoga and had assisted the doctor who treated me. He also said that they waited to treat me because they were trying to treat some of the men they thought would live. I fooled them, though.” He spent 16 months in hospitals, most of the time in a body cast. The Navy awarded him the Silver Star for gallantry. Walter returned home to resume his fishing business, but Frances convinced him to move to Port Richey, where she had grown up and where her father had left her some property. Walter started Tropical Realty with his brother and with wife Frances welcomed four children to the family — Walter Jr., Susan, Victor and Bob.
Francis J. Clark
The 28th Division’s lone Medal of Honor recipient from World War II
By Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Heft
During World War II in heavy combat from Normandy to the Rhine, Soldiers of the 28th Division distinguished themselves with many acts of bravery on and off the battlefield.
Eighteen division Soldiers would receive the Distinguished Service Cross, 359 the Silver Star and 2,627 the Bronze Star, recognizing their bravery and valor between 1944-1945. Many other courageous actions of Keystone Division Soldiers went unrecognized, with their heroics known only to those who fought alongside them.
Over seven days in September 1944, the individual actions of one 28th Division Soldier would earn him the distinction of being the unit’s only recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II.
Francis J. Clark was born in Whitehall, New York, and worked as a woodworker and amateur boxer before war broke out in 1941. At 30 years old, Clark was initially classified as too old for the draft, but he was reclassified as “A1” and called up and inducted in March 1942.
Shipped to initial training at Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, Clark returned home briefly before deployment to marry his sweetheart in Salem, New York, Jessie Miller. Clark received a promotion to corporal while in training and joined the 28th Division as a replacement NCO assigned to K Company of the 109th Infantry Regiment.
In September 1944, Clark and the 28th Division came face to face with the pillboxes of the “Siegfried Line,” German defenses placed to prevent the Allies from breaking out of France into the German homeland. Now a staff sergeant, Clark and his company crossed the Our River near Kilborn, Luxembourg, to advance on the German line.
Clark’s Platoon Leader, Lt Eric Black of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, recalled, “Covered by fog and noise of the river, we crossed safely, but the following platoon drew a hail of machinegun and rifle fire which killed the Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant,” according to a U.S. War Dept. press release.
Watching the pinned-down platoon, Clark jumped into action. He ordered his men to suppress the German guns and crawled across the open field in front of his position to reach the trapped platoon. Once with the pinned-down unit, he rounded up the survivors and ordered them to follow him back across the field to safety.
Once back to his own men, Clark saw that a wounded Soldier had been left behind. Clark charged forward again, on his own, and “when he found the wounded man could not move he … carried him to cover over his shoulder,” according to a War Dept. press release.
Clark’s heroics did not end there. His automatic rifleman, Frank Robichaud, told Army reporters that although outnumbered, “Clark led us in a number of engagements with enemy patrols who were trying to break through our positions.”
When another machine gun opened up on the platoon, Clark charged the position himself armed with a rifle and two grenades, killing or wounding the entire crew.
“Then he went over to the gun and gave it a bang against a tree to destroy it,” Robichaud added.
Clark’s pressure on German patrols in the area throughout the rest of the day forced a German force of superior numbers to withdraw.
A few days later, and a few miles down the Siegfried Line, Clark would again find his platoon in a precarious position. While fighting at Hill 515 near Sevenig, his unit was again was pinned down by machine gun fire.
Clark repeated his one-man army heroics and charged forward at the gun. With his helmet shot off in the process he tumbled into the German position and eliminated the crew. Calling his men forward, he established a defensive line in the German gun position.
Clark was wounded commanding his unit and the remnants of another platoon but refused medical evacuation. As night fell on Sept. 17, he rested in the captured bunker. Upon waking in the morning, Clark stumbled into two German machine gun teams a mere 5 yards away who were preparing to fire on his men. He destroyed both guns and alerted his men for action.
The fighting on Hill 515 continued to test the men of K Company, but Clark’s battalion commander stated that “among this scene of death, desolation, and hellfire Sergeant Clark moved with a calmness and serenity to resupply, provide medical aid, and give encouragement to not only his own rifle squad but the entire company front,” according to “The Regiment: Let the Citizens Bear Arms,” by Harry Kemp.
After the action at Sevenig ended, Clark allowed himself to be evacuated to receive medical attention. He returned to the 109th after a short recouperation and continued fighting with Company K.
Promoted to technical sergeant, he was wounded by German artillery fire in action during the struggle for the Hürtgen Forest and was sent to England to recuperate.
Discharged in August 1945, Clark was back home in Salem, New York, when he received notice that he would be recognized with the nation’s highest honor for his actions nearly a year prior. On Aug. 23, 1945, Clark stood in the White House with 27 other Soldiers and received the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman.
Clark returned to a quiet life in Salem, becoming a farmer and working part-time in a local factory before passing away in 1981.
In 2015, the Harrisburg Military Post’s Building 1 was renamed in Clark’s honor as a tribute to his heroic actions as a member of the 28th Infantry Division.
(Editor’s note: Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Heft is a former platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He is currently the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Army National Guard Leader Development Program in Arlington, Va.)
Elwood A. Style
ELWOOD A. STYLE, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Style. was born on May 4, 1924, in West Sayville. He was graduated from Sayville High in 1941. Before enlisting in the Army on January 13, 1943 and was employed by the Hanover Fire Insurance co., New York. He was a member of the 334th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. After leaving Camp Upton, he moved to Fort Deven, Mass. on February 1, 1943 for basic training and to Camp Edwards. Mass, on March 5, 1943. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on June 17, 1943 and to Sergeant on July 1, 1943. On September 20, 1943, he arrived at Camp Gordon Johnston. Fla and then left for Camp Stoneman. Cal. on April 11 1944. After leaving California on April 27, 1944 he arrived in Australia on May 12, 1944. From there he went to Manila. Philippine Islands. and then to Nagoya, Japan on October 1, 1945. On December 31, 1945 he left Japan for the United States. He was discharged from Fort Dix. N. J on January 24, 1946. under the government point system and received the following awards: the Good Conduct Medal, American Theatre Ribbon. Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with two Bronze Stars. and the Victory Medal. Islip, Suffolk County (Long Island) New York (1948)
E. R. “Bob” Lewis
E.R. “Bob” Lewis, 99, died Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at his home in Baton Rouge in the company of his wife, Louise. A 57-year resident of Baton Rouge, he was born in Franklin County, Miss., on June 28, 1909. A retired educator, Bob earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in education from LSU. Throughout his long teaching career, he was dedicated to the success of his students. He taught physics, chemistry and other sciences. He occasionally coached at public schools in Mississippi and in Tensas Parish before moving in 1952 to Baton Rouge, where he taught at Baker High School, then Istrouma High School. In 1965, he accepted a position at LSU as a civil defense instructor. During World War II, he volunteered for the U.S. Army and served on active duty for four years. Entering the U.S. Army as a private, he advanced to the rank of first lieutenant and served as commander of the chemical warfare unit at Camp Gordon Johnston in Florida. After leaving active duty, he joined the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of major. In 1969, he retired from the Army Reserves and joined the Retired Reserves. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Louise Lea Lewis; children, Rosemary Buddecke and husband Robin, of Houston, W. James Lewis and wife Doris, of Lincoln, Neb., R. Bradley Lewis and wife Susan, of Bogalusa, and Virginia L. Walker and husband David, of Baton Rouge;
Edward T. Schaefer
From the obituary of Caroline Tibbitts Schaefer; May 29, 1922 – April 29, 2023
Sacramento, California – Caroline T. Schaefer (née Caroline Marion Tibbitts) was born in Alameda, California, on May 29, 1922, the eldest of the three children of Walter F.C. Tibbitts and Marion G. Tibbitts. She attended grammar school through high school in Alameda, graduating in June 1939 from Alameda High. She attended Alameda Junior College, and when the war started she went to work at the Alameda Naval Air Station. Through a co-worker she met Edward T. Schaefer at a dinner. They fell in love and married in August 1942. As so many of his generation did, Ed enlisted in the Army that summer. After completing basic training in California, the two of them drove Caroline’s 1938 Packard – with a manual transmission, no air conditioning and no cruise control – across the country to Camp Gordon Johnston outside Apalachicola, Florida. Her father had told her as a teenager that she could drive only when she had learned how to change a flat tire. She was 20 and he was 22 on that trip. In Florida, Ed met the other two officers of the Army tugboat with whom he would be stationed in Europe; together they learned tugboat operations. Bonds forged in wartime create enduring friendships, and so it was here, as Caroline kept in touch with them over the next sixty or seventy years, literally for the rest of their lives. Following training in Florida they drove north to New York City for additional tugboat training, this time in Brooklyn Harbor. Caroline got a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in the secretarial pool – as she told us, because she knew how to type: fast, and without errors. Following training in New York they headed back to California via “the northern route”. A second trip to Florida followed in mid- 1943, this time cross-country by train. Upon completing training they drove with another military family in his car from Florida back once again to New York. In North Carolina the car got a flat tire, and no one, it seems, knew how to change a flat tire – except Caroline. She related this story to us years later with a twinkle in her eye and much satisfaction. The men left Brooklyn for Europe by troop ship in late 1943, and Caroline, 21, took the train back to California. Following the war they lived in Alameda, Berkeley and then Sacramento.
This article was written by Adam Ulrey.
Colby Maxwell Myers
He was born in Washington D.C., in 1903. After graduating from high school in 1921, he entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduated and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers June 12, 1925. His first assignment was as a company officer and assistant adjutant at Fort Humphreys, Va.
In June 1926, General Myers entered Cornell University, from which he received a Civil Engineering degree the following year. He graduated from the Engineer School in June 1926, and was assigned to Fort Du Pont, Del.
During the following six years, General Myers served at Fort Du Pont; with the Third Engineers at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; as commander of a Civilian Conservation Corps company at Fort Lawton, Wash., and as assistant district engineer at Portland, Ore. In 1934 he became assistant and executive of the Bonneville Dam Project where he served four years.
Graduating from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1939, the general remained there as an instructor. He later became chief of the Publication and Extension Course Section of the Engineer School. In August 1942 he assumed command of the 323rd Engineer Amphibian Command at Camp Edwards Mass.; became commander of the 594th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment at Camp Edwards in April 1943; and in October 1943 was appointed executive officer of the Fourth Engineer Special Brigade at Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla.
BIRTH 7 MAY 1923 • Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 31 MAR 1994 • Philadelphia, Pa (age 70)
Mr Rittenhouse was 19 when he entered service after leaving his CCC enlistment at Camp Stryker in Montana. He completed his basic training at Camp Edwards in Massachusetts and was assigned to the 339th Harbor Craft at Camp Gordon Johnston. He saw action in the invasion of Southern France as a Landing Craft driver in the invasion wave.
Tony served on amphibious vehicles while he was in the 562nd Engineer Boat Maintenance Battalion in the 562nd Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Story is from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, photo by Abby Weingarten.
Originally from Hoboken, N.J., Tony Castellano grew up across the street from Frank Sinatra before leaving home for the Army in World War II. Castellano and his three brothers, Francis, Joseph and Louis, all became soldiers shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Tony Castellano was assigned to the 562nd Engineer Boat Maintenance Battalion in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, and he served on amphibious vehicles.
‘We left California for the Pacific in February 1942. I was in the group that went in, not on D-Day, but the next day. It was called D+1. We had an area set up where we could repair the boats that got damaged during the war. We were always with different outfits. They would assign 50 of us to different places, from Leyte to New Guinea and Australia and all throughout the Pacific. New Guinea was 1,500 miles long, and you could only go 100 feet from the beach. There were jungles and you couldn’t really fight in the jungles. We went in pockets. We would take a group of say, 300 men, and we would land on one side of New Guinea. We jumped all along the New Guinea coast, going in at different areas. That’s why it took so long. We were on amphibious landing crafts and we would repair the boats in all these places. We put the troops on the islands wherever we went. We had 500 of these landing barges we used.
In New Guinea, there were no docks, so you couldn’t unload the ship. The boat had to come in and it had to be out that night because we had no Navy or Air Force helping us. The Japanese would come around and bomb us every night, and it was always dangerous.These landing barges had ramps that came down and the men would come running off. The ramps kept the men from going too deep into the water; if we didn’t have that ramp, they would drop down into the water with a heavy pack and just drown. That extension was helpful to get the guys off the barges and onto the island. We got them onto the islands safely that way.
I remember when we landed in Brisbane, Australia. I was living in a tent, and a guy came over to me with one of those British notes, the money they were using in Australia. He asked me to sign my name on it and put my address on it, and the other guys in my company signed it, too. Well, about four years ago, a guy from New Jersey purchased a package with old notes and paper money with writing. They pull these out of circulation and sell them off to interested people. The buyer’s name was William Haryslak, a rare coin and currency collector. He bought the note I wrote on during World War II, and he tried to contact all the names of the guys on it. He couldn’t find the other guys because some of their information wasn’t legible, but he found me.
Linton Rowan died peacefully at his Hood Canal home, 25 days before his 96th birthday. He was born in Bremerton, Wash., to James Rowan of Galveston, Texas, and Marguerite Dorr of Wiser Lake, Whatcom County. His two brothers, Ron and Wilmer, and half-brother Earl, preceded him in death.
Lin played baseball and football at West Bremerton High, graduated in 1937, and married Patricia Bicknell, West Bremerton ‘39, in 1940. They built their first home on Hood Canal’s North Shore.
As the U.S. entered World War II, Lin was an apprentice ship fitter at the Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard. The Army assigned him to a tugboat in the 376th Harbor Craft Company once he could enlist. While in the South Pacific with the invasion fleet, Lin discovered his love for the sea. After the war, he served two years as first mate on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife vessel the Black Douglas, welded in various Seattle sheet metal shops, and worked as a draftsman for 20 years for Pacific Car & Foundry, mostly in their Structural Steel Division. While there he worked on the Space Needle, the Seafirst Building, the New York World Trade Center, and was promoted to Head Draftsman.
Lin, Pat and their two children, Dru and Dave, lived in West Seattle near the ferry dock to simplify getting to the Canal. Although he liked to hunt birds, fly fish, hike in the Olympics and ski, carpentry was Lin’s favorite recreational activity. Upon retirement, he and Pat moved back to their North Shore home where he remodeled and repaired houses as a business until he was 80 years old. During his long life, Mr. Rowan was a Toastmaster, Pee Wee Baseball coach and scoutmaster. He worked on the Hood Canal Watershed Clean Water Project, was a member of the North Mason Lions, square danced and ate many buckets of oysters from his beach.
After Pat died in 1989, Lin married Shirley Burgess and was blessed to spend nearly another quarter century with her on the canal. They left often to go to reunions of Lin’s World War II Army unit and visit children living out of state and abroad. On Sundays they attended the Belfair Community Church with her mother, Harriet Gaufin. In many ways Shirley is the reason Lin lived so long.
Hiluard G. Rogers
Leon R. Russell
Leon R. Reynolds of Calvert County MD served with the Headquarters Company, Army Service Forces Training Center at Camp Gordon Johnston. He is the first ever soldier we have identified as being part of the training company for Amphibious Truck soldiers.
William C. Ellis
Mr. Ellis was a brave man, even as a youngster:
His son Randy shared the following: “William Ellis was a great father, a very mild mannered man. My dad did not want to talk about the war other than to say that he was at Camp Gordon Johnston, Camp Edwards, and the Battle of the Pacific. My brother Bill tried to pry information out of him but really amounted to a few pieces of information.
New Guinea and the jungle with many different types of fruit. The invasion of the Philippines and the horrible smell of rotting corpses. As my father was getting into the landing craft, Japanese pilots were trying to crash their planes into the ships.
I have a Japanese Sword and rifle. My dad would not tell me how he got it. After my dads death I saw a show on the history channel that General MacArthur allowed the Japanese soldiers to file off the orchid flower (Symbol of the Emperor) off of their weapons before surrendering the weapons. Both the sword and rifle have the orchid flower on them. The Army allowed US Soldiers to mail Japanese weapons home.
After Japan surrendered their was not any resistance when US Soldiers walked off of the ships during the occupation. My dad and a few other soldiers unloaded a piano off of a ship and moved the piano to General MacArthur’s house and had a drink with a Colonel.”
LeRoy Joseph Meyers
Watch this wonderful video of Lee Meyers, interviewed for the Library of Congress Oral History Project. Lee talks about his days at Camp Gordon Johnston, and the rest of his military service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82PLyajdQl8
Read more about Pvt. Bellow at the above link.
Louis P. Bellow
While in college, Bellow decided to join the U.S. Army’s Enlisted Reserve Corps (E.R.C.). College students were encouraged to sign up for the E.R.C.—they could do so as young as age 17—with the understanding that they would be able to continue their schooling until the Army needed them, no sooner than their 18th birthday. A document suggests that Bellow joined the E.R.C. on November 27, 1942. Regardless, a notation on his draft card shows that he was in the E.R.C. by the time he registered for the draft on December 12, 1942. The registrar described him as standing about five feet, 6½ inches tall and weighing 130 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. She noted that Bellow wore glasses and had a two-inch scar on his forehead.
The choice to serve was entirely Bellow’s. His niece, Lyndie Callan, recalls: “He wore thick glasses and had flat feet and would have qualified for 4F [unsuitable for military service] status, but he wanted to crush fascism, even at the cost of his own life.”
Bellow was one of 120 E.R.C. men from West Chester State Teachers College called up for active duty in early 1943. They reported to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, on March 1, 1943. In her statement to the State of Delaware Public Archives Commission, his mother wrote that Private Bellow arrived at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, around March 5, 1943. She wrote that after basic training, her son transferred to Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida, around May 1943 and to Camp Pickett, Virginia, in June 1943.
At Camp Gordon Johnston, Private Bellow likely joined Company “I, ”112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. Indeed, a Company “I” history stated that “In May  trained replacements were received from Camp Walters, [sic] Texas and Camp Robinson, Ark.” The company boarded a train on May 31, 1943, and arrived at Camp Pickett the following day, movements consistent with Bellow’s mother’s statement.
Hope Franklin Shown
September 18, 1925 – January 6, 2016
Hope Franklin Shown, age 90, passed away January 06, 2016. Hope was a WWII Veteran of the 351st Harbor Craft Division and served in both The European and Pacific theatres.
He was preceded in death by parents Haiz Franklin and Susan Vinsant Shown; son Benny Shown; brothers Curtis and wife Geneva Shown, George Shown, and Carlas Shown; sisters Gladys Shown, Eva Lee Human, Lillian Mynatt, Ruth Lindsey, and Alma Wright. He is survived by his wife Pauline Goodman Shown; sons Ricky and wife Joyce Shown, and Mark and wife LeaAnn Shown; daughters Shirley and husband Eddie Thompson, Deanna Shown, and Patricia Hope and husband Stanley Rinehart; 12 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren; and a host of friends, relatives, and family.
Joseph P. L’Abbe
Joseph P. L’Abbe, (20 June 1920- 7 Jun 1987) was briefly assigned to the 341st Harbor Craft but shortly after transferred to the 337th Harbor Craft. He served in Europe, arriving at the Port of Cherbourg just days after D Day, and the unit arrived at the Danube River right as V-E was nigh. There, L’Abbe was put in charge of the crew (as POWs) of the yacht Hungarian, a gift from Hitler to the Regent of Hungary, Miklós Horthy. The yacht was flying the Nazi flag, which was changed out for an American flag, and the family still has this Nazi flag in their collection.
The Hungaria was renovated, moved to the Rhine River, and renamed the Mainz, where she remains in service to the German government today.
While with the Hungaria, L’Abbe befriended a Hungarian crew member named Julius Cserney. L’Abbe advised Cserney not to return to Hungary as it would be under Soviet control. Cserney emmigrated to New Zealand. 25 years later Cserney contacted L’Abbe, and they wrote to each other, catching up life and where they landed after the war.
Joe Sullivan, Company C, 594th wrote the following Tall Tale: I was a member of Company C and arrived at Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida from Cape Cod, Massachusetts on 9 September 1943. I was eighteen years old with only two months of service. We trained as combat engineers and then went to manning landing craft. There we trained the 4th Infantry Division in Amphibian warfare. Then the New Year’s holidays arrived.
With nothing to do and nowhere to go, we were restricted to the Camp and the small town of Carrabelle, Florida. It was decided that we would have a New Year’s Eve booze party, and a volunteer was asked to go into Carrabelle, secure liquor, evade detection by the MP’s at the Camp gate and return to the Company area. This sounded to me like more fun than I had in months of boring army training. A challenge to defy authority! I went for it.
Everyone chipped in, and my buddy and I hitched a ride into Carrabelle at sunset. We walked the boardwalk to the nearest liquor store. We bought about twelve bottles of liquor and a large bottle of Champagne for myself. I spotted a large Packard sedan Taxi with the spare tires mounted on each side of the car body. We made a deal with the cabby. First we pulled off the tires, stashed the tubes and stored the bottles in the remounted tires, and off we went, back to Camp.
Arriving at the well-lit front gate of Camp Gordon Johnston, we found that it was manned by two MP’s and their commander, a 2nd Lieutenant. We were ordered “OUT OF THE CAR!”. These guys must have been tipped off because they pulled out all the car seats, opened and searched the trunk, searched under the hood and even crawled under the car. But they did not pull off the two spare tires. Sitting beside the 2nd Lt. was a cluster of confiscated bottles which I’m sure were headed for the “O” club (Officer’s Club) that night. After the exhausting search of the car; off we went to the best all-male party ever at Camp Gordon Johnston. Having no ice to cool my wine, I ended up at the back door of the O club and got myself a bucket of ice. We screwed the system and had a wonderful time.
Biography of Oliver R. Smith
T/4, Coxswain, Co. C, 543rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, 3rd Engineer Special Brigade, USA
Oliver R. Smith
Enlistment at Fort Mac Arthur, San Pedro Ca. 8/8/1942 I had seen an article in the paper that they were forming a special unit, that would operate landing craft and other boats in the army. They were looking for people who had experience in the operation of small boats. The headquarters of the Army Amphibian Engineers was at Camp Edwards Mass.
I ask Ed. Grant, Art Tillesen and Darr Smith to write recommendations for me and I was accepted. At Ft. MacArthur I met Joe Ayres who was the only other man that enlisted in the Amphibs. Joe was from Long Beach also and lived about 6 blocks from where I had been raised. We got on a train and went all the way to Camp Edwards together. Aug. 20, 1942 Camp Edwards Mass. We were put in a training group for 3 to 4 weeks. All the people in the platoon were Amphibs. Some would be shore Engineers, some would go to Mechanic schools, some to …