I am pleased to welcome you to my personal blog, which I started in March 2009. I first became interested in blogging about five years ago, using old "blogger.com", which was cumbersome to use and I never mastered. About a year ago I discovered that Google had bought "blogger.com" and had revised it considerably, making it fun to use, so much so that I have devised at least 15 blogs on various subjects and frequently add posts and Gadgets to them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

William T. Johnson at Mississippi State College

Life in B-40 was remarkably different from A-33. Except for the cadre and the company boxer the entire unit included only college-ROTC-educated men, from age 19 to 20. Their colleges included The Citadel, Clemson, Pennsylvania Military, andPresbyterian. I don't remember the effect training in another unit had on our B-40 training, but probably not much. Since we went into B-40 in early July we would have gotten up to bayonet training by August, and I remember the terrible heat of that training. We spent a week on the rifle range, walking out several miles each morning. At that time the Army provided salt tablets to prevent heat stroke, and I remember the white areas on my fatigues as a result of the salt tablets. We had a combination of marches of varying lengths and conditions. I remember one in particular at the end of a bivouac. We understood that the commander took a wrong turn and led us on a somewhat longer march off post through Pauline and back onto post. I remember carrying several rifles for a few other men during the last few miles. I was informed in October that I would be in charge of the group of six or seven men from PC in traveling to Georgia Teachers College, Statesboro, GA, for entry into the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). There was not enough room in OCSfor us, so we would do something else while we waited to go toOCS. I was given our orders and travel vouchers for the trip, and we were provided with transportation into Spartanburg to meet the Seaboard to Atlanta about midnight. I don't remember seats being available on the train for awhile. However, eventually we got seats and reached Atlanta about 7 a.m. We were told that there was no transportation available then and that the train for Deep Step (a flag-stop) would leave about 6:00 p.m. This left us a day free in Atlanta. I don't remember much about it except going to a movie. I do remember a problem waiting for Bill Shields, who lived in Atlanta, to get to the train by 6:00. He barely made it and we reached Millen (instead of Deep Step) about 5:00 a.m. A truck from Statesboro was waiting for us and delivered us to the college about 6:00 a.m. We were assigned dormitory rooms and instructed about classes to attend. I recall that about a week later during physical training on the football field I was informed that I would take the same PC men the same day to Mississippi State College near Starkville. Again I was given orders and travel vouchers and we were provided truck transportation to Millen to meet the train for Atlanta at 12:30 a.m. This turned out to be fine since we got pullman berths and continued through Atlanta to Birmingham where we changed to a railway motor car. Enroute to Mississippi the motor car ran over a mule, which caused a long delay while getting the remains of the mule out from under the car. We got to Columbus, MS, about 9:00 p.m. and called the unit at Mississippi State College for transportation. They sent us an ambulance that delivered us to the college about midnight. The Charge of Quarters (CQ) took us upstairs in the big dorm and gave us a room that included my cousin Harris Johnson, who had been in tank destroyer training in Texas. We would be there several months, so my job was over. Almost the entire college was made up of ASTP men, although not all were scheduled for OCS. I enjoyed my time there and had some interesting courses, mechanical drawing, chemistry, English. We got leave for Christmas or New Year's, and then in February were sent to Fort Benning for OCS.

1 comment:

  1. How very interesting!! I had no idea you did all that. Thanks for sharing :) :) :)