Tuesday, November 03, 2009

aforementioned fellows

Dec 1941 to Feb 1942

After we completed our training in Aberdeen, which required 3mos. we were assigned to various organizations which sent us to nearly every state in The Union. Mike was sent to Maxwell Field in Ala. near Montgomery with an Aviation Ordinance Company, and I was sent to Ft. Dix, N.J. to join the 51st Ord. Co along with nine other fellows who, with the exception of Kraacks and Johnson, were from different battaltions. Harry Smiley, another close friend, was sent to Las Vegas, Nevada. Not far from where I was stationed in a "C.C.C" camp prior to my induction.

During my stay in Aberdeen, quite a few events took place; most important, however were the Yellow Jap's attack on Pearl Harbor on Sun. Dec. 7th 1941, which plunged us into The War with Japan, Germany & Italy. Another thing which didn't meet with my approval was the "Guard duty" I pulled from Christmas Eve noon to "Xmas Day" 3:30 P.M.

I was, however fortunate enough to obtain a 3 day pass on New Years & to see the folks back home once again, although I had to telegraph "Mom & Dad" for five dollars.

Upon my arrival at Ft. Dix (which was Feb. 1, 1942) I was put into the 109th Ord. Co. along with the 9 other aforementioned fellows, who turned out to be the best pals a guy ever had. Their names and respective states in which they lived are:

Julius O. Johnson Greenwood, S.C.

Zolton Kraacks New Brunswick, N.J.

Bernard H. Gigenheimer Mansfield, Mass

William Dobek Detroit, Michigan

Frank Layman, ******


Jack Skully Nothern, Ohio

Al*auma Mounclin, Chicago, Il

Martin Drydin Bridgeport, Conn.


A special series of articles from Harry's War Diary. Every word, every abbreviation and every punctuation is exactly as it appears on Harry's pocketsized journal. Whenever the text is illegible, I have replaced it with ****

Harry had a beautiful 'hand'. His writing style and flair with the pen were well known to those who knew him. The portions of the writing which I cannot make out are usually due to deterioration of the pages and fountain pen ink that was completely washed away.

He frequently refers to his group of buddies and other men as "fellows" and call them by nickname. They built a very strong bond during the next year, and work in some horrible conditions.

Harry M. Haslam (1918 - 2007) was my husband's father and Jody has permitted me to share it with you as a tribute to Harry's service during WWII from November 1941 to July 1944.


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