Here's lookin' at you, Grandpa!
Go here for more info if you'd like to attend this event in the future: Mid-Atlantic Air Museum
This is one of the best videos from last year's air show:
Here's lookin' at you, Grandpa!
|Guarding a drinking water reservoir. Guard duty was a tedious but necessary part of being a soldier, as base security was maintained by the men who lived in it. It would be part of routine "fatigue detail," what the officers liked to call these duties because they made one fatigued. A chore to some, a happy and easy job for others, being posted as a sentry also taught the men discipline and how to be vigilant.|
|Some men looking at an odd anachronism within a WWII camp...a Civil War artillery piece. This was identified by a reenactor friend as a '3-inch ordnance rifle'. The only place where this would conceivably be is at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, which would make the year 1941.|
Another tent neighbor relaxing. Most of the time between rigorous physical training was spent getting as much rest as possible.
|The soldiers ate their meals with soup or rice served from old tin milk cans.|
|A friend on 'KP duty' washing his mess kit after a meal. As every Boy Scout knows, one bucket is for hot sterilization with soap and the other bucket is for a cold rinse.|
It was clear that everyone knew he had a camera, as some of these pictures appear to be staged.
"R&R" time in camp for some consisted of playing team sports, like basketball, rugby and baseball. I find the action poses entertaining.
|There was also some cheap forms of entertainment in camp. The 8th Division had its own movie theater where you could go to watch newsreels or some popular "flicks," usually by request. This was when a day at the movies cost you a couple of nickels.|
|A picture of an unidentified man shaving outside his company tent.|
|Eating watermelon. Now why were soldiers eating watermelon, and why did Mel take a picture?|
Summers in South Carolina tend to be hot and humid, and veteran Arthur Neriani of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Division, attests that one day after a long march, the men came across a fruit merchant who wandered into camp and sold them fresh watermelons, much to the pleasure of the hot and tired men. While this photo has very little significance, I find it interesting that this distant memory of an old GI was confirmed with my grandfather's photographs.
|Mel earned his Sergeant stripes on August 7, 1942.|
|Some time that year he visited home and got another photo looking sharp in his dress uniform. Interestingly, he's still wearing the brown leather 'garrison belt' that was outdated by this time (No longer required per regulations after 1941) This, and the bare trees behind him, leads me to believe this photo was taken sometime in early April or late March of '42.|
|Aunt Marilyn is trying on his Class A visor cap.|
"1942 – The 8th Division was ordered to patrol the Atlantic coast. For six weeks during the winter of 1942, units of the division ranged along the eastern shores of the country from North Carolina to the Florida Keys. The 8th became a Motorized Division.March 1942 – The 8th Division returned to Fort Jackson late in March to resume training.Sep 1942 – There was a motor march to the location of the Tennessee Maneuvers. Two more months of war games further hardened the troops of the 8th. Then, after a brief stay in tents at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, the Division set out for its new station, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.December 1942 - March 1943 – There was a period of comparative calm."
|A man crawling through the underbrush most likely during tactical maneuvers.|
|I'm almost positive the seated man in this photo is my grandfather.|
|A lean-to made of a single shelter half.|
|A blazing campfire somewhere in the dark woods.|
|The US Army printed holiday cards to send home to the folks. This is one from Easter of that year. |