“Here is a day of my LIFE at Eagle Field”
This story was transcribed from the original “Eagle’s Log” yearbook, class 44-D. The photographs accompanying the story were are also the original photographs that were published with the story. Transcribed by: Shannon Davis
The fellows that put out this class-book are understating guys and they knew that you and the family would like to see just what a “flying gadget” does that keeps him so busy he can’t write. So here is the story in pictures and it’s actually dedicated to all of you.
Life at the “County Club” has its good and bad points. No one is ever ready to get up when Reveille blasts over the loud speaker system; it’s a mystery to all of us how we stay so healthy on the sleep we get. From then on it’s the old Army System of line up and wait. We line up for the latrine, for chow, for solo ships, and to get paid. It is rumored that the reason we are signed up for the duration and six months, is that they figure we will have to stand in line six months to get our discharges after the war is over.
After chow in the morning, back we go to clean the place up. (Take a look at that.) It is statistically proven that housemaid’s knee is a prevalent in this branch of the service as athlete’s foot.
Then off we go to the wild instructors yonder (on the flight line). Incidentally, my instructor told me yesterday that he was sure I would get my wings, but that if I didn’t improve it would probably be in heaven. However, I am sure that I am improving some, as he used to climb out of the plane and look at me, shake his head and make funny noises; now he just looks at me and shakes his head.
It is the same with my Link Trainer Instructor. Every time they band me a yellow slip for an hour ride in one of those “clipped wing jobs.” I plod wearily up to Link No. 5 and the operator nonchalantly calls out “ Hey Tex! You don’t have to look any further, here is that Missing Link.” Honest to gosh, some people’s idea of humor is disgusting. It is good training, though, as we learn to keep our eyes on the instruments, although I don’t know what else we would do as they put the hood over you and there isn’t anything else to see. We get five hours of “Link” and it is real work for an hour at a time. Then dizzily back to the flight line. To a casual observer seeing us sitting around waiting for our ships, it looks like we lead a pretty easy life, but just let them wrestle one of those Pt-22’s around for a couple of hours and they will get back to the ship-yards in nothing flat.
Our first impression was that the instructors had it soft, only working a few hours each day, but now we know better and really appreciate their job. It sure is great to be an upperclassman and not have to walk wing tips any more. For Sis’s benefit I will say that “Wing Tips” is not the post mascot (do you think it is too corny?). You really don’t have to worry about me, Mom.
Maintenance rules are extremely strict, as are air discipline rules. They teach us the precautionary measures for each maneuver as we lean the maneuver. This is a perfectly clear procedure to us. Some times our instructors are a little sarcastic. Mine delights in cracking wise as we land with some remark like “Well, how deep are your going to bury us this time?” Then there is the constant worry about check rides; we get them on out 13th, 25th, 45th and 50 hour, if we get that far. Not to be omitted is the cross county hop. It is supposed to be a direct trip to and from a near city, but the guy that thought up the name “ Cross County” for it was a genius. They pick the cadets out of the trees for miles around.
Then when the planes are all down and accounted for, back we got to the ground school and drill, etc. Oh me, oh my! I almost forgot about noon chow. As you can tell from the photo, we are all underfed, as we get all the milk we want and as much food as we can eat. They even vie with you on real “home treats.” Naturally, Maw, it isn’t like home, but it’s pretty darn close. Now we’ll cover ground school. We take engines, weather, navigation, theory of flight, and identification/ After the first class we are allowed to smoke outside of the ground school’ that is the only place on the post we can smoke outside. That boy Captain Smith thinks of everything. We only ho to school two hours a day. Ground school splits a half a day with physical training. P.T. is one course I would like take from the Special Service Dept. by correspondence. At last the day is over and back we go to the barracks and then showers. My idea of solid comfort is a nice soft bed with a built-in shower at the same time. It is in the showers that all of the choicest latrine rumors are heard. I never could figure out why the Associated Press of bothers sending reports all over the world. They can pick up any angle, from the personal life of the mosquito to the next place the Allied nations will attack by just sticking around the average army latrine.
Now we proceed to retreat, which officially ends the day. After that it is chow again and we are on our own. You can see that we have recreation provided. Pool tables, ping-pong tables, bowling alleys. We can also get ice cream, candy or food at the PX as well as any of the million things we need. The kids that are married get to visit their wives in the lounge for an hour. The guy and the gal in front of the door in the picture are just saying good night. This is one post where wives are welcome. Captain Smith says they are really good workers on the maintenance link as each wife has the idea that her husband may fly the plane she is working on and really does a good job.
In the barracks the rumors fly thick and fast, but are usually nosed out at this period by the lusty roar of hangar flying. If some of the kids in my bay could fly as good in a Pt as they do on the bay at night, they would be in advanced by now. Of course we tell each other our mistakes too. One H.P. in our barracks followed a house trailer all over the countryside before he discovered it wasn’t the white house we use for a rendezvous point. When we get down in our studies we have to go to supervised study at night school. Some, yes a few, who don’t have to study or are too restless to sleep, even write letters. All soldiers have a one-way outlook on the postal system. They can hardly wait to get letters and they can never get around to writing them. Guess this should give you an idea of what we do and how we do it. I will write you from Basic. Love to all the family.