- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Frederick William Priestley
- Location of story:
- Texas and Florida, U.S.A.
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 30 October 2005
[This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on behalf of F. W. Priestley and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Priestley fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.]
I was meant to be drafted in January, 1941 but the accounting company I was working for got me a deferment—they needed me to work on income taxes. So, I went into the service (U.S. Army-Air Force) in June of ‘41 to Randolph Field, Texas as a buck private, getting $21.00 a month. After basic training—three weeks I think—I was assigned to the Administrative Inspector’s Office checking the company records—income and expenses—of the Post to see that they conformed to Army (G.I.) regulations. I did this job because I had experience in accounting, having worked for an accounting firm in Houston, Texas.
After so many months, there was a bulletin for anyone who wanted to get a commission to take an exam and my superior wanted to know why I wasn’t taking the exam to go to Officers’ School. I said I was happy where I was. ‘Don’t think you are going to spend the rest of your life in the military’, he said. So, I took my exam and accidentally passed. So, off I went. I was sent to Miami and it so happened that Clark Gable was in the same class as I was, but I did not know him personally. Of course, I knew who he was, and he drew quite a crowd. He was a corporal in another outfit in a different company. He used to march new recruits up and down a street called Biscayne Boulevard. I never knew him nor met him but would see him once in a while marching his group.
I got my commission in Miami in 1942, I think in October or November. After I got my commission, I had to wait six or seven weeks for my assignment.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.