Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chapter 39

In the spring of 1946, I applied for training at the Air Force Institute of Technology to finish my engineering education. About this time, the Air Force was preparing to become autonomous and were starting aviation engineering school to train all the Air Force civil engineers personnel to man all of the Air Bases. Col. Dugan, who I was later to get very well acquainted with, was made head of the Civil Engineers school. He went to headquarters and reviewed all the applications for schooling. He picked 130 Air Force Officers with civil engineering background to go to school and become 1337s. That is a service number that depicts civil engineers and I was selected to become a civil engineer. In March, I received orders to report to Geiger Field, Washington to the school.

In the spring of 1946, we had been notified the Jones wanted their home back so we decided to build a house nearby. My father and mother had come to help us and we had reached the point of wall papering. Syl was downtown buying drapes when I got a call from the base that I had orders to Geiger. We turned the house over to a real estate agent who sold it at a marginal profit.

We packed the radio back in our trailer along with our other limited belongings, including our dog and dog house. We thought the doghouse would be an ideal way to ship her. We had a door on the doghouse which we closed, then bolted the trailer rear door tight against the door to keep it shut. Then with Grampa, Grandma, Mama, Papa, and two sons, we started out across West Texas. We went right past the King Ranch and I enjoyed Dad’s comparison of it with the Deseret Livestock Ranch, the second largest in the country. He looked at the flat, bushy country and allowed as how that kind of cow punching would be easy.

A short time after we passed the ranch we stopped for gas and found “Lady” was gone from the trailer. We reversed our direction and went back looking for her, but to no avail. Finally, we offered a $25 reward through the local paper and went on our way.

We stopped off in Payson to leave the grandparents and then on up through Idaho to Spokane. Housing was tough after the war and we finally found a room with a kitchenette in a motel in Dishman, about 10 miles east of Spokane. We continued to live there until we finished the school I was to attend.

Our class was scheduled to be the third class sent through the school. Just by accident, a most unique group of students were assigned to this class. Of the 17 students, I was the 11th in size at 6 feet and 215 pounds. 10 guys were bigger than I and all of them athletic. Being spring (1946) and being required to spend some time in physical conditioning, we just naturally started playing softball. I entered the team in the base league. Craziest team you ever saw. We had an excellent defense, a so-so pitcher and all the power in the world. Only we were a straky bunch. We customarily would goof around for about 5 or 6 innings then unload in one inning enough runs to get us through the entire game. One of our opponents was a team of field grade officers which the base commander was the pitcher. Both teams were undefeated to that point. We played three innings then unloaded in one inning enough runs to get us through the entire game. I (center fielder) was scheduled to lead off the inning so I up and parked a home run.  The next four batters each in turn, stroked a homer. Five homers in succession must be some kind of record. We went on to win, 7-3. Until we graduated from school, we went undefeated in the second half of the league, some of the players were assigned to jobs where they couldn’t get off each game and we lost one game to the team composed of the instructors at the engineering school we had just finished, mostly Corps of Engineers officers. We were all Air Corps officers, mostly fly guys.

The political situation on the base was not very friendly. It was an Air Corps filed but the commander and most of the senior officers were old line corps of Engineer officers. Assigned to the base as students, and other specialized duties, were about 130 Air Corps officers. The senior officers were disgruntled because they had to learn to do things the Air Corps way and were disgruntled because our bases expected us to do things the Corps of Engineers way.

Our championship softball game became the focal point for all the frustrations on both sides. A three game series was arranged by the base athletic department. The base athletic officer announced he was going to play for the Corps of Engineers although he wasn’t connected at all with the school nor had he played during the regular season, which sounded like a ringer to us. To make matters worse, the commanding officer of the company that some of our players were assigned to, arranged a special training activity that wouldn’t let some of our best players come to the game. I was put on first base to replace one of our lost players.

Our makeshift game started under protest because of the seemingly ineligible player. The base athletic officer said, “The base athletic department” (which he was) “decides I can play with the Corps of Engineers team.”

The game got underway and proceeded without incident until the base athletic officer came to bat. He hit a little bounder down to our shortstop who threw it to me but pulled me across the base to make the catch. The ringer then lowered his shoulder into my ribs and knocked me about ten feet. That’s alright, I’d been hit before but when he boasted, “You’ll learn to stand on the base when I’m running” that was a bit too much. I kept quiet and waited. The next time the same guy came up to bat, almost the same play resulted, a slow roller down to shortstop, a wide throw to first base. Only this time I knew the rules. As he lowered the shoulder, I side-stepped and threw my hip into him enough to knock him off balance and he rolled 20 feet. I swung around, facing him, expecting him to come up swinging but before he got up, the base commander who was umpiring the game grabbed me by the shirt front and shouted, “Blankety-blank you, I’ll throw you clear off Geiger Field.” I got thrown out of the game and we lost the game and the championship.

The next day the commander went to the legal officer who was an Air Corps officer and told him to start court-martial proceedings against me. Two days later in a Col. John C.B. Elliott arrived and replaced Col. Dugan as base commander. All charges were dropped.

Chapter 38

When I went to work the next morning I found I had been assigned as recruiting officer. I was very unhappy about not getting the job of operations officer I had been promised by Col. Jumper. He had been transferred and all promises were null and void. I lasted one week as recruiting officer. I went back to the personnel officer who was also my boss and said I was too honest for that job. By, did he blow his cork. He finally agreed to reassign me. He assigned me as an assistant ground safety officer. After one week, the base safety officer got out of the service and I was base safety officer.

Things in the Air Corps were in constant turmoil. The services were shuffling personnel out of the service as fast as they could and shuffling new personnel into fill the vacancies created by shuffling the first guy out. There within a few weeks, the guy who just came in would be notified he was eligible for release from the service and he would be gone in a day or two. Even bases were being shuffled. The training command didn’t need all its bases so they decided to close Fort Worth. But they couldn’t close Fort Worth because it was the airfield that supported Plant 4, which was Convair Aircraft Company. The Air Corps then decided to transfer the base to Strategic Air Command and SAC then decided to bring in a B-29 wing.

I had just begun to learn what ground safety was all about—the training command way—when SAC came in with a whole new way. To make things worse, the Air Force decided to also cut back the civilian force and fired my secretary. About the time my secretary left, SAC decided to inspect the new base and brought in a team to inspect the base. Since there were only Mr. Long, the safety engineer and myself and one of us had to man the office to answer the phone. I was forced to assist the inspection team and answer all their questions. SAC was much more safety conscious than training command so we were censored for several violations. We had to correct them and write a report stating how each discrepancy would be/was corrected. With no secretary in our office, all the writing had to be drafted, corrected and retyped by the personnel director’s secretary who complained bitterly. When the report reached the director who was my boss, he directed several corrections which required retyping. About this time, the director was released to go back to school teaching and the new director heard all the complaints of his secretary and ordered a new secretary hired for my safety office.

The first woman that was sent down by civilian personnel for interview was a big fat slob and didn’t have any of the skills required. I called the civilian personnel officer and rejected her. The next girl sent down was a little bit of a thing but cute as a little mule colt. After a very brief affirmative interview, Mr. Long and I were discussing her age. He insisted she couldn’t be more than 16 years old but I argued that the regulations wouldn’t permit them to hire anyone less than 18. When she came to work, we learned she was 27 years old, two years older than I. She had been a model in New York and had just decided to return to Fort Worth to live. She could also type and answer the phone.

After I learned what I supposed to do, I found I was having a hard time getting people to be safety conscious. I devised a series of bulletin boards, one in each important commander’s buildings. I labeled these boards, “booby traps.” As cheesecake, I would put pictures of some of the secretaries in various bathing beauty poses to attract attention. After that, I never had any trouble getting safety hazards corrected. One such bulletin board was just outside the base commander’s office. In a safety committee meeting, he indicated he would like to meet the little pin-up girl on this weeks’ picture. It was, of course, my secretary so I arranged to introduce him to her. Durned if she didn’t start dating her and about the time I was transferred, they were married.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chapter 37

In the fall of 1945, we had arranged for a 30 day leave. The leave was in October and November which are the months for hunting in Utah. Before leaving Texas, I had written home and asked the family to send me a deer rifle. I had already collected a couple of shot guns and a W.R.F. 22. This was going to be a vacation dedicated to hunting. I had worked hard with my young pointer pup to get her trained to where I could control her and she would retrieve. So with 2 sons, a dog, and Sybil, I loaded everything into our Chevrolet and started North, arriving in Utah well before the beginning of the deer season.

Deer season is a big event in Utah, and most everyone going hunting at the season opener and it had become a social event as well as a hunt.  The Bryson Clan always hunted in a little valley about 30 miles northwest of Eureka, Utah. This was to be my first hunt with the clan. When I was home, I was too busy with football or farming to go and now I had been away 5 years in the service.

When we arrived I was told that Red, my brother-in-law, had a gun for me. Being eager to get the gun and do some practicing, I drove to Santaquin, 6 miles away, to get it. This was 1945 and no civilian hardware of any kind was available so I expected a secondhand gun of some kind. However, I got a brand new Winchester model 70 that had been made in prewar period and hidden in some dealer’s back room for the duration. Red had found it and talked the dealer into selling it to me. It cost a whopping $97.00, which was quite a bunch then. I couldn’t let Red down and besides I was tickled as a kid with a new toy.

The day before the season opened we took a horse in the truck and my two oldest brothers, Dick and Merl, my nephews, their sons, both named Glen, and I went to the desert to hunt. We were the advance party and others would join us later. When we arrived at Little Valley we unloaded the horse and she helped us pull the truck over the last ridge. There at the spring were more of the groups of hunters that hunted the valley. Three families hunted the valley: the Brooks, the Robinsons, and the Brysons. My oldest brother, Dick, had opened the first road into the valley with Wes Robinson. Wes was now the marshal of Eureka, Utah, and Dick was his deputy.

When we parked at the spring, Dick told me and another fellow to fetch a pair of bed springs he kept out at the valley. When we went to pick them up, up pops Wes. He hadn’t seen me for five or six years when I was a skinny 130 pound kid. Now I stood 6 feet and weighed 215 pounds. Wes said, “Those belong to Dick Bryson and you leave them alone.” We knew Wes, but he didn’t recognize us. So we just grunted and kept on walking. He charged over and got in front of me and was ready to whip me right there. Only Wes was about 140 pounds soaking wet. Things were getting interesting when Dick looked up and hollered over to see what the trouble was. Then Wes recognized me. He was out of his weight class, but the little guy was willing to try.

That evening, we all sat around talking about past hunts and other hunting tales until just after dark. Then to bed until about 2 a.m. About that time, the Brook clan rolled in and woke everyone up. After a big breakfast, we packed lunches and started up our respective trails. The Brysons hunted the south ridge, the Brooks the north ridge. As we climbed the ridge, we soon reached the backbone of a long ridge running from east up to the west until it ended at a huge solid sandstone knob that was near 10 thousand feet in altitude. As we climbed, the older members of the family would stop off at regular intervals each at his favorite spot. Dick had killed his deer from the same rock for eleven consecutive years. We newcomers were forced to take the highest post of the ridge and none of us knew exactly where to set up, but found plenty of room. Eventually, everyone was in place and quietly freezing when daylight first started.

Just at daylight, the legal time to hunt, the Robinson family spread out across the valley and started hunting up the canyon. Up where we were, we could only tell this by the sound of the guns. You could pretty well guess that every time one of those old fellows pulled the trigger, a deer dropped. As the Robinson family hunted further up the canyon, the sound of gun getting closer and closer. Finally you could see deer start moving down in the canyon and up the other side. But we knew the Brooks were over there. Finally, I heard a clomp-clomp-clomp—recognized as a bounding buck. With nerves taut as fiddle strings, my numb hands working to get circulation going to keep nimble, I suddenly shifted my gaze along the ridge and there’s a buck!  Mine! Suddenly my hands had become nimble as ever and I moved so quickly, I didn’t know I was moving until I remembered to be calm. By now the sights were on the butt of the ear and I squeezed off one shot as he disappeared over the ridge. But I heard that 180 grain slug hit home and knew something’s hurting. I ran to the top of the ridge over which he had disappeared. There stood my stunned buck, spraddle-legged with head down, quietly bleeding to death. To make sure he didn’t decide to run again, I put another slug into his head from a dead standstill. He toppled over, never to run free again.

My first shot had been slightly low and I had shot off the entire lower jaw and part of the neck, leaving the jugular vein very neatly severed. I did the remaining knife work and set back to admire my first deer. He was a nice one about 200 pounds, I guessed, but they always look bigger when they are first down. He really dressed out at 183 pounds.

After the excitement of the kill, you don’t mind the work of drawing him. Out there on the desert, you make the smallest possible incision to keep the dirt out because it is a long way to camp. Not many people will carry 180 pounds of deer. By the time I was finished the field dressing, I was calmed down enough to quit shaking. If it’s your first deer, you can’t wait to get it down the mountain to show big brothers. You can do it too. The morning had been beautifully clear and the desert sky was clear as a bluebonnet. Now a few clouds were rolling over the main ridge above and in a few minutes it started snowing. That made footing on the steep mountain sides precarious, but it made sliding a deer much easier. After a few slides and a few falls and a lot of hard pulling, I got the deer back to camp only to find everyone else in the family had already limited out and they were waiting me to go home. I found I didn’t get the biggest, in spite of my first guess, but I did better than some. Bryson deer hunts never take more than one day and today the rest were eager to get before the storm got worse. We put the deer and the horse in the truck and took off for home.

Bryson Clan
After the deer hunt was finished, we went to California for a few days to stay with Syl’s folks. Then back to Utah for the pheasant season.

Pheasant hunting isn’t quite as strenuous as deer hunting and Syl agreed to hunt with us. Merl had an old black dog that loved to flush birds and I had a well trained young pointer that held the birds, instinctively. We spent a couple of fun days with my dog finding the birds and Merl’s dog running out ahead to flush them and everyone seeing who could shoot first. We all limited and had much fun.

The deer season was still on so we decided to try a last hunt in Nephi Canyon for the deer on Syl’s license. She didn’t want to shoot a deer, but I was quite willing to do it for her. On a warm, sunny afternoon, we drove up the canyon until we saw a deer herd climbing up the side of the mountain ahead of us. I jumped out of the car and took off after them, just as they topped the ridge and disappeared over the top. Since it was completely open and Syl could see me all the way, she followed me up slowly.

I made the top as fast as my old cross-country legs would take me and just as I reached the top, a nice buck jumped up and started running down a path almost straight away from me. With one shot, I castrated him, opened the paunch and split his brisket, making it very easy if a bit messy to clean him out. By the time Syl reached the top of the ridge, I had him dressed and was starting back down the ridge. This one was a smaller 3 point and I elected to carry him out across my shoulders. In twenty minutes, we were back down to the car and in another hour we were back home. Never could I convince Syl that deer hunting was hard work.

Chapter 36

After the war ended, the Air Corp started releasing people left and right. Because of my length of service and combat experience, I was listed as #3 on the base for priority discharge. However, I didn’t want to get out so I signed over on an indefinite volunteer situation. Because I was eligible for release, I received all kinds of offers for a job. The nearest I came to accepting an outside job was with American Airlines. They, like everyone else, had big dreams of expansion after the war. I received letters and interviews and all kinds of recruitment, but when I asked how much, they said, “Well, we start co-pilots at $225 a month for three years and then you can become First Pilot.” I wasn’t much interested in being a bus driver anyway, and I was making more than twice that much in the service. I decided to stick.

About a week after the end of the war, the base commander was released from the service and a new commander arrived. He was reported to be a tough old guy and started remaking the base into a peace time army. I took one look at him, one day, going past on his motor scooter, and knew what we were in for. Seems I knew the old gentleman before. He had been my commandant of cadets at Moffet Field and was still there as a Captain when I went back there to instruct.

About the second week he was there, he ordered a parade on Saturday morning. Knowing Col. Jumper, I arranged to be out of town.

The following week I was in base operations filling out a flight plan when I was slapped hard on the back by Col. Jumper. After a warm exchange of greetings, he asked, “Where were you stationed?” Answer: “Right here.” Second question, “Where were you last Saturday?” Answer, “I wasn’t there.” He answered, “So I noticed.” And we changed the subject.

About a week later, I was called into his office and told I was now Squadron Commander of a squadron of about 500 personnel. When I modestly said I didn’t know if I could handle it, he answered, “I know very well you can—I taught you.” The squadron was mostly a collection of former B-32 crew members put out of work by the end of the war. They, in general, were grouped into two distinct categories. Those who wanted out of the Air Corps as soon as possible, and those who wanted to stay in the service and were looking for a place to make themselves useful to avoid being discharged. I had two officers in the squadron, an executive officer and an adjutant. The adjutant turned out to be Lt. Coleman, who had been the operations officer in the B-32 squadron I was in. A change from me working for him, to him working for me.

After the war, the service stopped production of B-32s at some place in the production line where it was cheaper to junk the unfinished aircraft on the ground or ship it away for salvage. All birds ahead of that model were finished because it was cheaper to fly them to the salvage yard than ship them.

The salvage yard for B-32s was at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. During the course of the fall, I made several trips to Walnut Ridge to deliver aircraft. On the first day of October, I was assigned to fly the very last B-32 that was finished off the line to the bone pile. It was a beautiful day as we left the office and headed for the flight line. It had been stormy, but this day it had just cleared beautifully. As we left operations, I asked Lt. Coleman, who was flying as my co-pilot, if he had a map. “Naw, anyone can find Walnut Ridge in the dark, you just fly out at 060 degrees until you hit Texarkana, then follow the railroad to Walnut Ridge.” So off we went happy to be back in the air after being on the ground in a job no pilot likes. We took off, headed out 060 degrees and turned on some music, and waited for the Arkansas River to show up. Soon we saw a river and a good sized town, so we steered a bit left to the town and turned north on the railroad track. Only, as we turned left, I looked down at the water front and here is a big warehouse with the word “Memphis” printed on top of the building. Memphis. That isn’t on the Arkansas River! That isn’t the Arkansas River.

In our enthusiasm for flying, we had over flown Texarkana and flown clear to Memphis Tennessee on the Mississippi River. So we did a graceful 180 degree turn and flew back to Texarkana, picked the correct railroad tracks and flew on to Walnut Ridge. When we got there, there was a C-45 crew waiting to take us home. It was the first day of the month and you have to fly 4 hours each month to get your flight pay. We had flown exactly 4 hours and 5 minutes. I was going on 30 day leave the next day and I could never convince anyone that I really had gotten lost.

Before I went on leave, the squadron was deactivated and the boss promised me a job as base operations officer when I returned from leave. That is the best peace time job there is for a pilot.

While we were at Bryan, one of the couples that lived near us had a big collie that played with Britt all the time. This gave me an excuse for buying a dog that I had always wanted. I was a pointer man and though I had never really hunted with one, I had read the many stories of field trials and followed old Pilot Sam [a famous Pointer dog] through the many years of his great career as the greatest field trial champion of all time. When I started looking for a pup, the first ad I spotted was for some registered pointer pups. They were out of a daughter of old Pilot Sam. I was sold. We selected a beautiful little female. Since we had a high fence around the back yard, this was perfect for a boy and a dog.

During the summer our second son was born. Syl started labor in the middle of the night so I dressed Britt and we all went to the hospital. I entered Syl into the hospital but the staff refused to permit me to wait with the baby so Britt and I returned home and went to bed. And he even slept. Early the next morning, I called the hospital to see if Sybil and the baby were alright. The hospital attendant reported that my wife was fine, but my baby had died and I should make arrangements for the burial. Of course, I was very sad, but I had to accept what we could not change and proceeded to make the arrangements. Then I met the undertaker at the hospital to pick up the body. I approached the front desk and stated that I had come for my son’s body. While one nurse was busy arranging the papers, another nurse, who just happened to be passing the desk, stopped and asked what I had said. I repeated, “I came to get the body of the Bryson baby that had died.” She replied, “Wait a minute, I was on duty in the delivery room and it wasn’t the Bryson baby that died.” WHOA!! Trying to be very calm, I caught her by the arm and turned to the other nurse at the desk and stated that we were going to find out about this, like now! The hospital manager was called and we all went to the nursery and there was my very tiny baby with “Bryson” on his armband. Two premature babies had been born in that night, one had lived and one had not, and I almost buried the wrong baby. During all the excitement, the nurse who had corrected the error slipped away and I never did find out who she was. But my son and I will be forever indebted.

[Forest] only weighed 3 lbs., 13 oz. and the next day or so, dropped to 3 lbs even. It was still touch and go, if he would make it or not. The day after he was born I had a baseball game with the base team and as I sat quietly dressing, some of my teammates noticed my behavior and asked what was wrong. I explained about my son and that he only weighed 3 lbs. Our big pitcher, who stood 6’2” and weighed 215 lbs., slapped me on the back and said, “That’s okay, he’ll be okay. I only weighed 3 lbs. when I was born too.”

In a few days, Sybil was released to return home, but the baby had to remain in the incubator for 6 weeks. The doctors wanted to feed him on mother’s milk, so for 6 weeks we had to take the milk from Sybil and deliver it to the hospital every day. Finally he was large enough to survive outside the incubator, but it had taken him 6 weeks to gain 2 lbs. When we got him home, where he could be fed regularly and properly with all the tender-lovin’ care, he gained 2 lbs. a week for several weeks and was as strong and healthy as a boy can be.

The Church in Fort Worth was very weak. There were only a few people and they met in a small, one room wooden shack. It was so dirty Syl said she felt uncomfortable going there with the children. But as always, they were wonderful people and we even had home teachers assigned for the first time. Because of my flying schedule and the problem with the baby, we didn’t make it to church regularly, but we went when we could.

Chapter 35

After taking on the two problem students successfully, I was finally accepted as a full fledged B-24 instructor. About this time, I got solidly established in the B-24 program, [the program] began to phase out and a new, larger super-bomber, the B-32 began rolling off the production lines. Since the factory was on the other side of the runway, they didn’t have far to go. I was among the first 20 AirCorps officers to be checked out in the B-32 program. Whenever a new aircraft comes into the inventory, it always has many problems that are discovered and generally fixed before the aircraft becomes a reliable and useful system. The B-32 was no exception. The Wright engine vibrated in one mode and the Convair airframe vibrated in another mode and the fuel lines in between continued to break under the vibrational stress. A broken fuel line spewing fuel on a hot engine can be exciting. On the first flight I made, we took off and were instructed by the instructor pilot to circle the field once and shoot a landing. We reved up, poured the coal to it and took off beautifully. What a bunch of power and what a beautiful responsive aircraft to fly. You could fly it with two fingers. About the time the bird leaped into the air, the crew chief called, “#3 engine on fire.” Man, those were startling words. I shut off the fuel to #3, feathered the engine and climbed up to traffic altitude to start the approach for landing. By this time, the fuel in the line had all burned and the fire burned out. We continued our approach and landed quite safely and parked the aircraft without any trouble. The next three flights resulted in exactly the repeat of the first landing—four take-offs, four engines on fire emergency landings. It was getting routine but about this time the contractor had developed a new type of fuel line and stopped the problem.

After completing the B-32 training school, I was assigned to a B-32 training squadron as an instructor pilot and continued to fly as an instructor until the end of the war.

Soon after we arrived in Fort Worth while we were still in the holding squadron and didn’t have much to do, I started shooting skeet each morning and playing ball in the afternoon. One particular guy always seemed to be around the same time to shoot as I was and we became friends. Bob Weir was from Montana and was an avid hunter and fisherman. After a few months, we became good friends.

In the meantime, my wife started attending Officers’ Wives’ Club meetings. She started telling me about this girl she met and became friends with. The girl’s name was Peach and about every day I would hear what Syl and Peach had been doing. Finally, the girls decided that their husbands just had to get acquainted. A dinner party was arranged when I was to meet Peach’s husband. When the guests had arrived, I and the husband broke out laughing. Instead of spending a boring evening with some guy I didn’t know, here was my friend, Bob, married to Syl’s friend Peach. After that the two couples were inseparable friends, that is, until I was transferred.

In the spring of 1945, April brought a capitulation by Germany and some relief from the strain of a wartime basis. The B-32 program was designed mostly for the Far East Theater and our effort was directed toward getting B-32s into the bombing of Japan.

Sometime during the spring of 1945, I was flying with a student pilot from Fort Worth, northwest toward Abilene, Texas. The sky suddenly lit up like an aircraft had exploded just in front of us. I called the tower and reported the incident. They, in turn, started a search for a missing aircraft. We continued to fly toward the direction of the bright flash, but neither I, nor Operations, could find anything. The tower sent out a request for any aircraft missing and none were reported. I made quite a fuss that I was sure I had seen this peculiar flash of light, but it continued to be a mystery.

During the summer, the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing World War II to an abrupt end, much to the relief of all the people in the military. When it became evident that the war end was near, I along with most of the other sober, non-drinking officers, were chosen to form a “Victory in Japan Patrol.” It was felt that the citizen soldiers would go bananas when the end of the war was announced. The services wanted to avoid any unnecessary trouble. I was teamed up with an old Major and we were assigned a staff car to patrol the base. When the announcement came, there were a few hip-hoorays, but not much else. We did hear a bit of celebrating in on of the BOQs and went to investigate. Three people rushed out of the barracks and across the lawn area from the quarters. We went back, got the car, and drove around the area to discover three WACs [Women’s Air Corps] trying to get back into their barracks, without proper clothing. In fact, one of them was only wearing a leather flight jacket. We put them in the back of the car and drove them to their barracks and released them. That was the extent of the wild celebrations at Fort Worth Air Field.