Last Updated: 06/05/04
                        H.G. Turner
                        Uncle Sam Wants You!
Uncle Sam

What's New!

Harlie's Family Lineage
Keck Family Lineage
Joyce Family Lineage
Photo Gallery
Ancestry Biography
Resource Documents

Fais Island Adventure

Early Beginnings
Who is Harlie Turner
The Bootlegging Era
Too Close for Comfort
Depression Brings Tragedy
Civilian Conservation Corp

World War II
Uncle Sam Wants You
Piccadilly Commando
D-Day for Little Rollo
Mission over Munich
Little Rollo Photo Gallery
707th Bomb Squadron

Post World War II
Uncle Sam -- I'm Back
Hogan's Goat Ditched at Sea
The Cold War Years

Post Military
The Golden Years

News Articles
Military & Family News

Dave's Journal

1941 Willys Pickup

Links & Favorite Sites
CCC, WWII, Genealogy

E-mail Grandson

  Harlie & 1936 Ford 1941 started out to be wonderful year. I had a good job, money in my pocket, a 1936 Ford, and a beautiful girlfriend named Colleen. However, far from home, Germany was rumbling across Europe, and Japan was becoming more difficult to get along with. The big blow came on December 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor forcing the United States to declare war on Japan and Germany.

Everything was being rationed, including gas to four gallons per week. You couldn't get tires or any parts for cars. All of my friends were either being drafted or enlisted into the military. Once again, my world was crumbling around me.

The radio played nothing but war news or "patriotic" songs. I remember one quite well -- "Only Uncle Sam's Great Heroes Get To Go There." That was the song that hit home with me. "I had to be one of those great heroes."

Harlie, Dale & Donnie About the middle of 1942, my brother Donnie got his draft notice. I thought, "If Donnie has to go then I too am going." On November 28, 1942, my brother Donnie, Dale Pauley (my best friend), and I, enlisted in the United States Air Corps.

My first assignment was to Camp Dodge, IA. for induction and to be issued clothing. From there we went to St. Petersburg, FL, for basic training which was a piece of cake for me since I had received much of the same training in the CCC camp.

Harlie Gunnery School Graduate During basic training we qualified and were classified to positions within the Air Corps. Donnie and I were assigned to aerial gunnery school at Windover Air Base, Salt Lake City, UT. Donnie and I studied hard and graduated close to the top of our class.

My next assignment was to Scott Field, IL, for airborne radio school. Once out of school, Donnie and I were transferred to Cloves, NM. We were assigned to combat crews on B-24 aircraft and put on flying pay. This was the day we had been looking forward to. It was the Air Corps policy that brothers could not be assigned to the same crew. This policy went into effect after the loss at sea of the five Sullivan brothers.

Harlie - Ball Turret Gunner There were three phases to our training. The first phase was at Cloves Air Base, NM, which consisted of getting to know your crew, the B-24 aircraft, schooling on crew coordination, and above all -- becoming proficient in your position. My position was as ball turret gunner. After a few flights together, and a few beers at the club, we began to act, talk, and look like a real crew. Flying wasn't all glory -- there were some terrible accidents and loss of several crews.

Our next assignment was Blyth, CA, for the second and third phases of our training program. However, before reporting to Blyth, I received a short furlough where I made it home for a few days to be with the family and my fiancée, Colleen. Rest and relaxation quickly came to an end and it was time to report to Blyth California Air Base where the training program was rigorous. We flew day and night, high and low, and seven days a week. Before long, training was completed and we were ready for combat.

Next we went to Harrington, KS, to pick up a new B-24 aircraft and our overseas orders. Instead, we got orders to continue on to Langley Field, VA, for further training in the use of radar bombing. What a let down! I was beginning to think I was never going to get overseas. After several flights using radar to search for German subs (and anything else that might be on the Atlantic Ocean), training was complete.

Donnie's crew was assigned to the 2nd Sea Search Attack Squadron and was heading for the South Pacific. I was assigned to the 3rd Sea Search Attack Squadron and my crew was off to Europe. This was a sad day for Donnie and me after being together through training and now going in our separate directions.

Harlie & Colleen However, during my crew training, Colleen (my fiancée) and I had discussed getting married before my departure overseas. Colleen and my sister Etola traveled to see me at Langley Field. Colleen and I were married on January 20, 1944, at the Base Chapel. My brother Donnie and sister Etola stood up for us. That night we had a little wedding party at the NCO club. Most all the enlisted men on my crew were there. A couple of days after we were married, Colleen and Etola returned to Dubuque, IA, my brother Donnie was off to the South Pacific, and I was off to Europe.


star home
star top
star next