Euphoric Fatigue (euphoricfatigue) wrote,
Euphoric Fatigue

the mightty 10th articles

as many of you know, my dad was WW2 vet. he was a ski trooper serving in the 10th mountain division, out of camp hale, colorado. he was in the first group of soldiers sent through there as trained ski troopers.

anyhow, one of the itmes i salvaged from the mess in sc, were two newsletters entitled the Blizzard. BLIZZARD published by an dfor the men of the 10th division...

one of them is volume 1, number 6. camp swift, texas, september 30, 1944.

one of the articles, actually just a little box note type entry entitled THE LAST WORD (reprinted from San Antonio paper) CAMP HALE TO CLOSE By Associated Press

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 - Camp Hale, Colo., is being closed down, the war department said today. The camp has been declared surplus. No definate information was given as to when it would be closed, but the department said the camp would be disposed of as surplus property.

another article in same newsletter was entitled "Our New Men Say "Y'all" And Can't Ski"

If you are one who viewed with alarm the scanty representation of the southern states among the personnel of the 10th Division, you can set your fears at rest now. Our new men (that is the new men who have arived in carload lots during the past fortnight - not the old new men who have been dribbling in all along) almost to a man pronounce the second person singular pronoun "y'all." It looks at the writing as though the Division's heavy weapons companies will constitue a Southern bloc to delight the heart of a Democratic politician.

For the most part, the new arrivals hail from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and the Corolinas, with small groups from Pennsylvania, Ohio and the vicinity of Chicago thrown in.

From a seris of chats with the nw men in their barracks and a quick check of their 201 files, we got the impression that the typical nwecomer comes from a farm in Arkansas and has a car, experience wth mules, and a yen to bo back to the farm. He was drated, took basic training at
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a Southern Infantry Replacement Training Center in a weapons or anti-tank outfit, was shipped to a Port of Overseas Replacement, separated from his outfit and sent to Camp Swift. He thinks it's mighty hot here, wants infomation about the Army's point sysytem of demobilization, and never heard of the 10th Divsion before he was sent to join it. He may or may not be maried, but if he is he has two children. He's never been on skis in his life.

For instance, take Pvt. John J. Hoppis of Hanson, Okla. He taught the kids of the 4th, 5th and 6th grands in an elementary school at Sallissaw until the Army got him. He has a wife and two children, a girl 4, and a boy who was born in August while Hoppis was home on a delay en route from Ft. McClellan, Ala., to Fort Geroge Meade, Md. Hoppis thought he was slated to go right overseas from Meade until they put him on a train and told him he was joining the 10th Division. He didn't find out what kind of work the 19th does ntil he got to his barracks at Swift. Bt it doesn't bother hi.. "i'd just as soon be on one branch as another," he says. "When I first got in I tried to get into anything but the infantry, but it doesn't matter now. It's awfully hot in this part of the country, though. I thought McClelan was hot, but this is pitiful."

He's no stranger to mules, having done lots of plowing behind them, but they're not his idea of ideal hiking companions.

Pvt. Bruce Jernigan, former bread salesman from Florence, SC., has a wife, two children, a '42 Pontiac, a soft Ca'lina accent, and plenty of confidence. "Since we got to Swift I've heard a lot about the 10th's training, but i doubt it it's anything more than we got at the Camp Blanding IRTC in Florida," he sayls. "I thouht Blanding was the hottest place in the world, until I got here. Does the 10th Dvision stand reveille? We didn't in my old outfilt." He plowed with mules, too, before he took to selling bread.

Prt. John Hollingsrorth comes to the 10th from Fremont, N.C.., by way of Blanding an d Meade. He's married, has a pair of boys, and is not very gullible. "I don't know anything about the 10th Divsion except what I've heard here," he confesses, and I don't believe half of that."

The surroundings at Swift are pretty much like home to Pvt. John A. McMahen, a nati ve Texas from Terrell who went from Camp Wolters to Meade to Swift. Terrell, 30 miles out of Dallas, is flat, fertile and "damn hot," according to McMahen. Until seven yars ago,he was a farmer, plowing the black-top (that's soil, and the farmes don't have to keep off it). After that he put in six years as a ward attendant in the State Hospital at Terrell and then worked for a year for North American Aviation, building sub-assemblies for P-51's. A mountain outfit is no worse than any other, he thinks. "After you've been kicked around for a while you just don't give a damn."

Pvt. Don Johnson, 19-year-old high school graduate from Minerv(brittle paper broken here).... thinks he'll like the 10th "if I don't freeze."

"Wait till my brother (he's in the 67th, at Camp Shelby, Miss.) hears I'm in the ski troops!" Johnson chortled to our staff man. "He used to play with the idea of joining them, he he never did. He'll die wien I tell him I'm here! I thought I'd be sent overseas from Meade. All the rest of the company was. I figure I'll get along pretty well here."

He Was Asleep

Pvt. Colon Melton, who left a wife, two boys and a job in a general store in Shelby, N.C., to take basic training at Blanding, still didn't now what kind of outfit the 110th Division was when the BLIZZARD's representative talked to him. "I think the sergeant gave a lecture about it in the barracks this afternoon, but I was asleep. Mountain fighting, eh? Lots of mules? Before I worked at the store I used to work with mules on the farm. I'd just as soon work with them for the Army of they need me. Bt if they have anything else I godo do in stead, "I'd just as soon, too."
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