16 April 1942 - 8 October 1945
The following is an attempt to reconstruct my travel experiences during my service in World war II. not having kept a detailed diary, I must rely on memory, personal papers and letters.
Explanation and plea! Somehw, I inserted part of the Weston story here and lost the rest of the Meeks story. I will try to find my copy of the story by Mr. Weeks and add it here. If Mr. Meeks sees this, I would appreciate it if he would contact me and allow me to finish his story correctly. I apologize for this mistake. I have no idea how it happened. Charles E. Dills at email@example.com.
Sometime prior to Pearl Harbor (7 December 11941) our Government passed a law requiring all males between certain ages to register for a military draft. In September 1940, I was squirrel hunting near Moorhead WV and several of us in the age bracket came out of the woods to register for this draft. Later on each eligible draftee was issued a number. I think mine was 285. In mid-December 1941 I received a notice from the draft board to report for service on April 15, 1942.
At the time, I was working for my Grandfather who was part owner of the Cecil Lumber Company in Elm Grove. Our work hours were 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM weekdays and 7:30 AM on Saturday. This was a big day as all the farmers came to town. My pay was 12.50 a week.
Upon learning that I had received my draft notice a good friend of mine, Albert Schenk, suggested we go to New York and celebrate New Year's Eve. I didn't have the money to go, but mentioned it to my grandfather. At the time he said nothing but I knew he was concerned about me being called to war. Later he said to me, "Boy, you go to New York with Albert because you may never have another chance to see it." In his hand was $200.00, the equivalent of four month's pay. Albert and I went to New York and had a great time.
In early 1942, Albert, Jim Erb and I drove to Wright Field in Dayton Ohio in an attempt to enlist in the Air Corps. We were given a not so polite reception and did not even get on the base; we decided to let the draft take its course.
On April 15,1942 we left Wheeling WV with a group of draftees via a train to Clarksburg WV and the Waldo Hotel.
After this bombing raid, we had air raid warnings several times every day. We would get our rifles and go outside to the blast shelters and wait in hopes of seeing a German plane to shoot at, but we never saw another one while we were there. It was cloudy almost all the time we were there.
Explanation and plea! Somehw, I inserted part of the Weston story here and lost the rest of the Meeks story. I will try to find my copy of the story by Mr. Weeks and add it here.
If Mr. Meeks sees this, I would appreciate it if he would contact me and allow me to finish his story correctly. I apologize for this mistake. I have no idea how it happened. Charles E. Dills at firstname.lastname@example.org.