US Army Corps of Engineers
Now prior to this time I was noticing a group of men, who stayed at the hotel and were working for the U S Army Corps of Engineers. They worked only 44 hours a week and had time off for week ends and Sundays. The pay was very good. This interested me so to apply for work with the Engineers I signed up to take the Civil Service Exam for Forest and Field Clerk CAF-4 for $1800.00 per year. I had to study quite a bit and had to borrow a portable typewriter and get the day or so off and after I finished the exam. I just set waiting and then I was asked to report to the U S Army Corps of Engineer Office in Mobile and in a few days I was informed to report for Duty on March 31, 1941.
Oath of Allegiance - December 1941
Notice of Appointment to US Army Corps of Engineers
When I received my appointment as "A Representative of the U S Army Corps of Engineers" this was something I had dreamed about for about a year, and now it had happened. Thinking about it - this was probably accomplished by my determination and with the recommendations of my employer, friends, and help of my wife to do so.
And now for an added thought;
Prior to leaving the hotel, on March 31, 1942, I recall Mr. J C Hunt and the young man taking my place said - "Stillman - always remember t he Eagles Fly High over Mobile. This meant that I was "Going where the MoneyWas".
Mr. Howard Rush was my Administrative Supervisor when I reported for duty, and was sworn in. He was a real friend and was my mentor throughout my assignment with the Corps. To accomplish my work I rode the Greyhound Bus to and from 608 East Howard Ave. in Biloxi, to the office in a bank building in Mobile, Ala., each day, or some weeks I stayed at the YMCA, or rooming house in Mobile. At one rooming house, I met Mason Tuttle, of Biloxi, who was an Engineer with the L& N Railroad, and I often wonder what happened to him. I met a Biloxi friend there a Lt. Col. J J Danaher, who I swapped rides with back and forth to Biloxi.
For the first month or so I was in training for my assignments. I was taught how to operate all kinds of business machines: calculators, comptometers, posting machines and adding machines. I received training for each kind of operations, purchasing, payroll, personnel, travel and transportation. To complete my training I was sent to various operations to see how they operated.
First I went to Tuscaloosa, AL to see the locks and dams, and snagboats, and to become acquainted with the facilities.
Next - I went to Panama City, Florida to see the prospective site of Tyndel Field, and to become acquainted with the cost accounting system there, this was of course prior to the Base being built.
Then I went to see the sites of Gunter and Maxwell Air Force Bases in Montgomery, AL when they were being built. This included visiting the site of Brookley AFB, before it was built. It was then being filled in and leveled for construction.
History of Keesler Air Force Base
I was then assigned to duty at the site of Keesler AFB, at Biloxi, MS, as 2nd Administrative Assistant and Cost Accountant.
Before being assigned to Keesler AFB, a very interesting thing happened. Two days before reporting I was playing golf at the Old Biloxi Country Club, with a person whom I met on the first tee. He played a good game and we were about even to the 17th green; he was Major York, the Project Engineer; the 17th green which I played under par - he did not make par - then I found out who he was the Project Engineer to supervise the construction of Keesler, so I managed to let him tie or win on the 18th green (Smile). So come to the following Monday, I was surprised to find that my desk was the 2nd one outside of his Office door. Needless to say I really enjoyed my assignment there. Of course, I was only a Clerk or 2nd Administrative Assistant there doing administrative duties, not engineering. The Major was soon promoted to Lt Col after construction began. My immediate supervisor was Mr. Ralph E Cumbie, who was the Administrative Assistant. At that time Keesler was an Army Air Base, and did not become known as an Air Force Base until 1947. The Prime Contractor was known as Newton, Glen, Knost, Jones, and was paid on a Cost-Plus Fixed Fee of 10%. When completed the base served as an "Engine Test Center", and as a Training Base.
While working at the base, Marie and I lived in apartment that was rented from the Capt Bowen Family, at 608 East Howard Ave. We managed to buy a 2nd hand 4 door yellow colored 4 door 8 cylinder car, which was bought from Chris Thygesen, a friend that I used to work with at the Tivoli Hotel. He was a Night Clerk and I was the Day Clerk. I bought the car from him, "where is, as is", and that meant when the rental battery rent came due, I paid the rent or bought it (Smile). So now you know what that means.
During this time Marie worked for a lawyer named Jack Goodman and became a Legal Secretary, and she was very good at it. She recalled working for a Mr. Guice, who was a very good lawyer, and she served as his legal secretary at times; at which times, she recalled him liking to chew tobacco and would just spit tobacco juice out the window - at most any time and heaven help who was below; he being the City Attorney was never questioned (Smile). Now before being assigned to my next assignment we sold the car, for just what we had in it, because gas was rationed, and Pringle Ford Company bought it and the US Government took the tires for "The use of the War Effort".
Now its early 1942 and my next Assignment was at the Office of the Area Engineer, at Fort Barrancas, Florida. Captain Jordan was a Combat Engineer, and was a real friend and managed to get the "Best" of each person - under his command. My immediate supervisor was Mr. Clemar J Simon. There were about 20 or more assigned to this office. The Mission or Objective was "Put the Guns and Fortifications on Santa Rosa Island in Operating Condition".
US Army Engineering Crew Serving in Fort Barrancas, FL
My assignments were to be responsible for the purchase of materials and to prepare a payroll for the Office Crew every two weeks. I managed to set up the payroll and turned it over to assistants. I was informed that in making purchases for materials containing aluminum, copper and steel that I was to award to the Vendor the composite amount of raw materials used. This system was called The Controlled Materials Program. To put this system into effect, the New Orleans Office of t he Army Corps of Engineers sent a trained crew over to the Admiral Semes Hotel in Mobile, AL to train the Engineers and Office Crew in how to handle the weights and measures involved. At the same time we were sent over to Eglin Field to assist them in setting up this System. After about six months the Vendors began to complain that they had no place to put the raw materials and that they already had a 3 to 5 year stockpile already on hand, so the system was abolished. As a matter of humor it was called "Confusion Made Permanent Program". The Office crew was often used to go to Tuskegee and Tuscaloosa for materials and to drive back cars and dump trucks. While at Tuskegee we were able to see the Black Tuskegee Pilots in training and to see Stillman University in Tuscaloosa where they were educated before training. I was sent to Selma, AL with a Mr. Francio St. Boulanger, one of my Mentors, for a training program and stayed at the famous wooden Albert Hotel, and to see Craig Field, nearby. As a matter of history this was where Martin Luther King made his famous "walk" to the Bridge and Back, etc.
As a matter of record - Our first apartment for Marie, Bill, and I was with the Farnham's at Seamarge, Bayshore, (3rd floor) on Pensacola Bay. Looking out the window we often saw cargo ships from Japan loaded with scrap steel, that they used against us in WW2. One day I was on the tug USS Baker out in the Pensacola Chanel near Ft Pickens, the barge being pushed was caused to turn partly over - this was later found to be caused by a German Submarine in the channel. This was reported to the US Naval Air Station and some of the Pilots staying at Seamarge said "A sub was bombed in the Pensacola Bay the next day". One other thing is that Ft Pickens was used to house the Apache Indians that were sent there in the early 1800's and perhaps Geronimo was with them. This is a matter of history.
Alfred William Stillman, Jr held by Alfred William Stillman in late 1942
In early 1943, after Bill was born, Marie received notice that her mother was not well and she decided to go over to Biloxi to take care of her. She went home to take care of her mother and father.
Alfred - holding Bill - with Marie in Pensacola, FL 1943
I had received notice to report to my draft board and in doing so I had to consider three things:
One - was to go on Active Duty with the regular Army;
Two - was to go on Foreign Duty with the Corps of Engineers in Recife Brazil, where a Hospital was being built to house the injured soldiers taken from the War in the Sudan in Africa;
Three - was to go on Foreign Duty with the Corps of Engineers in Edmonton Canada, who were supervising the final construction of the Alaska Highway.
I chose Active Duty with the Regular Army, but my Draft Board stated that the Corps of Engineers had priority, so I decided to go on duty to Edmonton Canada. This was because a Lt Winchester from Ft Barrancas was on the way there as well as Colonel A L Worsham, District Engineer from Mobile, AL.
My notice was a short one and the Crew at the Office arranged for Marie, Bill, and my transportation to her home in North Biloxi.
US Army Corps of Engineers Districts
In a few days I was on my way. I was to travel via Pullman L&N Railroad, leaving Flomaton, AL, to Chicago, IL, to Minneapolis, MN, and from there to Fargo, ND, to Moose Jaw, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on to Edmonton. This assignment was detailed as "Foreign Service, and I was promoted one grade from CAF-5 to CAF-6 with travel allowances. I recall arriving in Chicago during August and it was beginning to get cool there. The Grand Central Station had 25 Terminals - imagine 25 trains all lined up for departures, every so often. That was rather awesome for me..... But now let me tell you about my departure - at the beginning, I had the choice of two trains, one making the trip - Chair Car and one Pullman. I did not realize I had selected the Chair Car and had tickets on the Pullman. So I hurried over to the Pullman - last car and was pulled up and managed to get aboard, but in doing so I was badly messed up and looked rather terrible; now you guessed it: The "Lady" in the opposite Pullman seat said "how terrible - I hope I don't have to put with you on this trip." So I took my suitcase and went to the Men's Room and changed clothes and went back and sat down. Then the lady said "O Dear, I am so glad a clean young man has the seat across from me, the first one looked horrible." Oh Boy , that was a close one.
My next train stop was at Portal, ND. Upon arriving there, the border patrol asked for my orders to go on to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. All I had to show them was my train tickets and the telegram signed by General Reybold, Chief of U S Army Corps of Engineers, citing funds and destination as Edmonton. They debated on this and decided to let me go on the rest of the way, since I had gotten that far. I met a young man from New York and he was going to Edmonton, and then on to Dawson Creek for assignment. We had various stops at Moose Jaw and a few stations for stopovers. It was late in the evening when we arrived in Edmonton. I called headquarters for transportation for us from the train station. Upon arriving at the headquarters hotel office, we asked the clerk, a Miss Black for a room with twin beds for the night. She gave us the keys and then when upon arriving at the temporary quarters, we opened the door and much to our surprise the room was already occupied by two young ladies, who supposedly were as much surprised as we were. So we apologized and went back to see Miss Black. She had a good laugh about it and told us that the two young ladies had asked for this to happen. About that time I informed her that she had made a very bad mistake, because we could have gotten in very serious trouble. She was new there and was a Canadian and did not realize what she had done. The next day I met Lt. Winchester, who had just arrived from Ft. Barrancas; he managed to get my orders fixed up and I was ready for my first assignment. In the meantime, I had been assigned to a room to associate with a Mr. Bergen, who had just recently come from Ketchican Island for a year or so. He turned out to be "Wild" one and, I had to ask for a new roommate.
This is a good place to tell you about the Northwest Division. The Headquarters was a building and land adjoining that formerly housed the Jesuit College. The U S Government could not own land in a foreign country; therefore, a contractor had t o do this for them. Directly in back of the Headquarters Building was a 1000 man mess hall that was used to accommodate uniformed and civilian employees assigned there. Quarters for all uniformed and civil service employees were furnished, (two men to a room) with meals for $45.00 per month. There were a number of minor offices known as satellites about the area. Bechtel, Parsons, & Callahan was a major contractor in building the highway, while Metcalf, Hamilton, Kansas City Bridge Company assisted them and was responsible for building all the bridges and for their maintenance. At the airport in Edmonton we had the U S Army Air Force sending planes of all kinds up to Fairbanks, Alaska, where the Russian Pilots met our pilots and crews, and they were informed how to fly our planes for their use - p-38's, P39's, C46 and 7's and such . Later on the Russian pilots met our training crews in Edmonton, and flew the planes from there. From where I sit, not enough credit was ever given to those men who served in this area.
As soon as the road from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks was put in by the regular U S Army , the roads were completed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Then convoys of U S trucks - driven by U S Army men and contractors employees - were ordered to carry food, clothing, war materials, etc., to Fairbanks, Alaska. The contractors crews were paid so much an hour for the first 8 hours, and then from time and a half to double time to reach the next stop over until they reached Fairbanks. When I was assigned to auditing contractors payrolls, I red-lined a number of employees receiving double time for a week or so. Later on I was sent from Edmonton to Dawson Creek to find out what happened to these employees. I found Offices and Stations along the Highway where some of these men had been working. In some instances (according to the records) - much to my surprise - it had been found out that the bodies of these men were never found, or that they had been frozen to death or had been killed by the wolves, and that their convoy trucks were found "Over the Cliff".
Mickey McGuire…Alfred William Stillman
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada -1944
I roomed with, a Mr. Paul Gaudreaux, Chief Engineer, and Architect, who was at times an aerial observer. According to the fellow, he found that the Japanese subs were over in the Inland Passage from Vancouver north to Fairbanks, and were found to surface at night and released aerial incendiary balloons that cause fires in the wheat fields.
He found what was known as a "Million Dollar Canyon" above Whitehorse Yukon, where may of our C-54s, C-46s and C-47s with their pilots had ended up; this was because when leaving the Great Falls, Montana, and Edmonton, the pilots had forgotten to change their altimeters properly.
While auditing or observing purchase orders and contracts for contractor's employees, I found that they were held responsible for their mistakes in "judgment". In this instance a man named Smitty had been ordering manhole rings and covers, with an electric motor to lift the lid. This was impossible as electric power was not available for such. Actually the regular ring and cover costs only $50 and he was writing up orders for the same at $150, so he was getting a kickback of $100 on each. This among many other things was stopped.
During the time I was assigned to the Northwest Division I noticed that Colonel Ludson D Worsham, former Commander at Mobile, Ala., had been promoted from Commander of the Northwest Division to Commander of the Northwest Service Command, and from Colonel to General (See Map of USACE for locations)
While living there in the Quarters, I made friends with most of those assigned, especially one of my room mates, Paul Gaudreaux, Architect, from Baltimore MD. Paul was the only one who could eat in the mess hall, and point out things with a fork - with meat on it and then tell you all about it and forget to eat while talking (Smile). The two men in the next room - Don Wright, and Marshal Monty - were both Engineers, both football players and rooters for the Green Bay Packers, and both considered to be associated with a Government Investigation Crew. They both led unusual lives and each had a car at times for their work assignments.
Now this leads on to all of us being associated with a very good friend named Harold Manning, a Detective, in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was rumored that his father or Uncle was Premier of Canada.
Now to get back to the beginning, Harold being a Canadian, was very good at skiing, and ice skating. In the wintertime they would take us out on the "Frozen" Saskatchewan River nearby and with our skis on we would hold on to a rope behind his car and be towed at 20 to 30 miles per hour. So that we could understand how it would look or feel, when on a real ski run. We went through the process of panning for gold in the river. This process was very interesting as in the end a person could spend 20 dollars a day to make 5 or 10 in gold.
Harold then invited each of us to go with him, for a week or two weeks on a trip to Mount Norquay, where we would learn how to ski, and to have a good time. Mount Norquay was located on the Banf National Park, about 250 miles Southwest of Edmonton, in the Lake Louise area. He was able to get two cars and gas for the trip and all we had to do was to pay for our meals and hotel room at $2.50 per day. The cars were equipped with a decal showing that we had permission to enter the park area. Our host, the Army Corps of Engineers, furnished us with the skis and full equipment for the trip. This was because we could be used, in the future, by the Army Ski Troopers.
Upon our arrival at the ski lodge we noticed several people with broken arms and legs, and were in formed that they had tried to make the run without prior proper instructions, and this made a good impression on us. So we were furnished with a ski instructor, from Norway, who had a broken arm from not paying attention on the ski jump. The first day we were taken up the ski run about 500 feet and were taught how to use ski poles; how to make right and left turns, and how to stop, or put on the brakes, how to herringbone (walk) up a hill by using your skis properly. The next few days we were taken up the hill about one half mile, and were taught how to start and stop, and the safety requirements for yourself and others. This went on until we could cover the mile or two mile run - safely and properly - for which we have an "Arm Patch" for doing so. A person must be properly coordinated at all times, or the results could be a disaster.
1944 - I learned to ski while on Mt Norquay near Banff and Lake Louise
1944 - On leave from the Northwest Service Command - learning to ski on Mt. Norquay near Banff, British Columbia, Canada.
Our tour guide was Harold Manning of The Northwest Mounted Police of Edmonton
From Mt Norquay, a View of Banff
Early in 1944 the Northwest Division was assimilated in to the North West Service Command, with Headquarters at Whitehorse, Yukon, which resulted in Colonel Worsham being promoted to General Worsham. In this case the headquarters in Edmonton was closed and activities were changed into a rear echelon, to which I was assigned to for duty and I was required to live in an apartment instead of being furnished a room. My office, at that time, became a hutment, next door to the contractor, on the street behind the Hudson Bay Store in down town Edmonton, and I was assigned as an auditor to audit the accounts at the Metcalf Kansas City Bridge Company Contract, as well as Bechtel McComb Parsons - another War Contractor up the avenue.
At this time, Major Roussi, my immediate supervisor, left for another assignment and I asked to be relieved of my duties and assignment there, and asked to be assigned to active duty with the armed services. This request was granted and I was given travel orders to go to my home station in Biloxi and to the Great Lakes Naval Academy, North of Chicago, for possible duty. I checked in and was to be assigned for duty as a Petty Officer. However, the draft board in Biloxi refused to grant permission, and I went on to Chicago and then on to Biloxi. It was nice to be home for a while, but I continued my request to be of service.
I reported to the draft board, in Biloxi, and the officer in charge refused me permission to go to Camp Shelby, because of my prior commitment to the U S Army Corps of Engineers. I then reported for duty with the Corps at Mobile, AL, and was assigned for duty, with a promotion, as an auditor at the Sheffield Shell Plant, at Sheffield, AL. The Sheffield Nitrogen Plant, build in 1917 during World War 1 was to be converted to a 90 and 105 MM Plant, as soon as possible.
You will have to remember that my service was "Federal Service' in Civil Service and not in the Armed Forces; therefore, I am not recorded as a Veteran of WW2 but have been awarded Veteran Status by order of the Secretary of Defense, and was told that my retirement and insurance would take care of all my future expenses. I don't understand what went on any more than you do.
Construction of Sheffield, AL Ammunition Plant
Finished Sheffield, AL Ammunition Plant
While at the Sheffield Shell Plant, Captain V L Taylor, was Resident Engineer, and a fellow named Rowe and I rented a house there. We and lived there for a while. After that, Rowe and I stayed at the Sheffield Hotel. I was assigned to audit the activities of the J A Jones Construction Company. Construction went on rapidly, until the main plant was to be put in and then it was decided to cancel the entire plant because the shells were no longer needed in the war effort.
From Sheffield, AL, I was at once sent to the Mississippi Ordinance Plant in Flora, MS.
Mississippi Ordinance Plant in Flora, MS Identification
Flora, MS is the site of one of t he Largest Petrified Forests in the USA just north of Jackson, MS. This area is now the site of the largest Nissan Automobile Plants where I was assigned to audit another J A Jones Contract. Jones was doing some construction on this plant that was producing powder and ammunition for use in the Pacific area. M T Reed Const ruction Company - of Mississippi - was another contract I audited. The site was originally the area used for tank training for the Army. Dupont Corporation was the Contractor used for loading powder in silk bags to be put in small and large shells to be sent to the Pacific Area.
After being there for sometime, living in officers quarters, the crew and I were advised "You are assigned a Government vehicle, please move to the nearest town of your choice". How many of you smoke tobacco - all did - it seems that within 50 ft of the quarters was some of the most explosive material ever produced; we left at once. I went to a rooming house, the Tilda Inn at Canton, MS. After a few days my wife, Marie and my son Bill were able to join me there. Except for a while in Pensacola, Florida, and for one time on leave from Canada, this was the 3rd time I was able to be with my family.
I recall auditing one of the contractors payrolls, where a hundred or so employees were sent from Florida to Jackson, MS; they were allowed 4 to 6 days travel time and expenses. This gave them 2 days vacation in New Orleans, so I delete d the expenses for 2 days and you have never heard of such a commotion. I never did find out how it ended (Smile). This, of course, was just a minor situation.
Dupont had a large building or so that loaded individual silk bags with from one pound to a certain amount of powder, depending on the size shell, this was accomplished by a machine or machines that weighed and bagged it. In this area men and women were inspected each morning and after lunch for cigarettes and matches, and in spite of a thorough search, once or twice a week, someone was badly injured or killed. The buildings had escape tunnels where people could run and dive in to escape the explosions.
The War ended while I was assigned to the Mississippi Ordinance Plant. At this time I was assigned an automobile that I had called the Blue Goose, because it was painted Blue with a Goose on the front of the radiator. The Army Contractor furnished me with a 4x3 plywood trunk to ship my belongings, and this trunk I still have or I should say "It's out at the Log Hunting Cabin". So Marie and I packed up our belongings and headed for Mobile, AL via Biloxi, MS. After spending two days at my wife's family home, I was ordered to Mobile, AL. I was informed that I would be immediately assigned to a Government Contract Termination Team.
We as a Team would perform audits of "War Contracts" let during the War - and then terminate those contracts. At once I traveled from Mobile, to Montgomery and Birmingham, AL, then to Nashville, TN, from there to Memphis, TN, and from there to Jackson, MS, and most any small town in those areas where a contract had been let; then to Baton Rouge, LA and New Orleans, LA. During the last few months I covered these areas - mostly by myself - auditing claims of companies and people - who had some type of contract - for materials and services. While in Memphis, TN, I had the pleasure of meeting Marie's brother Hilary Hengen, who was assigned to the Naval Supply Base there. The crew and I had lunch with him several times. He was a Lt Commander in the Navy at that time.
Places Where Government Contracts Were Terminated
I recall being in Nashville, TN, auditing Contracts, and seeing the Maxwell Hotel where the Coffee may have originated, and seeing the 70-foot Coffee Bar that used to be a Liquor Bar in Old Times and had a Brass Rail up top and down below, and t here were many Copper Spittoons on the floor that are not now in use.
After this time ended, I was to be either employed in the District Office in Mobile, AL or I was informed I could go at once to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in Atlanta, GA where I would receive a 2 grade promotion, to a GS-9. I did this, partly with the help of an old friend of mine - Mickey McGuire - who I had known in Canada, and who was then with the Corps in Atlanta. I did this and after a short time in Atlanta, I was assigned to the Subsidiary War Assets Administration, housed in the Old Ford Building, on Ponce de Leon Ave., there in Atlanta. I kept a room at the 551 Hotel on Ponce de Leon Ave., most of the time. Any Officer or Civilian working for the Corps was welcome to pay his half; this kept some the expense - down. Marie and Bill came to visit me for a short time and I was happy to see them.
From there I was assigned to be Auditor and Cash and Collections Officer at Bush Field, Augusta, Georgia. There I set up an Office to Audit the Contractor, there and at Americus, GA. The contractor at Bush Field was the recipient of old and new planes not needed in the war. The old ones were dismantled - scrapped - parts of aluminum, copper, steel, and etc., were put in crucibles and melted; the contents of aluminum, copper, and steel, were melted and poured into ingots (bricks) and sold to metal companies including Reynolds Metals. They were shipped out by the car loads. Most planes useable were sold to aircraft and airlines. Some were sold directly to WW2 Pilots who could afford them for their use. Others were sold to government agencies. I recall seeing Eisenhower's flagship - the "Squaw" - before it was disposed of. Many of our planes were sold to foreign countries; I recall seeing Peruvians being trained to fly our ships that they had bought; for them, they had the cockpit dash lighted up with red and green symbols; these meant if the dash was lined up with all green the plane was ready for "Take Off"; if red showed up - the Pilot said "If Red - I get out", and if all Green = "I fly Like Hell". They flew the planes from Augusta to New Orleans, and then on to Mexico City and on down to Peru.
While at Bush Field my family, Marie and Bill joined me there. We used converted barracks, and converted the barracks into a nice apartment. While there - I will never forget - watching my son Bill in back of the Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. He was starting to climb a fence where chickens, turkeys and ducks were fenced in. I asked him - "Just what are you looking for?" He said " I'm looking for the storks - you told me that the baby would be arriving soon by a stork." So, I had to straighten that out (Smile). So now you know that my daughter Helen was born in Augusta, Georgia, November 22, 1946. I recall that at that time I bought a new Frazier automobile in Augusta because I had to have Transportation other than "Government". It was there that we met TH Friel and family. TH was a Aircraft Mechanic in the hanger. TH was a good friend and we and others went to the Ogeechee Swamps - hunting turkeys; and nearby, hunting doves, and fishing for big sturgeon in the Savannah River. Five years later in Fort Walton, Florida that we met TH and his wife in a hardware store while buying a shovel. They lived in Fort Walton Beach, FL. At that time Marie and I were in the Valparaiso area - in the Welker's little brown house - and we became good friends again. Later on we met them again when Ann went to Auburn University. Then they lived in a house in Auburn, AL. Hey - this is getting - very good. TH being an Aircraft mechanic - got a chance to work on Walt Ruckel's WWII Aircraft; Walt was our next door neighbor in Valparaiso, FL.
While there at Bush Field I supervised other employees in the audit of contracts. Some of them were college graduates and several had their masters. When asked what college or university I went to - I just said government colleges and business colleges. I had never been to a junior college. I knew I did not have a formal education and Marie and I decided it was time.