Gene R. Tabor


‘Dancing’ til dawn

Boot Camp, Parris Island, S.C, 1942 – We had a guy in the platoon who we all hated. He had been a Connecticut state trooper. He used to sneak out at night and play poker with the base cadre. One night the Drill Instructor (D.I.) Sergeant McGee showed up in dress uniform and said he had a date in Beaufort. So when the ex-trooper sneaked out, we fixed a pail of water over the door. But the D.I. opened it to make a last check and got sopping wet. We went outside and did rifle exercises until 5 a.m. The worst thing was the ex-state trooper came in the back door and got some sleep. The next day we got even with the D. I. As we were marching a woman walked by on the sidewalk and yelled, “Where were you last night, McGee?!” He turned red, turned the platoon over to the corporal D.I., and we didn’t see him for a couple of days. The assistant D.I. was a jitterbugger, so we spent the day in the drill fields’ thick sand, doing fast-time.

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