The Korean outbreak started in June 1950. I was fresh out of high school and, like many young men, was eager to enlist. I rounded up nine of my buddies and was off to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in a military troop train. My best buddy was “railroad smart,” so as we entered the rail car, we headed to one of the two private rooms available in each Pullman. From Syracus to Lackland, we were allowed to stay in that room!
When we enlisted, we were told not to bring extra clothes. Any civilian clothes would be disposed of as military clothes would be issued. The Air Force was just switching from khaki to Air Force blue, so we spent 10 days in our one set of civilian clothing –ugh.
On the eleventh day at Lackland, we were issued one set of “blues” and then placed on a troop train for Biloxi, Miss. Again, I was able to obtain that private room. At Biloxi and before classes started, we were told we would continue basic training.
It was midnight when we arrived at Biloxi. We detrained and were placed in groups. I ended up with a group of 17 men, same MO. As there was no room for us in our squadron, we were placed in another and forgotten.
During this time we could not stay in our barracks. So, we spent the day out of sight. This continued until it was time to start classes.
My point is that 17 of us never had basic training. Probably the first time that ever happened?
Not having any real basic training presented several interesting episodes…but that is another story!