A young, likeable and interesting airman went through basic in our training flight. He was from New York, from a well-to-do family, had attended a private school, was an only child, and had a maid all the while he was growing up. So it became obvious that he apparently never had to pick up after himself or accept much responsibility. And basic training, as you can imagine, was pretty rough for him in more ways than one. Our drill sergeant was one who crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i'! But one incident around the sixth week took the cake:
We got up early one morning preparing for a "white glove" inspection! The drill sergeant walked down the ranks in our flight, pre-inspecting each airman for spotless uniforms and spit-shined boots! The sergeant abruptly stopped in front of this particular airman, gasped and yelled, "Airman, what is that you have on your feet"? The airman calmly and politely replied, "Sir, those boots made my feet hurt, so I wrote my mom and she sent me these shoes." The airman had on a pair of expensive, black Florsheim shoes! Everyone was struggling to hold their breaths to keep from bursting out laughing! We thought that drill sergeant was going to have a heart attack! The sergeant 'volunteered' some of us to get the airman's boots shined and on his feet.
Inside the barracks, we stood next to our bunks for footlocker inspection. Needless to say, this airman's locker was a mess! An orderly rushed in to tell the sergeant that the commander was a couple of barracks down and would be at ours shortly. "Airman, report to sick bay immediately," barked the sergeant! The airman replied, "What should I tell them is wrong with me, sir?"
"Tell them anything you want," the sergeant replied, "but stay there until this inspection is over!"
The last time we saw that airman was in a retraining flight, going through the drills again! Hope he made it!