My Dad ended up driving for the Commanding Officer of the 66th Field Hospital a precursor to the M.A.S.H. Concept deployed in Korea. He also drove ambulances when the LTC didn't need him. He wrote my Mom that he drove 2,500 miles in four days after crossing the Rhine in April 1945. The 66th was one of the first medical units into Dachau after it was liberated.My late Father was part of that group. I believe it affected almost 50,000 men. He stayed in the Army Air Corps for a full four years.
Thanks for the letter.
To your point there were two introductory unbound civil flight training manuals in with my Dad's stuff. He certainly did a lot of traveling with nothing much to show for it. Aviation Cadet basic training was in Miami Beach! He had a class photo complete with palm trees from there that had me really confused for a while. I was asking myself "when did the o'l man wind up in the Pacific?" After Florida he went to Galesburg, IL for flight school.The Navy did something similar, and in early 1944, the services had begun cutting back flight training efforts as losses hadn't reached their projections which had brought selection numbers as high as they were. The Civil Pilot Training program had been renamed the War Training Service at the start of the war, and those schools were for the most part closed down, though at least the instructors there were given the opportunity to join the Air Transport Command. Unfortunately losses did climb a bit towards the end of 1944, but sadly many aviation dreams were dashed at that point.
Makes sense with the losses suffered by 8th Bomber Command, especially after Schweinfurt and Regensburg. Still would have really sucked to be a fighter jock assigned to heavy bombers. Assigning a P-38 Driver to a B-26 makes some degree of sense, especially for the earlier short winged versions.Very interesting document. The invasion of Europe was about to happen, and I'm sure causing a focus on Ground Forces needs. I have been impressed with how the training and manpower needs were managed and met during this time. With reference to the P38 pilots being assigned to a bomber is interesting. At some point in 1943 pilots who received their wings in the bomber track were all sent to Salt Lake City in a sort of holding pattern where they were all sorted out and sent to B17 or B24 training. I know that pilots that had been trained in the P38 were diverted there to be reassigned to bombers, so at that time there must have been a demand for bomber crews. Morale was not the best there as no flying was done and they were living in tents set up at some fairgrounds, they were given some generic 4 engine bomber material to study.