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413th Fighter Group Pictorial Review WW2,
The Chow is Great
Army Air Base USAAF at Bluethenthal Field.

Page 13 photo 1

Donated by Seth A. Villa

December 1944
In the following pages you will
see the many photos and the history of the 413th.


Photo of soldier eating chow at Bluethenthal USAAF Field, North Carolina.
Picture Scanned by C. Jeff Dyrek


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 Members of the 413th 
This Chow is Great!!!!!

In the Navy the Chow was great too, most of the time.  Each time that we pulled out of port we had surf and turf, that is Lobster and Steak for you civilians.  The next day, the chow was terrible because everyone was recuperating from our time in port.  In other words, we had to go out to sea just to rest up from our in port periods. C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster 1977 - 1978

Chow Hall Story #105726431HaHa

This is the best chow hall story ever told.

When I was fresh out of boot camp in 1972, I had to wait until my school started and in the meanwhile, I worked doing compartment cleaning and worked and the chow hall.  Compartment cleaning wasn't too bad because we were always doing something different.  But when we were working in the chow hall, it was like working in a prison with bosses who all had a different idea on how everything should be done.  As you could guess, I never liked working in the chow hall.

One day when we were just getting off of work, a First Class Petty Officer came into our work area and was asking for volunteers.  The one thing that everyone tells you is to never volunteer.  I never listened to other people anyway, I just wanted to get away from scrubbing the floors.  So I raised my hand and volunteered.  I didn't know for what, but it had to be better than working in the chow hall scrubbing floors for the rest of my life. 

Anyway, the First Class Petty Officer said that he wanted us to report at 07:30 tomorrow morning in our dress blues.  Ok, I can understand that, so I just did what I was told.

The next morning we all met at the chow hall then drove to the armory to check out some machine guns.  Wow, I got a machine gun, I'm wearing my dress blues, and we have a United States Navy Van.  After getting out of Boot Camp, everyone believes that a First Class Petty Officer is a god.  I was too dumb to even sew my first stripe on because no one ever told me. 

After we checked out the weapons and were issued blanks and white helmets, we jumped into the Navy van and drove to the first bar.  I didn't have any money and I didn't even know where we were.  This was my first time into Memphis and I was totally lost.  The First Class bought all of us drinks, drinks and more drinks,  We got drunk.  There were eight of us all together which included the First Class and he was not only the driver, but also very drunk himself. 

We left the bar and headed for a cemetery, where we were going to perform a burial twenty one gun salute.  I still didn't know this at the time.  We were almost there and suddenly a hippy dude walking down the street squatted down and yelled, "Look at the Squiddies"  ( Sailors are Squids ).   The First Class slammed on the brakes and yelled, "Grab your guns, we're going to get that hippy."  By that time I already had a rifle in my hand and the door was already opening.  Everyone else were doing the same thing.  We are to obey our orders without question, we were trained. 

Suddenly, the First Class came back to reality.  He yelled at us to forget it and get back into the van.  To this very day, I wish that, that First Class Petty Officer had one more beer.  We would have made national news.  "Eight NAVY Guys Shoot Hippy in Memphis" the newspaper headlines would have said.  Us, being just out of boot camp would have gotten us off with just a slap on the hand, but it sure would have been fun.  They were blanks.

But, that's not the end of the story.

We finally made it to the cemetery and practiced our marching and firing procedure.  When that was completed, we marched under the viaduct to another bar and drank some more.  We were plastered.  The time finally came for us to do our job, so we got all of our rifles and marched to the cemetery and stood at attention.  The whole place was kind of spinning, maybe this is training for being on a ship and getting drunk was part of the training procedure, I was jokingly thinking.

Click Here came the hearse.  The hearse pulled up in front of us and stopped.  The car right behind it did the same and so on down the line.  As we stood there I was looking at the car that was right behind the hearse.  Smoke was coming out to the hood.  The next thing I knew was that everyone was running back and forth.  They opened the hood of the car and fire jumped out.  Someone ran to the phone and called the fire department and by the time they got there the car was nothing but a burnt up pile of junk.  All of this time our guys never moved a muscle, we just stood and watched the whole thing. 

The fire was out and it was time for us to do our duty.  When we did the twenty one gun salute, we were all in sync, except the guy next to me.  You would hear six guns shoot, BANG, then one gun would shoot, pop.  So it went like this, BANG, pop, BANG, pop, Bang, pop.  and that was it.

The First Class yelled, "Right Shoulder Arms."  We followed his command.  "Right Face,"  we all turned right.  "Forward March," now we were marching.  And do you know where we marched to.  We marched back to the bar and drank some more all at the expense of the First Class Petty Officer. 

Now, I don't remember a single sole of the other guys, I was just there.  But this is a true story, a day that I will never forget.

But the last part of this story is what I thought about many years later.  This First Class Petty Officer was a very bad example to all of us.  We were only 18 years old and just out of boot camp.  He was to set a good example on how we should conduct ourselves.  And, most of all, this was very disrespectful to the family and relatives and to the soldier who gave his life.  So as you read above, we did have a good time, but at the same time, we didn't need to be disrespectful.

C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster 1972 Airmen Recruit, Fresh out of Boot Camp.


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