Wally's Index

Wally Nadel
World War II in the Aleutians - Shemya (APO 729)
January 26, 1943 to January 27, 1946

1. Recap of Army Facilities

Ft. Benjamine Harrison, Indiana

Ft. McClellan - Anniston, Alabama

Camp Shenango - Pennsylvania

Ft. Lawton - Seattle, Washington

Fort Sheridan - Illinois

Port of Embarkation


2. Conscription - the Draft

3. Selection Process

4. Shemya

5. General S. B. Buckner, Jr.

6. Major A. Brindle

7. My Outfit

8. My Buddies

9. Supply Sergeant

10. Army Medical Experience

11. Civilian Contractors

12. Potpourri

13. Returning to the States

14. Coincidences

15. Unspoken Concerns



DENTISTS - - - - - I'm not sure whether Army dentists were given strict

orders to use novocaine, only for extractions, or that they were all sad

sadists who were mad that the war tore them away from a fledgling

practice.  In any case, there were routine exams (about each year) which

were followed by momentous excavation-type activity on our molars

and incisors.


If sudden overseas orders came through for a group, army regulations

mandated that all men due to sail at 6:00 AM the next morning must

have their teeth worked on before leaving.


Imagine a dozen Army Dentists, roused out of bed at 1:00 AM to take

care of these 60 or 80 non-paying patients. They were unhappy drillers.


Overseas, before the luxury of electricity, another army torture  device,

similar to bicycle pedals was designed for the patient to activate the

drill by pumping away - - - sometimes not the speed that suited the

guy holding the drill.


SURGERY - - - - - My only serious surgical procedure involved an

anesthetic, injected into the base of my spine, the needle of which I

estimated was 12" long.


When an Army Surgeon says "this may smart a bit", it's best to hold

on to the gurney very tightly - - - or you may go right through a wall!


What we don't do for our country!  The redeeming side of this tale is

that I got to within a few feet of a female nurse - the first time in 26

months - I never found out if she thought my butt was cute.

 That night, I was awakened by two things; an earthquake, and an

Army Doctor with a bedside manner.  He visited a patient who he

performed surgery on a short while before. The jist of the

conversation was that the patient caught his hand in some machinery -

and the doctor said that when the swelling goes down, he'll try to save

the remaining two fingers on that hand.  All kidding aside, he was

caring and compassionate.

The next morning, an Orderly advised me that this wing of the hospital

was the "mobile patient wing", handed me a mop, and expected me to

swab the deck.  I said fine - - - first get me some crutches, clean up

the blood on the sheets, then arrange to have someone re-stitch the wound as I mop the floor.

I won!   Besides, I out-ranked him.

© Wally Nadel 2007

Dr. Will R. Eubank - Adak 1943    Map of Alaska