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



Following the sinking of half our Pacific navy at Pearl Harbor, the occupation

of islands in the North and South Pacific, sinking of unarmed merchant ships

in the Atlantic, and the declaration of war against us by the Axis powers, the

U.S. finally mobilized it's industrial capability and manpower.


Getting millions of men into the military, trained, and ready for combat was

quite a challenge - - - considering that the experienced and better prepared

enemies were many years ahead of us.


Although our entry into previous wars were primarily the result of alliance

commitments, these attacks raised patriotism to an exceptional level.


Young men willing to fight for their country, paid for elective surgery (out of

their own pockets), such as hernias so that they would pass induction exams.

(I knew of an acquaintance and heard of others).

Both the medical as well as the psychological exams became more lax as the

need for more men lowered the standards.  This created problems later on.


My experience was with Infantry Basic Training at Ft. McClellen Alabama.

After shuffling around for a few weeks - from Induction Camps to Replacement

Depots, one ended up in a training camp with approx 15,000 to 20,000 others

who came from a variety of lifestyles, social and financial statuses, religions,

educational background, political beliefs, prejudice and racial bias, limited

hygenic standards  - - - - a real potpourri of 18 1/2 to 20 year olds, most of

whom were products of the Great Depression.


If an inductee was 21 years or older, and had at least one year of college,

he was whisked away to Ft. Benning, Ga. for O.C.S. (Officer Candidate

School).  It made little difference if his major was Ornithology or Flower

Propagation - - -  he often ended up leading men into battle.  This of course

created more problems later on.


Just to shorten this segment, the intensive 13-week training cycle prepared

you to kill, to avoid being killed, to obey orders and act as a fighting unit

without question, and have a command in the use of armaments.   Most

inductees lost about 15 lbs. after the first 21-mile hikes carrying a 60-lb

back pack and an 8-lb, rifle.  A few men, who led very sheltered lives

couldn't adjust and had to be mustered out with a medical discharge.  Most

survived.    Basic Training was an eye-opener to the tapestry of America's

residence and culture.


© Wally Nadel 2007

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