World War II in the Aleutians - Shemya (APO 729)
January 26, 1943 to January 27, 1946
1. Recap of Army Facilities
7. My Outfit
8. My Buddies
When a group of fellows spend a couple of years in close proximity,
there are certain things one remembers, even after 64 years; especially
those who lived in the same tent or quonset hut. I've forgotten some
first or last names --- and in some cases --- their complete names.
Here are a few who are still strongly in my memory:
Ervin Herbrand - single - company carpenter -
Ervin was a carpenter in civilian life, had a great sense of humor, was
always with a smile - even when we took advantage of his good nature.
Joseph Fusco - single - equipment maintenance - N.Y.
Joe was engaged to his childhood girlfriend, planned to get married when
he returned home. His future father-in-law, who owned a small lamp
manufacturing company, made sure that he had a good job waiting for
Robert Forney - single - machine operator -
worked in the coal mines. During an alert (a Japanese fleet headed north)
three of us took off in a 1 1/2 ton dump truck (Forney driving), to Ordinance,
where we loaded up on munitions, ammo., grenades, morter shells,
etc. In the excitement, we didn't gas up. Nearing the crest of a long tall hill,
the truck conked out. I remember Bob hanging out of the drivers side,
guiding the truck backward down that steep hill. He kept his cool. I don't
think we did! This type of alert was not uncommon since the Japanese
often Zig-Zagged across the Pacific on their way to the South Pacific.
David Perline - married - N.Y. - A furrier?
Very sensitive, a bit of a worrier, concerned about his brother who was left-
leaning, vocal, and could get into trouble because of the mood of the
country at that time. Dave must have been telepathic. He heard that our
affordable after they conquered the world. It turned out to be the V.W.
Frank F. Fernandez - single -
Frankie was our Rigger - - - He would work with various tools, including
hugh vises, welding equipment, splicing devices to create iron crane cables
as well as rope for tying vessels to the dock. One day, he created a complex
rig designed to lift a 10-ton piece of equipment. The whole outfit was on the
dock to see this masterpiece work. It did, followed by applause.
Frank never went to the P.X. for candy or other luxuries. Instead, he saved
every penny to send home. His mother needed a set of teeth badly and
apparently there were no siblings to help out.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges I had. Frankies shoe size was EEEE.
Our Island Quartermaster was no help, the Alaskan Headquarters Q.M.,
was no help. During the better part of a year, he slogged around on over-
sized galoshes. After six letters to various Q.M depots, three signed by
our C.O., two pair arrived - - - from who knows where!
I feel compelled to mention a few others in our outfit who spent their early
twenties on this windswept
Clifford Johnson Alcide Michaud
Charles Schenck Willard Johnson
Urban Altherr - - - - - Rinaldi
Wesley Heap Kurt Bohnsack
We all returned safely, and I hope to a happy and fulfilling life.
(top - left to right) Wally Nadel - Joe Fusco - Urban Altherr
(bottom - left to right) Sean Ferguson - Robert Forney - Ervin Herbrand
© Wally Nadel 2007
Dr. Will R. Eubank - Adak 1943 Map of Alaska