13: The Army Air Corps Pre-flight School

Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama
July-August, 1943

Maxwell Field was hot, muggy and miserable. We were told that it was supposed to be that way. The idea, they said, was that no matter how tough things got later on, we could always say that Maxwell Field was worse. I am certain that we attended classes on airplanes, but these are long forgotten. The other stuff remains in my mind.

We new arrivals were “lower-classmen”, which meant that we were in for hazing by the “upper-classmen”. They were three weeks ahead of us in the training, but there was a world of difference. Their purpose was to make our life a living Hell, and they did a good job. Whenever we were not in class, they were on us, like a pack of wolves. We ran all kinds of crazy errands, never stopped doing push-ups, cleaned their shoes, and stood at attention (“Brace yourself!”) endlessly. (Of course, when they were graduated, we became the upper-class, and passed on to the new boys that which we had learned- in spades.)

(more…)

Published in: on July 13, 2006 at 3:21 pm  Comments Off on 13: The Army Air Corps Pre-flight School