Seq Dates Itinerary
1 Oct 20, 1942 Recruiting Office, Palestine, TX
2 Night of Oct 20-21, 1942 Train from Palestine to Houston
3 Oct 21, 1942 Physical exam and induction at old City Hall in Houston
4 Night of Oct 21-22, 1942 Train from Houston to San Antonio and Fort Sam Houston
5 Oct 22-24, 1942 Fort Sam Houston induction station
6 October 25-28, 1942 Train to Army Air Corps Classification Center at Kearns, UT. Via El Paso, TX; Phoenix, AZ; San Bernardino, CA; Las Vegas, NV; and Salt Lake City. Kearns is approximately 17 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.
7 Oct 28 - Nov 12, 1942 Classification tests and assignment to radio school at Kearns, UT
8 Nov 12-15, 1942 Train to Sioux Falls, SD. Via Grand Junction and Pueblo, CO; Wichita and Topeka, KS; Kansas City and St. Joseph, MO; Omaha, NE; Sioux City, IA; and Sioux Falls, SD.
9 Nov 15, 1942 to
April 16, 1943
Army Air Corps Technical School, Sioux Falls, SD. Barracks #935. 606th Technical School Squadron. Graduated as a Radio Operator and Mechanic.
10 April 16-19, 1943 Train to Savannah, GA. Via Spencer, Waterloo and Dubuque, IA; Rockford and Chicago, IL; Lafayette and Indianapolis, IN; Cincinnati, OH; Lexington, KY; Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN; Atlanta, Macon and Savannah, GA.
11 April 19, 1943 Assignment to new type of unit, 89th Airdrome Squadron at Hunter Field, GA, located near Savannah, GA.
12 July 1-14, 1943 Furlough home.
TRIP HOME: Train via Savannah, Macon and Columbus, GA; Montgomery and Mobile, AL; Biloxi and Gulfport, MS; New Orleans, Lafayette and Lake Charles, LA; Beaumont, Houston and Palestine, TX.
RETURN TRIP: Train via Palestine, Houston, and Beaumont, TX; Lake Charles, Lafayette and New Orleans, LA; Gulfport and Biloxi, MS; Mobile and Dothan, AL; Waycross and Savannah, GA.
13 Aug 15-16, 1943 Second Army Manuevers in Lebanon, TN. Train from Savannah via Atlanta, GA; Chattanooga and Nashville, TN.
14 Sept 20 - Nov 2, 1943 Detached service as Radio Operator of a B-25 bomber crew of five at Camp Campbell, KY
15 Nov 5-6, 1943 Return by train to Hunter Field, Savannah, GA to prepare for overseas shipment
16 Dec 7, 1943 Departed Hunter Field, GA by train for Camp Patrick Henry, VA Embarcation Center. Via Florence, SC, Raleigh, NC and Richmond, VA.
17 Dec 13, 1943 Departed Camp Patrick Henry by train for Newport News, VA.
18 Dec 13, 1943 Loaded in Liberty Ship William Mulholland to proceed as part of a huge convoy across the Atlantic destined for Oran, Algeria, North Africa. Engine trouble 500 miles out was finally repaired without leaving the convoy. Escort was small aircraft carrier and a dozen destroyers and corvettes. Was terribly seasick!
19 Jan 3, 1944 Passed throught the Strait of Gibraltar and landed at Oran
20 Jan 3-18, 1944 Bivouaced fifteen miles out of Oran adjacent to St. Cloud where 1st Infantry had stiff resistance from the French forces.
21 Jan 18-21, 1944 Train trip from Oran to Algiers in French "Forty and Eight" boxcars
22 Jan 24, 1944 Loaded on old Dutch luxury liner Johann DeWitt (converted by the British to a troop ship)
23 Jan 25-29, 1944 Convoy of three transports protected by six Canadian corvettes and one heavy cruiser and barrage balloons sailed past Pantellaria (small island off Tunisia) and Crete (where German air forces were still active). I spent four days in sick bay - almost had pneumonia. Experienced terrible stormy seas for two days which probably kept German planes on Crete grounded.
24 Jan 30-31, 1944 Passed through the Suez Canal. Anchored in Great Bitters Lake for one night.
25 Feb 1-6 Passed through the Red Sea and arrived in Aden on Feb 6 and refueled there. Could see the Twelve Apostle Islands from a distance.
26 Feb 7-13 Another convoy from Aden for the journey across the Arabian Sea to Bombay, India where we arrived at the reknowned "Gateway to India" Feb 13.
26a Feb 14-27 Was quartered in the British containment area of Bombay awaiting further orders.
27 Feb 27 - Mar 3, 1944 Train from Bombay to Karachi. Passed through Baroda, Agra, Delhi, Hyderabad, and arrived in Karachi March 3
27a Mar 3-16, 1944 Quartered at Camp Malir, approx. 10 miles in the desert. This was the training camp for Gen. Montgomery's British Eighth Army. Here at this time our squadron was dissolved and split up among the Air Transport Command bases in India, China and Burma. Lost contact with many friends!
28 Mar 16-17, 1944 Flew by DC-3 from Karachi to Lalmanir Hat (Lal Hat). Assigned to India-China Division, Air Transport Command.
29 1944-1945 Attended two weeks ground refresher school with emphasis on voice communication. Upon completion was assigned regular flight status as radio operator on regular flights we called "Going Around the Horn." We flew empty DC-3's or C-46's to Calcutta and Barakpur (just outside of Calcutta) where freight or passengers were picked up and flown northeast over the North Burma Hills to the so-called Hump Stations in the upper Assam Valley of the Brahmaputra River. From these stations, larger planes (C-54's and converted B-24's completed the delivery to China over "the Hump".
30 Oct 1-15, 1944 Rest leave to Calcutta. Visited Jain Temple, Victoria Memorial, Nimtalla burning ghats, Black Hole of Calcutta, New Market Sealdah and Hourah Railway Station, Fort Williams, Eden Gardens, Kali Temple, Maidan Nokhoda Mosque. Quartered in a hotel on Dalhousie across from the Government House.
31 Jun 2-16, 1945 Rest leave to Puri, Bangalore and Madras. Saw Goudt(?) Museum, National Art Gallery, Senate House, Chepauk Palace, Fort St. George and Mylapore Temple in Madras. Quartered at the Maharaja's Palace in Puri. Some place!
32 Sept 1945 The Palace of the Maharaja of Cooch Bihar was visited following GI train ride from Rangpur.
33 Oct 1945 Three day layover for aircraft maintenance at Agra. Visited the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.
34 Nov 15, 1945 Assigned to 1304 AAF Base Unit ATC. APO 492 Barrackpore.
35 Nov 28, 1945 Orders to go home.
36 Dec 1, 1945 Arrived Karachi replacement depot, Camp Malir.
37 Jan 5, 1946 Loaded on Navy Transport USS General A.W. Greeley at port of Karachi.
38 . Sailed through Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to Singapore.
39 . Stopped for several hours in Singapore to refuel.
40 . Sailed past Leyte, Iwo Jima, Malaysia, Indonesia, then to Seattle.
41 Feb 2, 1946 Arrived at Seattle, WA (Saturday afternoon 3 PM)
42 . Rode in trucks (moving vans) to Fort Lawton.
43 . Spent one day at Fort Lawton.
44 Feb 3, 1946 Train left Fort Lawton (Sunday afternoon 4:30 PM).
44a . Rode train through Portland and Baker, OR; Pocatello, ID; Cheyenne, WY; Denver, CO; Dalhart, TX; Tucumcari, NM; to Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX.
45 Feb 9, 1946 Left El Paso on Sunset Limited. Via San Antonio, Austin, then to Palestine.
46 Feb 10, 1946 Arrived in Palestine at 4:30 AM. Ate breakfast at Texan Hotel.
47 . Rode taxi driven by Norman Vickery's uncle out to the Rock House.

Back to Ben Thompson Page

Back to the Thompsonian Institution