There were only radios when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. Nonetheless, everyone was informed about it all across the United States and were talking about it.
I decided to enlist in the Navy so I pre-registered into the Navy in June of 1942, because I did not like the idea of carrying a pack. I was helping to thresh grain at Arnold’s in September of 1942. The Navy Recruiting Officer picked me up off the stack of grain and we passed by my house to pick up my suitcase that I already had packed. He drove me to Salt Lake City, Utah and put me up in a hotel that the Navy paid my bill. The next morning, the Navy Recruiter took me for a physical. When they check me, the Navy’s doctor found that there was wax in my ear and said I would have to see a private doctor to have it removed. When I told the Navy Recruiter, he said, “You don’t have to go to a doctor. They can wash it out.” He sent me back in for them to wash it out. A couple of Pharmacist Mates washed it out. I signed the papers to join the Navy right after the wax was washed out of my ear.
The next day, I boarded a train with nine other enlisted men for Farragut Naval Training Station on the Southern end of Lake Pend Oreille in Farragut, Idaho in Northern Idaho. It took the train three days to get there because the train kept getting side-tracked so that other regular trains could pass. We did not arrive until 9:00 P.M. at night. So they took us to the supply building and issued our clothes then took us to the barracks. It was late. The Commanding Officer asked if we had our bunk numbers and we said no. So he said, “Grab the closest bunk and we will straighten this out tomorrow.” A guy by the name of Day was standing next to me and he said, “You take the top bunk and I can have the bottom one.”
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