A U.S. Naval Training Station was established at Farragut, Idaho to be far from possible coastal invasion and/or coastal bombings. Our company was on the bottom floor of our barracks in Camp Waldron (one of six Camps). Each camp had between 20 and 22 two-story barracks, drill field, a mess hall, recreation building, sick bay and dispensary, administration building, and a drill hall with a swimming pool (ours was not finished). In some areas/camps, not all of the barracks were finished. When I was there, a lot of building was still being done. After I left, they eventually finished even the hospital. Also, there were very few WAVES while I was there.
We arrived at Farragut Naval Training Station (Farragut NTS) at the beginning of October, 1942. The next morning after we arrived at Farragut Naval Training Station, they took two of us at a time to the Barber to get our hair cut. The young man that I went with had 2 inch long hair and he asked the Barber to give him a light trim. The Barber said, “O.K.” and then the Barber shaved a path from the front of his head over the top of his head and then down the back. After that, the Barber shaved the rest of his hair off. The Navy’s induction cut for new boot camp participants is a clipper cut with no guard (number 0) all over the head, leaving a short stubble-like finish. Also on the first day at Farragut NTS, we had to mark all of our clothes, etc. with the stencils that were given to us with our clothes, etc. the night before.
We marched in the morning and in the afternoon. We went to classes on Navy rules, regulations, and what was expected of us. This included classes on knot tying, how to pack clothes in a seabag, etc.
On liberty, I went to see my sister Ruby and her husband Weston Justice in Spokane, Washington. Weston was an instructor on airplane engine mechanics. Weston took me back to Farragut NTS.
The first four companies were graduated on November 26, 1942 and Ross Hall took the company group pictures. I belonged to Company 4, 11th Battalion, 3rd Regiment. After graduation, we were all given seven days of leave. I went home on the Greyhound Bus to help my parents with the dehorning and branding of the calves.
We were given aptitude tests before graduation. So the morning after I arrived in Farragut NTS from my leave, I was put on a train with two others for electrical school training at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. We were on the train for that day then the night and the following day. It was really cold on the train through Montana even with our Navy Peacoats on and the heat on all the way because it was the beginning of December 1942. We arrived into Minneapolis at 9:00 p.m. and we had a cold walk to the dormitory from the train station because the streetcars had stopped running.
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