LOUIS CLIFFORD MANCILL HISTORY POST #9

I WOULD LISTEN TO THE GRAND-OLD-OPERA ON THE RADIO TO LEARN THE SONGS AND HOW THE MUSIC WENT AND SOON I WAS PLAYING THEM MYSELF. I WORKED THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER OF 1944 AND QUIT AND WAS CALLED UP TO THE ARMY. I WENT TO CAMP BLANDING, FLORIDA, FOR BASIC TRAINING. WHILE I WAS THERE, MOTHER AND DADDY CAME TO SEE ME AND BROUGHT SOME FRIED CHICKEN. THEY STAYED FOR THE WEEKEND IT WAS HARD TO SEE THEM GO BACK HOME . I WAS SO HOMESICK. AFTER TRAINING FOR SIX WEEKS I WAS SENT HOME FOR A FEW DAYS AND THEN INTO THE WAR IN GERMANY IN EARLY SPRING OF 1945. IT WAS COLD AND I REMEMBER TRYING TO STAY WARM WITH THE WOOL CLOTHING WE HAD. WE WASHED IT WITH GAS IN OUR STEEL HELMETS. YOU COULDN’T USE WATER BECAUSE THEY WOULD FREEZE BEFORE THEY WOULD DRY. I REMEMBER TRYING TO TAKE A BATH IN A SMALL CREEK AND YOUR LEGS WERE BLUE WHEN YOU GOT OUT. FRANCE AND GERMANY WERE SURE BLOWN APART, AND TREES WITH NO LIMBS ON THEM. HOUSES AND BUILDINGS YOU COULD SEE THROUGH WITH NOT MUCH LEFT. I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 13TH ARMORED DIVISION AND IT WAS UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERAL PATTON WHO WAS COMMANDER OVER ALL ARMORED DIVISION. I WAS IN AN ARMORED COMPANY AS A  RIFLEMAN WITH SNIPER RIFLE WITH A SCOPE ON IT. WE DID A LOT OF PATROLLING AND THE WAR WITH GERMANY ENDED IN THE SPRING OF 1945 AND I WAS SHIPPED BACK TO THE STATES AND HOME ON A THIRTY DAY LEAVE AND THEN OUT TO CAMP COOK, CALIFORNIA FOR TRAINING FOR THE LANDING ON JAPAN. I FOUND OUT IT WAS SET FOR THE 2 OF NOV. WHICH WAS MY BIRTHDAY. WE WERE WAITING TO BE SHIPPED OUT WHEN THE WAR WITH JAPAN ENDED. I THANK GOD.

WHILE I WAS AT CAMP COOK I MET A GIRL NAMED ROZELLA ZIMPRICH, WHICH WAS ON A BUS WITH ME GOING BACK TO THE BASE. WE TALKED A LOT ABOUT HOME AND OUR FAMILY. SHE WAS A NURSE AT THE HOSPITAL ON THE BASE. SHE WAS A LIEUTENANT IN THE ARMY. WE STARTED DATING AND SPENDING A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER WHEN WE WERE OFF DUTY, MOST OF IT ON THE BASE. ABOUT A MONTH AFTER WE MET I WAS SENT TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS. WE WROTE LETTERS TO EACH OTHER, SHE WAS DISCHARGED AND WENT HOME. SHE LIVED IN SHARON, NORTH DAKOTA WITH HER FATHER AND MOTHER. THEY OWNED A FARM ABOUT FIVE MILES FROM SHARON. SHE WAS THE OLDEST OF SIX CHILDREN, TWO BOYS AND FOUR GIRLS.

English: photo of Darnall Hospital, Fort Hood, TX

First Calvalry Div. U.S. Army, Fort Hood TX

IN 1945, WHILE I WAS AT FORT HOOD, THERE WAS AN OPENING FOR A COOK, SO I WAS SENT TO FORT BAKER,  AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA TO COOK AND BAKER SCHOOL FOR TWO MONTHS. THEN I WENT BACK TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS TO JOIN MY OUTFIT AND I COOKED FOR MY COMPANY. WHAT A WAY TO LIVE WHILE IN THE ARMY. NO MORE FOX HOLES TO DIG, NO DIRT TO EAT AND NO MORE 20 MILES TO MARCH AND BEST OF ALL I GOT ALL I COULD EAT.

Pvt. Louis Clifford Mancill in the U.S. Army, World War II.

I WAS THERE ANOTHER EIGHT MONTHS THEN I WAS DISCHARGED. I WENT HOME TO MOBILE ON ARLINGTON STREET FOR A MONTH, THEN I WENT TO NORTH DAKOTA TO SEE THE GIRL AND STAYED WITH HER MOTHER AND FATHER.  WHILE I WAS THERE I WORKED FOR THEM ON THEIR FARM. THEY PUT ME TO WORK HELPING TO HARVEST WHEAT, RICE, CORN AND CUT MILO TO PUT IN THE SILO.TO FEED TO THEIR COWS IN THE WINTER. THEY GAVE ME TWENTY DOLLARS A WEEK AND ROOM AND BOARD. THEY HAD A BARN THAT NEEDED A CEDAR SHINGLE ROOF PUT ON. IT WAS TWO STORIES HIGH AND ONE SIDE HAD 150 ROWS ON IT AND THE OTHER HAD 100 ROWS. THEY WERE EIGHTY FEET LONG. WE PUT THE SHINGLES IN A POND OVER NIGHT AND TOOK THEM UP A LADDER TO THE ROOF AND NAILED THEM ON. DID MOST OF THE WORK MYSELF.

ROZELLA AND I WERE TOGETHER A LOT.  SHE WORKED IN SHARON AT THE HOSPITAL AND ROOMED THERE TILL THE WEEK END. HER FATHER LET ME DRIVE HIS MODEL-A FORD COUPE TO SHARON SOME NIGHTS TO SEE HER. SHE CAME HOME ON WEEK ENDS AND WE WOULD GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER. WE HAD A LOT OF GOOD TIMES TOGETHER AND WENT TO THE SHOWS IN FANGO. I WAS THERE ABOUT THREE MONTHS THROUGH THE WINTER OF 1947 AND THEN WE CAME TO MOBILE TOGETHER ON A TRAIN ABOUT FEBRUARY OF 1948.

DADDY HAD BOUGHT A PLACE ABOUT 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF DOG RIVER AND JUST OFF DOG RIVER ROAD ON THE MOBILE BAY WHILE I WAS IN THE ARMY. IT WAS 300 FEET WIDE ON THE BAY FRONT AND 1000 FEET DEEP. IT HAD A HOUSE 100 FEET FROM THE WATER AND IT NEEDED REPAIR BEFORE MOVING INTO IT. WHILE I WAS IN NORTH DAKOTA. HE HAD WORKED ON IT AND HAD IT FIXED UP NICE WHEN ROZELLA AND I GOT HOME. I GOT A JOB AT THE CHICKASAW SHIPYARD WORKING AS AN ELECTRICIAN. REBUILDING LIBERTY SHIPS THAT WERE USED IN THE WAR.

WE TALKED ABOUT GETTING MARRIED, BUT WE BOTH COULD SEE IT WOULD NOT WORK OUT BECAUSE OF THE CHURCH DIFFERENCE. WE TRIED TO SEE EACH OTHERS SIDE. I WOULD HAVE TO SIGN OVER ANY CHILDREN TO THE CHURCH WITH NO SAY ABOUT HOW THEY WERE TAUGHT OR RAISED.

SHE WAS WITH US FOR TWO MONTHS AND SHE WENT BACK HOME. WE WROTE TO EACH OTHER FOR A MONTH AND SHE WROTE ME  A DEAR JOHN LETTER SAYING SHE WAS GETTING MARRIED. I GUESS I KNEW IT WAS COMING BUT THAT DIDN’T HELP ANY. I WAS HURT, HEART BROKEN AND LONESOME. OUR LOVE WAS STRONG AND DEEP FOR EACH OTHER AND I MISSED HER VERY MUCH. I WAS LOST BUT I KNEW I HAD TO GO ON WITH MY LIFE. I WORKED HARD AT MY JOB IN THE SHIPYARD WITH ALL THE OVER TIME I COULD GET. ONLY TIME COULD SLOW THE FEELING AND HURT.

MY THREE YOUNGER BROTHERS, GERALD, BILL, GLENN AND I WORKED TO FILL IN THE BAD ROAD GOING INTO DADDY’S PLACE ON THE BAY WITH ANYTHING WE COULD HAUL IN. WE GOT BALLAST BLOCKS FROM THE SHIPYARD WERE I WORKED WITH A U-RENT TRUCK, SAND AND DIRT AND OLD CEMENT. WE DID GET IT FILLED UP SO WE WOULD NOT GET STUCK COMING INTO WHERE THE HOUSE AND YARD WERE. I DID ANYTHING TO KEEP ME BUSY AND MY MIND OFF MY TROUBLES. I PLAYED MY GUITAR AND THAT HELPED SOME.

JOHN AND I PUT A BAND TOGETHER AND BOOKED SCHOOLS FOR SHOWS AND MUSIC WE PUT ON. WE WERE ON THE RADIO STATION W.M.O.B. MOBILE FOR ABOUT SIX WEEKS. IT DIDN’T WORK OUT BECAUSE OF THE UNION. WE JOINED IT, BUT DIDN’T HAVE A SPONSOR. WE BROKE UP AND TWO OTHER BOYS AND I WENT TO HOUSTON, TEXAS AND THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT EITHER. WE PLAYED IN BARS AND DANCE HALLS BUT DIDN’T MAKE ENOUGH TO PAY OUR OWN WAY. WE HEADED BACK TO MOBILE AFTER SIX WEEKS, BROKE AND HUNGRY. WE HAD 15 FLATS ON THE WAY. I NEVER FIXED SO MANY FLATS AND PUMPED THEM UP WITH A HAND PUMP,IN MY LIFE. WE BROKE UP WHEN WE GOT BACK TO MOBILE. I FOUND ANOTHER JOB FOR A WHILE, BUT I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT I WAS DOING.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s