Classification and Preflight Training

San Antonio, Texas, January – March 1943

During 3 months of Preflight Training at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas and 2 months of Primary Flight Training at Cimmaron Field in Oklahoma City, I was part of a whole group of men whose last names started with the letter “P” including buddies Richard R. Plant from Long Island, Gene Petrocelli and Steve Podgorsky.

Dick Plant and Myself

Richard was my best friend through this important part of my life.

This time was comparable to the hazing at military schools in order to prepare the airmen to cope with unusual and stressful situations. Yes, it’s like today: run everywhere and I mean everywhere, sit on the edge of your chair and eat a square meal, yes sir no sir, and follow orders unquestionably. However, I felt special since this was the beginning of becoming an officer and I no longer had to do KP duty.

In many ways they just wanted you to follow orders even if not correct. I don’t remember disobeying orders but Don Shannon has recently reminded me of “bending” orders.