Thomas C. Badger - training

June 15 [1944] -left Boise late in the afternoon via train. Train was very dirty being a troop staple. Soot and dust just poured in the windows. Had no idea where we were going but felt it was in Kansas or Nebraska. When we finally arrived in Lincoln we were a very hot, sweaty and dirty bunch. Nebraska was quite a beautiful state with its rich green fields and greenness everywhere. Wyoming, rather picturesque especially small old towns in wild looking country.

June 17 - Lincoln Army Air Field - Huge field and many new silver B-24's. Taking off and landing constantly - 6 huge hangers with room for 2 or 3 B-24's. Field mainly tar paper buildings sort of gives me same impression as when I first came in army. All we did here was listen to lectures, go thru processing and have clothing checked. From our required clothing we figured it wouldn't be England. Was able to go to Lincoln several times. It was a very modern looking town and quite clean and quite large. Wasn't much to do except go to a show and we'd seen most of them. State capital very beautiful building.

While here Grady's folks came to visit him. They were very nice and so was his sister. They made me feel as if I was one of the family. While there also attended chapel whose chaplain was, Rev. Angus Dun Jr., son of the Bp. of Washington. I had communion.

Very little of interest happened in Lincoln. Food was quite good but you always had to wait in line for everything especially to phone. Bus service to town very poor.

After about 6 days we boarded a train for a P.O.E. on the east coast, Rolled out of Lincoln late in the afternoon. Iowa and Illinois very beautiful states, everything very green. Wonderful looking fields-rolling country with trees all around. Ohio quite prosperous looking. Most beautiful part of trip was thru Blue Ridge or rather Smoky Mountains of Virginia. Tracks along James River thru narrow valley in mountains. Treeless very beautiful. Many small interesting looking towns. Passed thru Richmond, Va. Quite a large and rather industrial looking town - very smoky and dirty looking -little colored kids follow train to run after pennies. About 4:00 in the afternoon we hit Camp Patrick Henry.

CAMP HENRY

Camp Henry built amid large pine forest - really beautiful setting. Food fair but always a big line here too. Camp huge - all branches represented - mainly Air Corps and Infantry. Boy is the infantry ever jealous of us, every time we march by, infantry yell- some get sore but to me it just shows how jealous they are. All buildings are tar paper shacks. Couldn't leave post. Several large theaters, 2 officers clubs terribly crowded - stand in line ~ hour for a malt. Also fights between fighter pilots and gunner crews. Nothing of importance accomplished here either. Lectures, sunglasses and watch issued. Had to censor mail of prisoners in stockade one day. What ignorance some of them showed, mainly colored troops. Attended chapel on Sunday and it did you good to see every service filled to overflowing. Catholic and Protestant. Singing was certainly good.

At last I begin to get the idea I was going overseas and leaving the country for a while.

At camp Italian prisoners have full run of camp and are given gravy jobs. Personally I don't like it, but such is the case. The Germans are quite well guarded and there are quite a few of them around. They march extremely well, but hardly look like supermen. They do repair and maintenance work around the camp. Many have their uniforms and seem to be mainly Air Corps.
While here we had to do all our own washing and even did some ironing. The last few days were a nightmare of packing and repacking. We were in the camp about 5 or 6 days.

The 2 Majors in charge of our movement were first class muddleheads and screwed up everything.

376 ARCHIVES

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Click here to go to their main website.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

2018 REUNION

DATES :  TBD

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: TBD

2018 reunion details


previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid


The Liberandos


Three Crawford Brothers


Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior


376th Bomb Group Mission History


The Last Liberator


Full Circle


Shadows of Wings


Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War


I Survived Ploesti


A Measure of Life


Shot Down In Yugoslavia


Stories of My Life


Attack


Born in Battle