We decided that while we were there we would walk up to Mt. Carmel. There was a restaurant up there and we just went up there to see what was going on. We started walking up there and then we heard some police whistles. I'm sure they weren't whistling at us, but we took off and went back down to the ship. After another day or two the repairs were finished and we headed for Helippolis, a Port a few miles from Cairo. We landed there and waited awhile and some Military Police cam aboard. I assumed that they paid the Captain for our passage. They took charge of us and took us into MP Headquarters and stayed there a while. They made a phone call or two and then took us into Cairo. We were running around in civilian clothes and ran into some of the other fellas that were on R&R. I saw Colonel Kendricks. He was a medic (head of our medics) when we went overseas. He said, "Cave you don't look too good." I said, "well, I don't feel too good." I told Kendricks that I needed some money and could he direct me to the Finance Office.
I went to the Finance Office and told them I wanted some back pay. So they said okay. They said we got a thing on you here that you owe $117 for money that you were short when you were in Turkey. I said, "my god---well go ahead and take it out of what I've got coming and that will take care of that", and so they did. When I ran into Colonel Kendricks again I told him, "Damned if I can figure this out, they charged me $117 for what I was supposed to be short in that money they took off me in Turkey." He said, "well, I don't think they can do that----go back in there and get your money back." So I went back to Finance and said I want my money back. He said well all right and he gave it to me. That situation followed me every place I went after that and finally when I got out at Scott Field, Illinois after the war was over, they made me pay the $117 before I could be discharged. I still smart every time I think about it.
I was at Shepherd Hotel there in Cairo when Colonel Kendricks decided I better get back to the States. I have enclosed another piece of paper here-passage and transportation record that they gave me in Cairo, April 1943, to be flown by Air Transport from Cairo to Miami.
I arrived at Miami with Major Williger that also had been sent home on March 28, 1943, and we went to Palm Beach, Florida to the Breakers Hotel, which they had converted into a hospital. That's where we went to recoup and after that I then joined the Office of Flying Safety First Air Force with station at Maxwell Field. I had the whole Southeast part of the U.S. to investigate aircraft accidents. Man were those cadets keeping me busy. Flew out of Maxwell five days a week and made out reports on the weekend.
I was at the Breakers for about two months and finally got released and from then on it was hither and yonder. Another thing I wanted to mention was that my Tail Gunner, Story, had his 19th birthday in Turkey. I wanted to share some of the background on how we were ill prepared to take on such a momentous task with so little instrument time logged.
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