George P. Pusey, E CO 354th

In the December issue of the Rolling W, you asked that those of the 89th who had been a part of the ASTP write of their experiences. Remembering those days now, I'm thinking how each of our lives was not in the hands of the Gods, but controlled by decision makers we never knew! I was one of many at the University of Illinois, in Champaign who had completed two years of ROTC, in a horse drawn field artillery unit. To enter a third year of "advanced ROTC", we enlisted in the enlisted reserve in Sept. 1942. In June of 1943, all of us in ROTC were called to active duty as enlisted men and our unit was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for basic training in a 105 mm howitzer unit. We were expected to follow this with entrance to OCS at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Apparently the program at Fort Sill was filled, so we were sent back to the U of I as ASTP, and reduced to PFC's. This was a rather short period, from November '43 to March '44, when we were sent to Fort Sill. After about three weeks at Fort Sill, we were sent to Fort Benning, GA for a fast basic training in the Infantry. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, we entered an OCS class in the Infantry school. It resulted in some of the finest "schooling" of my life! Many of us from the U of I, who completed OCS on Oct. 3, 1944, were assigned to the 89th Infantry Division at Camp Butner, NC. I became the platoon leader of the second platoon, E Company, 354th Regiment. The platoon sergeant, Bob Ross, who had been one of the Camp Carson originals, promptly told me that I was the sixth or seventh 2nd Lieutenant he had experienced! I have been very grateful for joining the 89th, and for having the experience of an enlisted man for half my military life. I was further fortunate in staying with the same platoon of fine men until V-E Day.

Following our return to Lucky Strike, V-J Day, and deactivation of the 89th, a number of us went to the 83rd Division in Bavaria and Austria. In August 1946, at Fort Sheridan, IL, I entered the reserve as Captain, until discharged a number of years later. Returned to U of I in September 1946 to complete a B. S. degree in Engineering, then to International Harvester Co., for 36 years of good experiences, including 8 years in Brazil, and 2 years in Spain. A happy life partnership of 55 years with my wife Lucille, and enjoying the great reunions of the 89th.