ASTP Personal Stories

Raymond Kitchell: Response to Tonya (added 9/03)

Ray's letter to Tonya after the Tour of Remembrance. Ray focuses on the ASTP and the 89th.

Gerry Stearns and Raymond Kitchell: Experiences at Shrivenham(added 8/03)

After the war. an American University was temporarily set up in Shrivenham, England. It operated at the undergraduate level and offer courses in most major fields. A second American University was established in Biarritz, France. For many, this was a unique opportunity while waiting for discharge. The teaching staff was recruited/contracted from universities in the States or available within the ranks in the ETO. The experiences of two soldiers are described.

Phil Leveque: Hitler Youth vs ASTP and AF (added 3/03)

Any Dogface who fought in Germany during WWII ran into Hitler Youth Soldiers. They were fanatic monsters. Very few were as old as 20 years and most were 17 or 18, although many of them were as young as 12 years. They could be accepted as Jungfolk (young folk) before they were 10 years old.

Warren Heyer: Another ASTP Story (added 3/03)

A draftee in early 1943, 1 was sent to Camp Haan, near Riverside, CA. After a very short six-week basic training, I was assigned to the crew bakery, loading and removing bread from the ovens.

Morgan I Doyne: ASTPR (Reserve) (added 4/02)

Over the years I have read with interest the histories of those who came to the 89th division more or less directly from ASTP. However, I have no recollection of reading about those who came to the 89th via ASTRP. Could I have been the only one?

Phillip Leveque--ASTP: Alchemy For a Foxhole (added 3/02)

Hitler and Goebbels drilled into their troops that American soldiers were former store clerks or criminals who had been let out of prison to go into the Army. Particularly good, successful soldiers were called "Roosevelt's butchers". The soldiers who were called this were immensely proud of the appellation, which in their own minds meant that they were "real" soldiers and finally had "arrived". The Germans were good and they recognized a worthy enemy.

Phillip Leveque--ASTP: The Armys Waste of Manpower (added 3/02)

When ASTP was discontinued, two out of three ASTP were sent infantry or a fighting branch. This is a brief story of their experiences.

Linden Seamons--ASTP at Loyola University (added 1/02)

Like many 89ers, Seamons goes from the ASTP to the Infantry.

Radcliffe Peterson--Wake Up Call (added 1/02)

A much needed story about a replacement from the Eighth Air Force.

Jack E. Beecher

I joined (involuntarily, I must say) the Army in April of 1943 when I left my home in Ft. Madison, IA and traveled to Camp Dodge, IA where all Iowa inductees were sent. From there I had a long train ride to Camp Callan, CA. This camp no longer exists, but then it was located just north of San Diego on the Pacific coast.

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Eugene M. Ferguson

I enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in Windom, MN. The unit was Company G of the 215th Coast Artillery and was scheduled to be activated on January 6, 1941. I signed up in Sept. but was not required to attend until Jan 6th. I turned 21 July 3, 1940 so I knew that I would be draft bait if I didn't enlist in the service prior to being drafted.

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David B. Kirby

My home, when I went into the service, was in Ross, California, a suburb of San Francisco. In 1942, after graduating from high school, I enlisted in the ERC (Enlisted Reserve Corps). I can't recall whether this qualified me for entry into the ASTP, but in any event, I was able to complete one year of college before being called to active service in the Army.

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Raymond E. Kitchell

I was with the 775th Tank Destroyer Bn. when we had just come off desert maneuvers and were transferred to Camp Cook, California, in mid-1943. We were issued new tanks (a marked improvement over the death traps used in North Africa) and commenced training with them. During this period I saw the announcement (in the Stars and Stripes, I think) re ASTP applications.

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Read the Memoirs of Raymond E. Kitchell During World War II

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Read Memoirs (missing some photos)

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Howard "Toby" Louis

They selected me for Army Specialized Training at Stanford University where I was to receive a crash course in Chinese in preparation for serving in China-Burma-India theater. I already had studied Mandarin for two years at UC Berkeley and had spent 1932-33 in China. In addition, our family spoke Cantonese.

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Clair P. Lyons

I was inducted into the Army on March 24, 1943 and received basic training in the Cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas. On completion of basic training, I was told about the ASTP program, and due to my AGCT score of 138 I was being sent to the University of Wyoming for testing and assignment to a college for further training. I had never heard of the ASTP before and was not given any choice, but it sounded like a pretty good deal to me

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C. Harold Mathews

And now for your, "for the record" information about my ASTP experiences. I first began to hear about ASTP through rumors in mid-May, 43 when I was in the 10th week of my 13-week infantry basic training at Camp Roberts, California. And it became more than a rumor, in fact, it turned into an involuntary program when I, along with about a half dozen others from my training company were ordered to report for an interview.

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George P. Pusey

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, IÕm thinking how each of our lives was not in the hands of the Gods, but controlled by decision makers we never knew!

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E. C. Quick

My ASTP story began in Pittsburgh, PA, where I was enrolled as a freshman-engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt had a Coast Artillery ROTC program, which I joined, and on the advice of the CO, a number of us in the program also signed up in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. He said that this would keep us from being drafted until we had finished school.

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Gus N. Scourkes

Here is my story as a former ASTP soldier: I was drafted Jan. 1943 (Limited Service because of my eyes). Completed Basic training at Presidio of Monterey/Fort Ord. and was assigned to MP's at Fort Winfield Scott/Presidio of San Francisco. I passed the ASTP entrance exam in the fall of 1943, was sent to Stanford University in the Spring of 1944 and then to Los Angeles City College 2 months later.

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Rulan Woodbury

I was attending Utah State University and joined ERC on November 18, 1942. On April 5, 1943 we were called to active duty. I was sent to Camp Callan in California for Basic Training. While there I completed the Radio School. A number of us were selected to attend the ASTP at Loyola University at Los Angeles in the summer of 1943.

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Wallace H. Yentes

I graduated from high school in the small town of Andrews, Indiana in May 1942. Although I had a scholarship to attend Ball State Teachers College (now Ball State University) that fall, I did not enroll because I knew I would receive a "draft" notice very soon. That greeting came in a few months and on my 19th birthday I was on a train to Fort Lewis, Washington February 25, 1943.

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