Remembrances: Linden Seamons--ASTP at Loyola University Los Angeles

In 1941, after high school graduation, I enrolled at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. In my sophomore year, November 1942, I joined the Enlisted Reserve Corp, through the ROTC program. Then on April 5,1943 the call to active duty was enacted and I became a basic trainee at Camp Callan near San Diego, California. After completing the thirteen-week training, I was assigned to Pasadena Junior College and later moved across the city to Loyola University at Los Angeles for ASTP courses. This was an engineering related agenda and after approximately nine months this program was discontinued and so I was, along with many others, moved to Hunter Liggett Military Reservation for training in the 89th Light Infantry Division.

The shock of leaving university life with beds then sleeping on the ground in a wet sleeping bag after walking day and spending nights in the mountains was a real test and a wake-up call to Army life. After the 89th was reorganized to be a regular triangle division and moved to Camp Butner, North Carolina I was trained as a switchboard operator in B Battery 340th F.A. This was all for preparation for overseas duty to Europe. The journey began late December 1944: first to Boston, Massachusetts, then via the boat ride to LeHarve, France; enduring the cold ride to Lucky Strike; and finally enduring the unprepared accommodations.

The combat encounters, which we participated in, weren't pleasant, but we were thankful that they were short. The experiences will never be forgotten, especially the Rhine crossing and the Ohrdruf viewing.

After VE day and the locating of the division to Camp 20 Grand in Northern France, the processing of troops was carried out for their return to the States, I had a leave to London, England enjoyed it with a Marty Martinez and Rolan Coreia. During this visit to London the war in the Pacific ended. The three of us joined in celebrating the war's end by leading, with other GIs and native Londoners, a parade in Piccadilly Circus and were fortunate enough to have a picture of this published in nationally produced magazines like Newsweek and Life...our fifteen minutes of fame. Occupation duty, due to having too few points, was with the 83rd division in Austria riding the boxcars to reach Ebensee Lake Gmunden area and assigned to guarding SS prisoners. Later, I went to Ranhofen to guard an aluminum factory. This was close to Branau, Hitler's birthplace, so I had the experience of seeing and visiting his home and surroundings.

In March 1945,1 began my journey homeward by rail to Bremerhaven, Germany. Another boat ride to New York, I arrived April 1, 1945. After Camp Kilmer and some good food, another train ride to Salt Lake City for release from military service at Fort Douglas on April 8, 1946. This was three years and three days after induction.

The years after discharge have seen many changes: first, by reuniting with my wife who I married while I was stationed at Camp Butner; then a family of four girls; and now as of this date, fifteen-grandchildren and ten-great-grandchildren.