Interview With George A. Sahly

From the interview with George A. Sahly of Eugene, OR conducted by John Croghan by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on June 22, 2004. Mr. Sahly served in the US Army 369th Engineer Amphibious Support Regiment Shore Battalion  at Fort Flagler, WA and Camp Desert Rock, NV from 1951 to 1953.   At Desert Rock, he was in charge of the camp post office. Here he describes some experiences and characters at Desert Rock:

“The major wanted us to put on Class B uniforms, the temperature was running 110 to 115.  It was hot enough to fry eggs on the hood of a jeep.  One of the cooks went out and cracked two eggs and they cooked!  Class B uniforms were a wool shirt and wool pants with a necktie.  That goofy sucker went strutting down between the tents and headquarters company with his Class B uniform on and everybody laughed.  Nobody did it.  He swore he was going to court martial us all but we stuck together and nobody wore them.  We had a one star General who was in charge of Desert Rock, and we had a Sergeant who didn’t have room for the hash marks that were running up and down his arm, he’d been in the Army well over 30 years.  The Sergeant came into the post office to get his mail, and the General came in behind him and started saluting him.  The General said ‘If you don’t salute me or my jeep, I’ll never forget this as long as I live.’  The Sergeant turned around and looked at him and said,  ‘General, I’ve been on this base 15 minutes and I’ve saluted you and that God damn jeep 13 times and if I’m here another 30 years, I’ll never salute you again.’  He turned around and walked out.  At that time, we were on Class B rations, that tinny beef and Spam.  The Sergeant was in Supply.  He came in the mess hall and went through to get his meal and asked the cook, ‘Why are you serving this stuff?  We’re supposed to be on Class A rations.’  The cook replied that we hadn’t received any Class A rations.  The Sergeant said, ‘You will tomorrow.’ He proceeded out the tent and over to the General’s.  You could hear him because he talked so loud. He said, ‘General, what are you eating?  Will you eat this crap?’  The General said no.  The Sergeant said, ‘We’re not either.  We’ll have Class A rations tomorrow.’  And we did.”

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