Interview With James Steltz

From the interview with James Steltz of Marysville, WA conducted by phone by Patience Rogge on February 19, 2008 from the Fort Worden History Center.  Mr. Steltz served in a military police detachment at Fort Worden from 1951 to 1953.  Here he describes his duties:

“I did gate guard, highway patrol, town patrol, everything connected with MPs, it was a pretty quiet situation at Fort Worden. We were kind of by ourselves.  When we got drafted most of us had quite a bit of age on us.  I was about 23 or 24 at the time, and so were the rest of the people in the MPs.  We soon got smart.  If there was trouble downtown, you took the long way around and when you got there there was nothing going on.  That’s the way it happened, because if you took somebody in and made a report, the next morning somebody at the office would have to call you and ask a bunch of stupid questions.  About once or twice like that and you got an entirely different perspective. We went over to Fort Flagler by ship.  It ran back and forth several times a day and even at night.  We had one guy at Flagler from Port Angeles who was a prince of a man, I mean he had a build like an Atlas.  He spent his entire time in jail.  He never went overseas. We’d march him to chow, breakfast, dinner and supper. We had a barracks right to the east of Alexander’s Castle.  It was an old temporary barracks that sat right up there on the cliff.  It blows and rains once in a while in Washington State, and it would rain right through the shiplap on the side of that building.  The barracks were all heated by coal and they usually had some individual who kept the furnace going.  The water was heated by going through the system of a boiler.  It was very primitive. “

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