Interview With Herbert Herro

From the interview with Herbert Herro of Fond Du Lac, WI conducted by Clare Ledden by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on May 12, 2005. Mr. Herro served at Fort Worden in Company B of the Boat Battalion, 369th EASR from 1951 to 1953. Here he recounts how football came to the base:

“In the summer of ’52, I was umpiring a baseball game. Fort Worden was playing some Air Force base in Washington. While I was umpiring the game, there was a General from 5th Army headquarters at the Presidio in California at the game. After the game, he was so impressed with my umpiring he came to talk to me about it. We had quite a conversation, and he asked if we had a basketball or a football team at Fort Worden. I said they had a basketball team but didn’t have a football team. He asked how come no football team. I said I didn’t know, we didn’t have any equipment or anything. He said,’If you got the equipment, would you have a team?’

I said, ‘I would hope so.’ I enjoyed playing football quite a bit. I told him about my background in football. So, lo and behold, a couple of weeks later I got a call from the Special Services Officer. He called me over to his office and said, ‘Sergeant Herro, I heard you had a talk with the General from the Presidio. He was very disappointed we didn’t have a football team here. He’s allotting getting us some money for some equipment. So, we’ve got to have a football team this fall, and it is up to you to get the guys trying to play football. I’ll find the coaches someplace.

He did find the coaches–one from Port Townsend, one from Point Hudson, and two from Fort Flagler. We got 60 guys to sign up to play football. We only had equipment for about 35, so after the first week they had to cut some of the players. We started our team at Fort Flagler. The first couple of games we weren’t very good because the team hadn’t been playing together that long. By the end of the season we won our last four games, so we ended up with a four and four record.”

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