Biographical Notes
Relating to
The Earl E. Myers Story

Chapter 5 — Learning On-The-Job

I worked at various jobs, one at the Ott and Mitchell Funeral Home, first mowing grass and shoveling snow. Then I helped on pick ups and ambulance calls. Later I was helping out in the operating room plus my other grass and snow jobs. I learned about people at the Funeral Home. Then I worked at the Forum Cafeteria, at 12th and Main in Kansas City, for almost two years, plus extra money working at the Funeral Home. I started out as a bus boy and worked myself through to apprentice fry cook. I then worked for Koch Refrigeration as a wood-worker helping to make commercial refrigerators. I worked there for one year under the supervision of Mr. Bill Miller. Thanks again to Mr. Winger, my Manual Training Teacher.

Tension was rising with the war going on in Europe. North American Aviation was building an aircraft plant in Kansas City, Kansas, at Fairfax Army Air Field, to build Mitchell B-25s bombers. I enrolled in the aircraft sheet metal school at Manual Training High School. I don't remember the course length but it was not too long before I had a paying job.

I continued working for Mr. Miller and he was a great Supervising Honcho. I went to sheet metal school at early evening till midnight. The class was about one week from graduating when Pearl Harbor occurred.

Our class heard President Roosevelt deliver his famous "Infamy" speech on Monday morning 8 Dec. 1941. The same day of graduation, I applied at North American for an aircraft sheet metal job and was hired on the spot. My General Foreman, after about a month, turned out to be Mr. Bill Miller from Koch Refrigerator. This was big time for me. He had taken on a defense job out of loyalty to his country. With his experience he was being paid, what was to me, an astronomical sum. After watching the Army Air Corp pilots coming through with their 50 mission hats and leather jackets and red scarfs, and watching them take off in the B-25s on the acceptance test hops, I made up my mind to go into the service. Mr. Miller tried to dissuade me and told me I could get a deferment, but I said “No Sir, I want to go in the service”.

At 12:30 P.M. on December 8, President Roosevelt Asked Congress to declare war.

End Chapter 5 — Go to Chapter 6

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