Biographical Notes
Relating to
The Earl E. Myers Story

Chapter 7 — Introduction As An Aviation Cadet

About 3 weeks later I found out I had passed the written and was to come for an interview before a selection board of officers. I was scared out of my wits when I found out they were all Bird Cols. and a One Star. I appeared before the board and one Col., a Physician, asked me if I had ever masturbated. I replied, “Hasn't everyone?” If I had answered “NO” I most likely would have been drummed out. I figured that did it for me. There were several chuckles and that was the end of the interview. About 2 weeks later I was advised that I passed and was being transferred to Miami Beach for further basic training. That was heaven. We lived in hotels on the beach that used to cost a hundred dollars a night, and at that time, that was a fortune. Of course all the hotel bed's were taken out along with all of the other hotel furniture that was really plush where eight double bunks were installed in their place. The rest of the room was bare.

Earl Myers, Miami Beach, 1943
Photo Ctsy. Earl Myers

I completed CTD (College Training Detachment) at Davidson Collage, Davidson, N.C. I had an extremely difficult time with all studies because it was college refresher work that I had never been exposed to before and, for a high school drop out, it was tough. I was determined to continue. Almost all the student's were college grads but thanks to my 3 roommates they helped me after hours and there were not many hours left to get some rest. Thank the Good Lord they were so helpful.

Davidson College, Davidson, NC, 1943
Photo Ctsy. Earl Myers
Above — Military Training, Davidson College

Right: Al, Ernie and Earl, Davidson College
Photos Ctsy. Earl Myers

We received 10 hours dual in a Piper Cub. My Flight Instructor was Shelby R. Parham, certificate #28056, from Shelby N.C. I have a picture of him in my first log book with 10 hours of dual logged, one of eight log books and the first one that I accumulated in my flying career. He was dressed in a coat and tie, the same as every instruction ride, and sitting in the rear of a Cub at the Charlotte, N.C. Airport at Cannon Aircraft Sales and Service. The contract provided for the Cubs used in the training.

Cadet orientation to Piper Cub Trainer
Photo Ctsy. Earl Myers
He was a fine instructor, was very strict with his students, and very thorough with all five of us. He was a gentleman and it was an honor to be one of his students. Some of our classmates had wished that they had him and wanted to know how we were so lucky. My first logged flight was 9-7-1943 and the last flight at Charlotte was 9-26-1943. I had my first solo in Nashville, Tenn. where I had been transferred for classification and it cost me about $15 for a field check and an hour of flying time. "SOLO". Man was I high on the old hog. I was so proud. $15 was a lot of dough in those days making only $21 a month. It took some cutting down on goodies.

I was then transferred to Preflight at Maxwell Army Air Field. The schedule was tough with ground school and P.T. Right after P.T. and before lunch we would all make a mad dash for the small PX annex and get a pint of ice cream and a package of Planters Peanuts for a jump start. At Maxwell, at chow time, all of us were so hungry and we had to complete the meal in just a short time to be ready for the next scheduled class. This was the first time I had been exposed to Okra. It was slick and not very tasty but it was consumed along with everything else as we were so hungry along with grits. Running the Burma Mile along the river was no easy task as I had shin-splints so bad I could hardly walk. I wasn't about to go to sick call as they would most likely have washed me out.

While at Maxwell there was a flight officer who continually put me in a brace every time he saw me. He just did not like me for some reason. He had nothing to do with our class but he would do just about anything to get me to take a swing at him or tell him to get lost. I managed to ignore him and didn’t get myself in trouble although my urge to “smack him” at times was almost irresistible.

End Chapter 7 — Go to Chapter 8

Go to

EEM Introduction —Chapter 1 2345678


Return to Biographical Stories Index Page

Go to Home Page