The Earl E. Myers Story
Chapter 13, Page 1 of 3 pages On To Saipan
|After completing B-29 transition at Pyote we were put on a troop train about 2200 hrs. I do not remember the routing, but somehow we went north to Denver the first night and most of us slept. There were a few who had to play cards all night or shoot craps. Trying to sleep was not the easiest with all the noise and comment, Shake Rattle and Roll. Snake Eyes. come on Big Moma, Crapped out, Boxcars, etc, etc. then West to San Francisco.
Our routing then was to Cheyenne and west through Salt Lake and Reno ending in San Francisco. In Greenriver, Wy. We were at a siding and we learned we were going to be there about 2 hours. Some of the more enterprising crew members went across from the siding where there was a bar. Me included. We managed to bring back a keg of beer with a dolly, a two wheeled one not a 2 legged one, and got it on board with no hitch. Needless to say it did not last long but we were not in any shape to try the same escapade again on arrival in Salt Lake. Reason being was that we were out on a siding way west of SLC and there was no bar. We were isolated for about 8 hours. Then on to Reno to be on a siding of about 10 hours.
The train commander gave us the O.K. to get off the train and go across the street to the Casinos with the warning that anyone missing the train was AWOL. I do not know of anyone being AWOL. There could have been some that rented a car or got on a PAX train and continued to SFO. We were to report to Fairfield Suisun Air Base (now Travis) within 36 hours. We spread out like flies. Our crew went to the closest hotel we could find and then to the Mark Hopkins Hotel and then to the Top of The Mark. We enjoyed the view from the "Top" as most of us were just small town kids and had never seen anything so awesome before, with the exception of a RKO release in a movie back home. It cost about 10 cents the for a tickey for a movie on Saturday morning. This was big time for all of us. we had a couple of relaxers, Bud was $1.00 a bottle at the Top, WOW, and then to China Town for some of the best food in the world "AND COMPLETELY NEW TO ME"
We all went to the bus station in downtown SFO and were waiting for our bus to Fairfield Suisun and a lady came running up to me and asked if I would hold her baby while she was in the bathroom. I didn't have time to say anything to her, like were leaving in 20 minutes. She returned and said thanks and what time is the next bus for San Jose? I was in uniform and maybe I did look like a bus driver to her in her hour of need. I replied "I don't know Mam, but I will help you find out. Here I was holding the baby and the guys were making fun of it and said I had a secret wife etc.
We reported in to Fairfield Suisun on schedule and found out we would be leaving in about 8 hrs on a C-54 for Hickam, Hawaii for a 12 hour flight. I had come up with a tooth ache and went to the Dental Office for an exam. A wisdom tooth was not in the correct place and the Doc said, "Rather than take a chance in the combat zone, why don't you let me pull all four and you wont have to worry with it" O.K. Doc your the Doc. He was an Army Captain. We also received all our overseas shots and there was bunch. That sure didn't help with my situation.
We boarded the C-54 on schedule and off we went. Most were beat to a shred and tired and we all had shots so it was a relative quiet 12 hour flight. Everyone was hurting or passed out. Arriving at Hickam we had a 24 hour wait for another C-54. Of course some of us had to go in to Honolulu for a short stay and more Chinese food for me, and a big Pizza at Mama Mia's. Mama Mia's will be mentioned later in the sequence. Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder for Midway. I don't remember the flight time but it seemed like forever as the C-54 only cruised about 160. The B-29s at about 230, and that is quite a difference. Midway to Guam and North Field, landing about 2000 hrs in the dark. We all carried sidearms and my old trustee issue Colt 45 was hung on my side as we had heard stories how the Japs would infiltrate at night and take what ever they could for their hideout. We were ready for them. We didn't see any either. "Whew".
About 24 hours later we boarded a C-47 for Saipan, 160 indicated airspeed. We were crawling.
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