Biographical Notes re

Robert H. (Bob) Weisburn


I was shipped to Miami Beach for Basic Training with a gang of Buck Sergeants up to Master Sergeants. We were quartered at the Billos Hotel. Betty Grable and Harry James were then located in the same hotel. Needless to say, their quarters were a lot different than ours. Boy, it was hot and humid there in July, 1943.

They said they had to make officers and gentlemen out of us, so, after two weeks at Miami Beach I was shipped off to Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for C.T.D. (College Training Detachment). The program was designed to last for six months, but was accelerated to about three and a half months. We attended school and drills from about 5:00 a.m. in the morning until about 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the evening. Well, it was fun, but tough. We lost quite a few good men then — they just washed out with the studies and the five and seven and a half mile runs.

Flight 9-C, Coe College, 306th CTD,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
October, 1943 — Bob Weisburn it second
down, top far right.

From Coe College, I was shipped to Santa Ana, California, for classification. I qualified # 1 for pilot, #2 for bombardier, and #3 for navigator. From Santa Ana, I was shipped to Thunderbird Field # 2, at Scottsdale, Arizona. There we flew PT-17 Stearmans, 220 hp with a radial engine. The instructor for our group of five students was Ray Price. All five students soloed. We were in the middle of acrobatic training, I had about 47 hours, when our instructor met us on the flight line. He advised us that by evening he could have only two students remaining. He said the Germans had not been killing our pilots as fast as they had figured, so there was an excess of pilot trainees. This was Class 44-J at Thunderbird Field # 2. At the end of the day, I was no longer an Aviation Student.

Most everyone washed out was sent back to their old outfit and some of them ended up dead within a month or two. A number of them were used as fillers in infantry units. Some were caught up in the Battle of the Bulge. For reasons unknown, I was retained at Thunderbird Field for about a month and a half. Finally, the Major called me into his office and told me to put my brass on and I was being sent to Santa Ana to be reclassified the next morning.

End Chapter # 2

Click below to select a destination

Introduction — This Story

Table of Contents — This Story

Chapters 1 2 34 56

Biographies Index