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New Provisional Group crew assignments were posted and I was to be copilot on the Allen Grissom crew. This turned out to be only for first phase crew training at Pyote and a short part of second phase in Dyersburg, Tennessee. 

While I was at Dyersburg in second phase training, my wife gave birth to a darling baby girl whom we named Frances Janet. Two weeks after she was born, I was called to headquarters and handed orders transferring me back to Pyote to become an aircraft commander. A ten day delay in route was arranged allowing me to return home, pack up the family and drive to Pyote in time to find living quarters in Monahans, before reporting for duty at the base and start the process of assembling a crew. 

The little town of Monahans was still jam-packed with Air Force people. Hundreds were seeking living quarters. Every apartment house, bedroom, hotel, motel, tourist court or screened-in-porch with cardboard walls had waiting lists, some with over a hundred names on them. A nice one bedroom garage apartment was available but the list of people wanting it had 105 names on it. I explained to the woman owner that we had a one month old baby girl and our situation was desperate. While we were talking I was laying $100 bills in front of her. When the number got to three, she studied the pile for about 2 microseconds grabbed them up and exclaimed, “Lordy, soldier boy! Your story has nearly broke my heart. I’m gonna make that sweet little baby a home right heah in this little ol’ garage apartment, by doggies!” We had nice living quarters in Monahans. A cash bonus opened many doors in those days.

Next...A Move To Dalhart, Texas


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