THE INVASION OF MONAHANS, TEXAS
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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