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Member wants to hear from ASTP buddies

Member wants to hear from ASTP buddies

Member wants to hear

from ASTP buddies

     I was a member of G/393, 99th Infantry Division Association. In the beginning, I was drafted into the U.S. Army after trying to join the Navy just after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I was sent to the 14th Armored Division in Camp Chaffee AR. After basic training, I was sent to the ASTP at McNeese College, University of Louisiana in Lake Charles LA. I had just about finished nine months of basic electrical, civil, and chemical engineering courses when I had a mishap and broke the cartilage in my knee. I was sent to Baton Rouge Army Hospital for an operation on my knee. In the meantime, the ASTP closed out at McNeese College and the troops were sent hither and yon.

     While I was recuperating at home from my operation, I received orders to report to the 99th Division, 393rd Regiment, Company G at Camp Maxey. Shortly after, we shipped north to Taunton MA (my hometown). The next day, after arriving at Camp Miles Standish, I had "an audience" with Captain William Smith. I told him that my home was just a five-minute walk from camp and asked for a pass. In fact, I used to hunt deer throughout that area before the camp had been built. He gave me a pass each night until the evening before shipping out overseas.

     Captain Smith didn't know what to do with me in Company G, so he made me "Artificer." The people who I became well acquainted with were Nick Kakos, Stanley Bennett, Ray Holtman, George Hieder, Don Sullivan, and Ralph Moody.

     I was with Company G until the end of the war. Not having enough points to go home, we went to Bavaria to do police duty as occupation troops. Finally w were shipped back to Camp Lucky Strike in Lyon, France, and I was there when Japan gave up. I was then shipped home and was discharged shortly thereafter.

     I got married and started a family. We had three children — all girls. I worked for New England Telephone Company for 37 years and retired in 1982 at 60 years of age. In the meantime I had purchased a tree farm in upper Maine (360 acres) which I manage. I am quite active with all it entails.

     Captain Bill Smith did stop up there to visit with my wife and I about six or seven years ago. I had kept in touch with Stanley Bennett, Mike Sakora, and Nick Kakos until they died. I have tried many times to locate some of my friends who attended McNeese College with me, but to date have been unsuccessful. I would love to hear from them by phone or letter. I am looking for names and addresses.

Don Surgens

413 Spring St.

West Bridgewater MA 02370