• Last modified 7335 days ago (May 20, 2004)
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Thor disagrees with Humphrey's essays

I just received the fifth issue 2003 of the Checkerboard and, as always enjoyed reading it from front to back. However, I do have one bone to pick. We sure don't need any more articles like Robert Humphrey's account of the 99th training for war.

Humphrey was not a 99er and, to put it bluntly, does not know what he is talking about. It is true there was some friction between the ASTP replacements and the cadre when we got to Maxey. However, that was mostly resolved before we left Texas and certainly was solved when we went into combat. To bring this up at this late date is a disservice to the 99th and to each of us. For an outsider and a non-combatant to criticize my comrades is something I take as a personal insult. Some of these men are now dead and cannot defend themselves.

I don't doubt that Humphrey is quoting correctly, but we all say a lot of things when we are young and foolish and to quote those things as solid fact 60 years later is unfair and does not present a true picture of the facts. We had cadre who were honorable men, excellent soldiers, and good leaders; and we had some who didn't measure up. We had ASTP guys who were almost total failures as combat soldiers, but the majority, by far were as good a soldier as any the world has ever seen. Many from both groups were my friends then, and they are now. It was my privilege to serve with so many outstanding men.

For the record, I was in ASTP but overjoyed to get into an infantry unit as I wanted to do my share and the infantry is properly named "The Queen of Battle."

Thor Ronningen

370 Scotts Hill Loop Rd.

Wilmington NC 28411