This is a copy of a correspondence from Milton Long to FTW:
The Cook and Bakers School was at Post Headquarters Area. This was called the “Armored Forces School.” It included Signal, Mechanics, and other support training. I worked with Lt. John Harley who was in charge of the Motorcycle School.
When I was at Post HQ I would eat in the enlisted students mess. They used the students from the Cook and Bakers School to work in this mess as on the job training.
Early in 1943, prior to the Motorcycles being replaced by the jeeps, I would get in late. Lt. Harley would give me a “late mess pass” so I could eat after the mess hall closed. This was training time for the students in the Cook and Bakers School. They often ate after the mess was closed. On several occasions I met this cook that looked a lot like your dad. He was saying that he was on mess management, and that he was really doing KP duty. He didn’t like that too much. He was dressed in cooks white and told me he was learning to bake. He said he thought if he could become a good baker maybe he could do that when the war was over.
He must of spent some time on Cadre because the badge he is wearing in the photo with the winter uniform, he has one on his overseas cap and on his blouse are Cadre Badges that show an arm with lightening bolts in the hand. They say “We forge the Thunderbolts,” meaning they train the armored soldiers. We are very proud to wear these badges. OK, here is the thing you may find interesting. President Roosevelt visited Fort Knox April 28th thru 30th of 1943. I was picked as a rider to escort him through the post. After the tour was over they had a reception for him at the Post Officers Club. We were all invited to join him and his party for the meal. They had all the cooks and bakers dressed in their white uniforms. They served everyone, including the president. The following day he cut his trip short as he had to leave by train at 1 PM. It is possible your dad was one of the cooks that served the President. I did not see him that day but a lot was going on behind the scenes.
Fort Knox was a busy place in 1943. The soldiers were being trained to go to Africa as replacements or to be sent to divisions that were being formed. Your dad had a 10th Armored patch on his uniform, so I guess he served in that division. They had 774 killed in action and 3109 wounded in WWII. They were a part of the 3rd Army at some point of the war. If you want to know anymore about Knox in 1943 let me know. I was on the general subject team in the Replacement Center. I taught Map and Aerial photo reading and tactics. They had teams teaching all phases of armored subjects. Some were selected to go to the armored school for extended training. The school received students from all the divisions that were being formed. We in the Replacement Center received people that had been drafted and had no military experience.
Valentines day 1943
I remember that Valentines Day in 1943. I was stationed at Fort Knox and on the weekend I went to Louisville shopping.
I visited the card shop and after I had made my selection I went to the cashier. She took one look at the Valentines and said she refused to ring them up. She said it was wrong for me to buy 5 cards that said “To My One and Only.” I thought I was being fair by getting them all the same card.
You just can’t win.
Happy Valentines Day to all you good Folks.
U S Legacies Magazine 2005