Jack H. Blair III ’38, wrote about how paratroopers are “toughened—they crawl through animal entrails to accustom themselves to the smell and nausea of rotting bodies. They march through treacherous swamps, deserts, jungles over mts. Etc. Wielding knives and bayonets are their specialty.
In contrast to the rigors of training in the Parachute Infantry, and by no means the typical of most training experiences, Richard Erb ’46, writing on April 14, 1944, alerted the Alumni Secretary to his transfer to a new unit and wrote that it was “not completely organized as yet” so he spent time at the local country club in Sacramento playing 27 holes of golf.
As letters and oral histories of Muhlenberg active duty men revealed, their training experiences often differed significantly because of their status, officer or enlisted, and because of the roles and responsibilities to which they were assigned. Pre-medical students in the Navy-V12 program went to medical school as part of their officer training while other men, like John More ‘45, was a Petty Officer in the Navy, as an Aviation Machine Mate, 3rd Class. His training was in aviation gunnery school on two different planes and at four different locations.