Army Camp News - April 1945
Camp Swift, Tex.—Pvt. Edward L. Grabinski, a driver with the 472d Quartermaster Trucking Company, and Pfc. Richard Holtzclaw, a surgical technician at the 380th Station Hospital, exchanged talk of long-haired names and longhaired music when they met here recently. Both formerly were with the Chicago Opera Company. Grabinski was on the tenor roster during the seasons of 1938-41. and Holtzclaw, known professionally as Richard Wentworth, sang romantic baritone roles with the company for 3M> years before he entered the Army last April.
Holtzclaw used to split his operatic seasons between the Chicago company and the San Carlo Opera Company, which annually toured the United States. Canada, Mexico and Cuba. His repertoire consists of 39 complete operas in German, Italian and French, including over 1.000 songs. He has sung with such stars as John Charles Thomas, Lawrence Tibbett, Martinelli and James Melton, and has been starred opposite such famous divas as Grace Moore, Helen Jepson and Ilona Massey. Besides opera he has appeared in Broadway show’s, concerts and coast-to-coast radio programs.
Grabinski, whose home is in Moscow. Idaho, has sung as a dramatic tenor with Jan Kiepura. Rosa Raisa, Dennis King, Alexander Gray, Ruth Etting and Vivienne Segal, and has also appeared in concert and on the radio. He speaks Russian, Polish. Italian, Czech and three Slavic dialects.
“How’s your voice these days?” Holtzclaw asked Grabinski.
“I’d say it was pretty good after the third beer,” was the reply.
“That’s’what I W’as thinking. How about going into Austin some w’eek end and making a recording after a good sudsing up?” Grabinski agreed.
Old Soldiers Say Good-Bye
Camp Breckinridge, Ky.—Three sergeants of the Old Army stood together at the gate not saying much of anything. 1st Sgt. Floyd E. (Babe) Knox, who first enlisted in 1914 and had served a total of 26 years, was leaving the Army. M/Sgt. Frank Mcllvain, 27 years in the Army, and M/Sgt. S. T. Gemale, a veteran of 23 years’ service, were on hand to wish him good luck on his retirement, but they avoided the subject. All three had served in France in the first World War and all had participated in the Meuse-Argonne drive.
Sgt. Knox was nicknamed Babe because that’s what he calls almost everybody else. He came to Camp Breckinridge with the original cadre July 23, 1942, and had served as an MP with the 1570th Service Unit since then. It was at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, that he enlisted on July 6, 1914. He went overseas with the 39th Regiment, 4th Division, and was wounded in combat. Back in the States, he dropped out of the Army in 1920 for four years, then joined up again. During his Army career he was located in San Francisco. Calif.; Plattsburg Barracks, Syracuse Fairgrounds and Camp Mills, all N. Y.; Camp Merritt, N. J.; Fort Devens, Mass.; Fort McPherson and Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.: Fort Thomas. Ky.. and. in Hawaii and on the Mexican border. He served with the 39th, 13th, 22d, 35th and 10th Infantry Regiments before being assigned to the 1570th SU.
Though bom in Phenix City, Ala., he now considers Henderson, Ky., his home and lives there with his wife Mae and his daughter Dorothy Lenart. Enlisted men and officers at Breckinridge chipped in for a farewell gift when they learned
the old sarge was leaving and Knox managed to choke out that it had been “a damned pleasure” to serve with such men.
Now the two oldest enlisted men of the outfit had come to the gate to bid him good-bye. Sgt. Mcllvain spoke up. He said he guessed he and Gemale had better get back to duty. They shook hands with Babe and turned away.
“So long, Babe,” they said.
“So long,” Sgt. Knox said.
Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla.—A lieutenant, scouting witnesses for a trial in which he was to be defense counsel, asked a corporal what he was doing the morning of Dec. 28.
"I was doing my duty as a soldier of the United States Army, sir," said the two-striper.
"And what duty were you doing as a soldier of the United States Army?" persisted the louey.
The corporal drew himself up ramrod straight and said, "I was in mess hall No. 2, passing out the bread."
A Book by Any Other Name
Fort Lewis, Wash.—Caroline Paddock and Alma Halverson, librarians of Library No. 3 at North Fort Lewis, tell these anecdotes about the reading tastes of engineers.
One evening a very shy GI came in and asked what books they had by Risque. “I am in the mood for his works.” he said. “How do you spell the name of the author?” asked Miss Halverson. “I’m not sure, but it’s a French name,” the GI replied, “and his books are generally slightly naughty.”
Recently a big strapping three-striper demanded a copy of “Woman Driver.” Miss Paddock had never heard of it, but after the sergeant outlined the story as he had heard it from a friend, she produced Chevalier's “Drivin’ Woman.”
AROUND THE CAMPS
Northington General Hospital, Ala.—The weekly gripe sessions here sometimes give the patients a laugh. At a typical session one soldier wanted to know why in hell he had to wait five days for a civilian cleaning plant to return his uniform.
Camp Atterbury, Ind.—Two days before pay day Pvt. Theodore L. Rich borrowed some money from Pvt. John H. Knodt. “That’s funny,” Rich said. “I’m Rich and he’s Knodt, and yet I’m borrowing from him.” —Pfc. victor w. McGinnis
1293d SCU, University of Buffalo, N. Y.—When Pvt. Charles DelValle of Company B reported on morning sick call to complain of hemorrhoids, the doctor told him to report for an eye examination.
He came back to company headquarters at 1100 with a dislocated knee and at 2100 he was operated on for acute appendicitis.Camp Blanding, Fla.—Members of the staff of the IRTC visual aids shop here proved that they g are the right men for the right jobs by winding the major share of the honors in a camp-wide art contest. Cpl. Edward A. Johnson took three first prizes in the oils, prints and drawing cate¬gories. Sgt. Alfred Bottare won first in the ren¬dering class and Sgt. Theodore Bradford re¬ceived honorable mention in the same class. Sgt. Jess Montgomery was second in water colors.