|Fort Monmouth, New Jersey|
|July 12, 1943|
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Records below were last updated 10 March 2011
Our Greatest Generation
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Company Y, 803rd Signal Training Regiment, Ft. Monmouth, Signal OCS Class 43-25
Photo taken July 8, 1943. The location appears to be a restaurant just off the base at Ft. Monmouth, called Joseph's, in Eatontown, NJ. As MAJ (R) Richard Green, the Association's archivist said, "There were hundreds of places outside the gates of Ft Monmouth that served the candidates that went thru there... there had to be as there were "thousands" of them in the program.... I haven't added it up, but there had to be more than 12,000 graduates in 1942 alone, which means [because of the 50% attrition rate] that there were 24,000 men (approximately) attending during the year. [Aside: the WWII Signal OCS program started the 50% attrition rate standard, which carried on for Signal OCS during the Korean War and Vietnam War programs - while other OCS programs graduated 75% of their "starters".]
The two pictures above were submitted by Peter McCormick, grandson of John McCormick. His grandfather is in the back row of the Class Picture, number 6 counting from the left [circled above].
Peter told us that like many WWII veterans, his grandfather didn't talk too much about the war to most of the family, but did on occasion tell Peter about a few of his experiences. From what Peter can remember of those talks, "John enlisted in the Army in February of 1941, by 1942 he had made the rank of Sergeant and was in Hawaii. In 1943 he came back home, got married and graduated from OCS. He made the rank of 1st Lieutenant at some point. In 1944 I believe he spent some time in Germany, and was home part of the time. I believe he also spent time in France. Then I think he went back to England, and then Germany and was there during or soon after the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. (I remember him telling me about that.) I am pretty sure he was home after VE day and I'm not sure if he spent any time in the Pacific after that. After the war, he worked as an electrician for the Lyons VA hospital in NJ until he retired." Peter also sent along a photo of the dancing pavilion at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. We've included it above too, as so many thousands of Army personnel passed through Hawaii during WWII that it's bound to bring back fond memories for all who see it. [Ok, ok, we admit... a few Navy and Marines probably passed through Hawaii back then too... but surely, everyone will agree, Honolulu was an Army town, wasn't it?]
It's worth looking closely at the two pictures above. In them you will see the root and stem of what makes America great, even until today. The boys in these photos epitomize an America that could and did conquer the world... not with imperialist aggression like so many other countries of that time, but by defeating tyranny in a war that spanned the globe.
They are tall, strapping youth; handsome beyond measure, healthy, confident, and behaved. Look at the photo of the soldiers dancing at the Royal Hawaiian... they are gentlemen, not a group of unkempt, leering reprobates from "old" Europe, intent on pawing their way through the girls in attendance. If one compares the American men in these photos to those of the boorish Russians, entering Berlin on horseback as conquerors at the end of the war, or pictures of the deceitful and shifty men who roamed the pre-war streets of many of the cities of Europe, one can see why America stood as a shining beacon to those who wanted a better life—and still does. It's all here in these two photos: a definition of America that speaks to us today, nearly 70 years later, and tells us what it is that we must continue to fight to preserve.
[Editor's remarks: Note hand written comments in upper right corner of the class photo. Note too that unlike what you may think after reading the last paragraph above, we are not anti-Europe. Today Europe is full of wonderful people who clearly make the world better because of their very existence, values and views... albeit, thanks in part to 60 years of American occupation, and the resulting influence our young men have had over this period on European society. For further reference on these statements, see, for example, "Japan". Finally, please note that opinions expressed in comments such as these are meant as tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, humor intended to entertain and stimulate the reader as much as anything else. In all cases they are those of the Managing Editor of this website. They do not represent the views of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Association or any officer, director, or individual associated with it. Your comments are welcomed in return. Please address any comments you may have to the attention of WebMaster@ArmySignalOCS.com. Thank you.]