Dear YANK:

If you think that cutting the grass with bayonets is bad, what do you think of the great Mohave Desert, with shovels and brooms? That is exactly the situation that exists here at Muroc.

Having nothing better for the crews (all back from the Twentieth Air Force for lead-crew training) to do, the administrative officers decided that all enlisted men and one officer from each crew should spend time sweeping and shoveling the ever-shifting sand from the streets and squadron area.

We don’t doubt the fact that this work is very effective, but that effect is short lived, for after about five minutes a strong wind replenishes the layers of sand in the squadron area from the never ending supply of the Mohave.

—(Four Names Withheld)

—Muroc AAF, Calif.

Dear YANK:

This morning our company again formed for exercises. The exercise were again an example of the additional humiliation that is being heaped upon us before discharge.

We were assigned a partner. Told to put our right hand around his neck. He did likewise. The order was tramp on your opponent’s feet or he on yours. A despotic order. Failure to comply with same would bring you additional humiliation in front of the entire company, as I was soon to find out. The second exercise was completed by placing heads against each other’s shoulders, pushing forward, punching your opponent in the stomach.

The third routine was accomplished by placing the right hand on the opponent’s neck while the left hand was placed against the opponent’s right. The order was to wrestle until one man fell. As I didn’t (get this chicken) “put enough into it,” I was ordered to give a demonstration by our company commander (former West Point lad). The company witnessed same in silence while the officers watched laughing, as they had previously while the other boys pummeled themselves for fear of the consequences.

This is an example of what returning vets are going through before the great day when our points total discharge.

—(Name Withheld)

—Camp Carson, Colo.

yank magazine boot camp training

Soldiers train in hand to hand combat.

For Further Reading Check Out:

The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery

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