Dad wasn't fond of Harlingen, Texas, where he was stationed. But he did "our thing at Gunnery School, learned how to fire a 50 caliber machine gun, how to shoot skeet with a hand-held shot gun, and with one mounted in a turret. That was like shooting fish in a barrel, once you learned how to use the sight. I had never shot anything before, except my Red Ryder BB Gun, and the first time I fired that hand-held shot gun, I thought I had been in the ring with Billy Conn and caught a left to my jaw."
"Finally, we saw some airplanes, after all, that's why I joined the Air Corps. We had 48 hours of air to air and air to ground firing. I had never flown before and I liked it. What a feeling, just like when I was a kid and would see airplanes go over our house, trying to imagine what it looked like from up there. I remember when the Italian, Balboa, (I think that was his name) led a flight of Italian Army Planes from Italy to Chicago World's Fair. They went right over our house, a flight of bombers in formation. This must have been 1933 or 1934."
Once on a Sunday morning, two of us got Special Detail. We had to release the clay pigeons so the officers could have their weekly Skeet Shoot and bet a little money. One of the guys that had this detail once before told me about a little trick that he used, and he said he was never asked to be on this Detail again. If you would gently tap the center of the clay pigeon and keep turning it, the center would fall out and leave a nice round hole in the clay pigeon. It took a little practice, but surprisingly, it worked. So, right after we got to the range, I fixed a couple of these pigeons. After about 10 or 15 minutes, I put one of these babies in, and this officer yelled, "Pull", and I let it go. Now, normally when a clay pigeon is released, it just goes out in an arc pretty much at the same speed, and whoever is firing at it has no trouble tracking it. However, when the center is removed from the pigeon, it doesn't really go in a complete arc, but just about half way, and it slows up so quickly, that you can't follow it with a gun. This officer fired at the pigeon, but he missed by a mile. You should have heard the other three officers! They were hollering and laughing their fool heads off, but not the victim. He came down to the pit were we were, still carrying his shotgun. Lordy, we thought we were going to be casualties before we ever got into combat. Postscript - Neither of us got this Detail again!