Segment 1


Armanini begins by discussing his early childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Santa Cruz County, California. His family moved into Santa Cruz and there he attended Junior College where he played football and made All-Star on his football team. After graduating high school, Armanini wanted to go to Stanford for college but was approached by a friend to go to Dartmouth. Armanini had heard about Dartmouth, applied, and was accepted as a sophomore. Armanini graduated from Dartmouth in 1940 and went to work for Bank of America. In September of 1940 he received his draft notice and was classified as 1A. Armanini didn't want to go into the infantry as a draftee so he decided to apply for flight training at Hamilton Field in California. [Annotator's note: Hamilton Army Air Force Training Field] Armanini was told that he needed to drop weight in order to gain entrance into the Army Air Force. Upon passing his physical, Armanini waited for months before he was finally accepted into flight training. He was not accepted into training until January 1942. He was sent to Douglas Field for initial training. His first initiation into the service came on the first morning while at Douglas Field. Armanini was not initially issued uniforms and reported for roll call in his civilian attire. Armanini learned to march for 12 days in his civilian clothing before he was finally issued his Army Air Force uniform. Joe got sick after receiving his typhus shot and was placed in the base hospital for several days. While in the hospital he missed his initial flight training class and was shipped to Thunderbird Field in Glendale, Arizona for primary flight training. Armanini washed out as a pilot after his third check ride. Lieutenant Maytag washed him out of flight school, according to Armanini, for no apparent reason. He then tells an amusing story about the different types of hazing he received as an underclassman in cadet flight training. After washing out of flight school he was sent back to Santa Anna for further training. Joe was told that he didn't have the ability to be a pilot, but his belief is that the Army did that on purpose to force men into becoming navigators and bombardiers instead of pilots. 


All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at