Segment 2

Annotation

Robert Walter had 40 men under him during the Battle of the Bulge. He never had a problem with that. While he was in the service he coached and played on the softball team and played on the basketball team [Annotators Note: the softball and basketball teams were both Company L teams]. In 1944 at Camp Maxey his softball team won the division title. There were not many baseball teams around so he stuck with softball. He had softball teams until he was 50 years old. At Camp Maxey he refereed the division baseball game between the 395th Infantry Regiment and the 324th Artillery. Hoyt Wilhelm played on the 395th Infantry baseball team but he was not pitching at the time. Walters friends gave him a lot of grief about the way he made calls. When Walter left home for Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi it was the first time he had been out of Ohio. Being away from home did not faze him. When he was first drafted and sent to Camp Perry he was interviewed and asked what he wanted to do in the service. Walter informed the sergeant that he wanted to be a paratrooper but he was turned down because he was thee pounds overweight. When they first entered Camp Perry they were lined up in columns of two and marched off to the interview. That is also where they were issued uniforms. They were not measured for uniforms. They guessed at their sizes and were pretty close but when they got to the barracks they would trade with each other to get the correct sizes. Camp Perry was also where they got their shots. When Walter first went down South he was sent to an army camp where everything was chicken wire and red clay. Walter was used to that living at home. At home he was barefoot because his father could not afford to buy him shoes. The depression was over but Walters father was still in debt because of it and never did get out of debt until the day he died. Walter felt like he was on a trip. He never got homesick. He quickly made acquaintances with the guys he was with. He also paid attention to what his officers told them to do. The first chance Walter had to get a pass he took it and went out. He enjoyed going around the country to see how the others lived. He also liked hearing how others talked and the slangs they used. He thinks that the Southeastern states were all pretty much the same. When he moved more west the talk was different. When he went into Texas the slang was different. When he got to the East Coast up around Boston he was out on pass almost every night. The way people talked up there was altogether different than what he had experienced previously. It amazed Walter how different peoples habits were and how they spoke in the different sections of the country.

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