By Emiel W. Owens
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Additional info for Blood on German Snow: An African American Artilleryman in World War II and Beyond
But worst of all, about half the soldiers on our ship became seasick and missed breakfast. M. on our third day at sea, the water became calm and the sun shone bright as if the storm had never happened. Out on the ocean where the water was deep blue and peaceful, my mind drifted back to times of serenity and calmness. When day ends at sea, it appears that darkness just falls from the wings of night like a huge blanket. 38 CHAPTER 3 Early morning on our fourth day at sea, I saw a few duffel bags floating around along the ocean surface.
Later in the evening the ROTC was called together in formation by Col. West A. Hamilton, the corps commander. By this time, President Roosevelt was giving a radio talk to the nation and was declaring war on Japan. Colonel Hamilton explained to our corps that in all likelihood, we would soon be called for military duty and our ROTC training would give us a head start. He thought we would be allowed to complete the fall 1942 and spring 1943 semesters before being called up for duty. We also were told of our option of volunteering and the possibility that many of us could remain together as a unit.
My train ride to Fort Sill reminded me of earlier days when, as kids, we traveled by train to visit my grandfather, who lived on an apple farm just a few miles outside Muskogee, Oklahoma. Because my dad was a railroad laborer, we had free passes to travel on the MKT railroad. I was about nine or ten years of age when we last traveled to Muskogee, but my thoughts kept drifting back to earlier times. It was about daybreak when I arrived at the station in Lawton, Oklahoma. I caught a bus that took me about twenty miles to Fort Sill.
Blood on German Snow: An African American Artilleryman in World War II and Beyond by Emiel W. Owens