Early on the morning of August 15, you were awakened by a dull roar in the sky. Dawn revealed hundreds of planes speeding northeast, and you knew history was being made even before the news of the invasion of southern France – Operation Dragoon, between Toulon and Cannes – reached you through the pages of Stars and Stripes. The military newspaper arrived about once a week; it came down from higher headquarters through regimental and battalion headquarters to the companies. There was a copy for everyone.
At Civitavecchia, Captain and company commander Hugh D. Shires called you in and told you that he was naming you the battalion clerk. You became a Technician Fifth Grade and were called Corporal Houston. That meant another $10 a month or so. The army wanted soldiers to buy war bonds, so every month that you were in the army, regardless of your pay, you would have a payroll deduction to by some denomination of bond. In your new position you would report directly to Battalion Sergeant Major Norwood Boyette of New York, who in turn reported to Captain Shires. Ranking above Shires was Colonel Daugette, and above him was your regimental commander, Colonel Sherman.