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Interview with Edward Bonfoy Giller, April 5, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: U.S. Air Force General; Director Military Application, Atomic Energy Commission

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Giller, Edward Bonfoy. Interview, 2005 April 05. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Edward B. Giller, Jr. April 5, 2005 Albuquerque, New Mexico Interview Conducted By Mary Palevsky © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Edward Giller April 5, 2005 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Introduction: birth, family background, childhood in Illinois, education at Kemper Military School and University of Illinois, work at Sinclair Oil Refinery in Texas 1 Military service: flight training with Army Air Corps in Texas ( 1941- 1942) 3 Promoted to second lieutenant, transferred 55th Fighter Group at Paine Field, Washington ( 1942) for service throughout the Pacific Northwest 4 Marriage, transfer to 8th Air Force in England ( 1943) 6 Participation in D- Day ( 1944) 8 Explains differences between P- 38 and P- 51 aircraft, and utilization in the Pacific and in Europe during World War II 9 Injured during bombing of Munich ( 1945) 10 Transfers to Kaufbeuren, Germany during occupation after World War II 11 Receives orders to March Field, California, and later to Wright Field, Ohio, and then returns to graduate school at the University of Illinois ( 1946) 14 Assigned to Armed Forces Special Weapons Project [ AFSWP] at the Pentagon ( 1950), talks about work there 18 Discusses selection process for the continental test site and talks about weapons effects testing for the armed forces 20 Remembers testing and military training exercises at Camp Desert Rock, NTS 23 Transfer to Kirtland AFB, NM first as deputy of 4925th Fighter Squadron and then as director of research for Armed Forces Special Weapons Center [ AFSWC], begins recruiting more military scientists to work for civilian laboratories 26 Talks about difference between war planning and technical work 30 Recalls interesting effects tests at NTS, including uniforms and pigs, MASH units, railroads, and civil effects tests 32 Testing the atomic cannon ( Grable test) 36 Moves to CIA as deputy to Pete Scoville ( 1960), forms Division of Research Development to work on “ bigger problems” 37 Work on the Cuban missile crisis 39 Transfers to Air Staff as Deputy Director of Science and Technology ( 1964), then moves to AEC to run weapons program ( 1967), retires from USAF ( 1972), remains with AEC until 1975, then ERDA until 1977, JCS representative to Geneva test ban talks ( 1977- 1980) 40 Works for Pacific Sierra Research, Inc. ( 1977- 1990) 41 Conclusion: Views on arms control and treaties 42 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Edward B. Giller, Jr. April 5, 2005 in Albuquerque, NM Conducted by Mary Palevsky [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Mary Palevsky: General Giller, let’s begin by having you tell me your place of birth, your full name, your date of birth, and a little bit about your family background leading up to your service in World War II. Edward Giller: My name is Edward, full name is Bonfoy Giller, Junior. I was born July 8, 1918 in a little town in west- central Illinois, White Hall, to a family that was doing farming, and my father was also a vet[ erinarian]. Therefore I grew up in a small village of three thousand people. Worked on the farm. In those days, all kids worked when they weren’t in school. In fact, my first year, we lived out in the country and I rode a horse to first grade, where we had eight grades in one room. That building still stands on the old farm. And then we moved to the village of White Hall and [ I] rode my bicycle to school. In about 1936, I seemed to have gotten myself into a little tiff with my family over some of the things I did, so they sent me to military school because— What kind of tiffs? Oh, they felt I— nothing serious, just a little exuberance and all sorts of things. And I guess they felt I wasn’t studying enough, and my father having a degree in vet[ erinary medicine] and my mother also a degree, they wanted me to go to college. I think they were worried that I wasn’t doing as well in the first couple years of high school. So they sent me to Kemper Military School and that really changed my future. Turned out I enjoyed military school. A lot of the guys didn’t. They really fussed about it. But I went three years and then went to the University of Illinois in 1936, I guess it is, as a sophomore. Then I found out that the military school, good as it was, was UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 not a good freshman class for Illinois. I struggled the sophomore year. Finally got over the hump from that and went on and got my bachelor’s degree. In…? Nineteen forty, in chemical engineering, from the University of Illinois. My mother’s family comes from Galveston and Houston [ Texas], and they had a friend who was in the Sinclair Oil Refinery there. Jobs in those days were beginning to show up, but not exactly everywhere, and so he got me a job in the Sinclair Refinery in Houston, Texas where my grandmother and her family lived. So the summer of ’ 40 to the summer of ’ 41, I worked in the refinery, and decided that wasn’t for me. And a friend of mine said, Why don’t we learn to fly? Why not? There was a program called the— I’ve skipped so many of them, but it had a program where they were trying to get young folks to learn to fly with a commitment; in case they had to be called up, they would be [ committed]. And so for forty bucks, you got forty hours of flying, forty hours of ground school. And that was fun. We flew at the old original, no runway, Houston main airport. And then they said, Well, we have a second class. You do acrobatics. Forty bucks, forty hours ground, forty hours of air work. And so we, “ we” being several of us that ran around together, took that course. Now, we found out, they pay you to fly in the Army and the Navy. So we said, well, what about the Navy? Well, that runway’s pretty short and it goes up and down all the time. How about the Air Force? Army in those days, Army Air Corps. OK. So we went to Ellington Field, which is in Houston— it’d just opened up, it’d just barely opened, in fact there weren’t any airplanes there yet— to take our physical. I had an eye balance problem, so I went to an ophthalmologist and she gave me exercises and lenses to get my eyes to balance. It’s a muscle UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 balance problem which is correctable. So I got that straightened out. My best friend had a slight color problem with colorblindness. He could really tell red and green. But they have something which they use today called the Ishihara charts in which you see a bunch of dots. If you see one number, that’s good; if you see another number, that’s not so good. So he went to the same ophthalmologist, memorized the chart, so when he saw 23 he said 67. Ah, you’re right. And he [ 00: 05: 00] went on through the war, flew B- 17s, came home and flew for TWA [ Trans World Airlines]. There was another program they used at other places. Instead of having the charts, they had you match colored yarns. He would’ve flunked that one. Anyway, those are some of the vicissitudes, I guess, of life. Anyway, this is now the fall of ’ 41 and they sent us off to Stamford, Texas, which is way out in west Texas in the cow country, for primary school. We were flying Stearmans. It’s a biplane. Well, with eighty hours, I didn’t need to learn too much about flying. I just needed to know that airplane. So my instructor and I had fun doing acrobatics for forty hours. He liked to do it, I liked to do it, and so it wasn’t a question of my learning to fly. Now just for my understanding, you are now enlisted. You are in the Army. I’m now an enlisted man legally. In the Army. In the Army Air Corps. In order to go in, you have to be sworn in and take the oath and then you start wearing the uniform and you’re an enlisted person until you graduate from flying school. So it was six weeks at Stamford. Then they sent us to Randolph [ Air Force Base] which is in San Antonio. And there we flew a bigger airplane, the BT- 14, Basic Trainer 14, and again we had ground school, air school, formation flying, night flying, and all sorts of things like that. And because of my past history— on the farm we fed lots of hogs in the summer, we grew corn UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 and fattened hogs in the summer, cows in the winter— I had learned to holler hogs and they could hear me across a quarter- mile field. I can still do it. So when they tried out for the officers at Randolph, I bellered— well, also at Kemper, I’d learned how to beller out the military commands squad right, squad left, things like that. So I bellered them out, and I ended up in San Antonio as the battalion adjutant, along with two or three other guys. It takes three people to be the battalion staff. So this background came from the past, and I don’t know if it was useful. Anyway, that’s what happened. Then they transferred us to Lubbock, Texas in the early spring of ’ 42. And there we flew two airplanes, one a twin- engine, the AT- 9; then we flew the AT- 6, a single- engine similar to the one at Randolph but bigger, more horsepower. Night flying, formation flying, things of that nature. And we graduated from there May 29, 1942 and we got our second lieutenant bars, became a commissioned officer in the Reserve, and got our wings. My mother and everybody came. Then they sent all of the unmarried people, which were most of them, in the class to Paine Field, which is north of Seattle, Washington. The married people were sent to the southeast airfields to be training instructors. So we went to Paine Field, arrived there to discover that the field had just barely opened, two or three airplanes sitting around. What had been a skeleton group of senior officers—“ senior” being first lieutenants, captains, majors— were waiting for the bulk of the folks to show up, and here we come, some thirty of us from this class and some twenty from another advanced school. And now we have a full- fledged, not very well trained, full- fledged fighter group, the 55th Fighter Group. It was actually spun out of the 20th Fighter Group down at Hamilton Field in San Francisco six months before we showed up. The Air Force was just expanding. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 And our airplanes begin to show up, the P- 38. We then started flying. The P- 38 didn’t have any electronic instrumentation for weather flying, and Seattle is an area with a lot of [ 00: 10: 00] weather, so we did a lot of flying, trying to figure out how to fly without getting in the clouds too often. Unfortunately, we had an accident rate that was kind of high. In the fall of ’ 42, several interesting things happened to me and in some cases didn’t. There was a call for a young man to go to England, spend six weeks learning how to fly in England, and come back. So they pick me, I get on a train headed for the New York City area to get on a boat to go to Europe. And I got about ten hours or eight hours to some place in Stryker, Montana. The conductor comes through the train. Lieutenant Giller. Lieutenant Giller. I have a telegram for you. Thank you. “ Return immediately. All orders cancelled. Return immediately.” Now in those days, “ immediately,” and the war’s going on, meant “ immediately.” The conductor looks at it and says, What can I do? He says, Ah, the westbound train’ll go by in a half hour. We’ll stop it. So in Stryker, Montana, they put torpedoes on the track. This thing goes bang. Well, these two trains go side by side [ and] stop. This lieutenant gets off of one, gets on the other. And I am back in my barracks in Paine Field, [ in] about another six hours. The orders were wrong. I would have been a replacement pilot in North Africa. And I’d left my car with my roommate and the keys and everything on the naïve assumption I would be back in six weeks. So I got saved from that one. Also that fall, they needed a squadron in Amchitka, Alaska because the Japanese had now attacked Alaska. And so they picked one of our squadrons, not mine, and sent that squadron to Alaska. They took the other two squadrons that were left and spread them out and made a new third one, and we got new pilots. Pretty soon comes the call for a squadron to North Africa. Not my squadron. And so again we went through the same process. We sent one squadron of the UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 original three. Now we’re down to one original and two expanded ones. I’m still there in the Northwest. We stayed there, protecting the Pacific Northwest from the Japanese, which never showed up, as far as we were concerned. Doing a lot of flying and buzzing the natives and trying to blow sailboats over on Puget Sound and other nonsense. Because in those days, there were almost no rules for flying control. Anyway, it was in the spring of ’ 43 when I went on a blind date— and just met her [ wife, Mildred F. Schmidt]. Somebody stuck his head out and said, Got two stews [ stewardesses]. Anybody want to go on a blind date? So I hold my hand up, and I met my wife. And I had a car, so that made me a little more popular. And so we got acquainted and more acquainted. And in the summer of ’ 43, after having been stationed all around the Pacific Northwest there, at Pendleton Field, Oregon; Burns, Oregon; Klamath Falls [ Oregon]; Hoquiam, Washington; Olympia [ Washington]; Paine Field; McChord [ Air Force Base, Washington]— they moved us around quite a bit. There were three squadrons, so they moved around. In the summer of ’ 43, against the advice I gave everybody else, and fortunately, I got married. I kept saying, We’re going overseas. Don’t get married now. And so what happens? I get married in July 3rd, and a month later, six weeks later, we shipped out. My wife was a stewardess on United. United didn’t take married stewardesses. So she went to Pan Am and started flying from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska and back. She spent more time in the air than I did, I think, because in those days they flew the little C- 47s, DC- 3s, and seven, eight hours to Anchorage. Anyway, so the group, all three squadrons in the group, had orders. The whole outfit, lock, stock, and barrel, was sent to McGuire Field in New Jersey, which was the staging place to catch the boat to England. And then they moved us onto the boat, the Orion, a British boat made UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 for fifteen hundred guests. We had seven thousand guests, all the GIs and everybody else, stacked all over the boat. [ 00: 15: 00] So it was made for fifteen hundred and there were seven thousand? It was a British ship in commercial traffic and it was hauled into drafting people to Europe. So it was a convoy and kind of slow. The poor enlisted people were down in the hold and they didn’t get much relief from anything. But anyway, we finally made it to England and docked. We went to our airfield at a place called Nuthampstead, a brand new airport just carved out of the countryside from some farmers’ places. What area is this in the UK [ United Kingdom], you’re saying? It’s not far from Cambridge. It’s about twenty- five miles as the crow flies from Cambridge. East Anglia is the area of England in which the Eighth Air Force built an enormous number of fields. They must’ve built a hundred. They’re all over the place. So we ended up in the field. It was kind of muddy everywhere, so we called it “ Mudhampstead.” And there in September of ’ 43, we became what’s called “ operational.” We were ready to go to war. We had P- 38s, had bullets in the guns, everything like that. We’d practiced a couple of times. And then we took off to be escort for the long- range bombers, the B- 17, B- 24s. Now the P- 38 was the first long- range escort in operations in England. Prior to our arrival, they’d used Spitfires and P- 47s, which had only enough gas to go to the edge of the German border and then had to go back. The Germans just waited on the other side of the border, so to speak, and as soon as the fighters left, why then the bombers were on their own. And the losses were kind of high. Well, high. When we showed up, our job was to appear to fly directly to the border, meet the bombers when the others went home, and then our job was to continue on UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 into Germany. Well, the first month or two, we had the whole German fighter force to ourself. That’s thirty of us and six hundred of them. We had as much trouble as the bombers did. Almost, not quite. But anyway, every month a new fighter group, long- range one, would show up. So as time went on, the odds became completely in our favor. In the summer of ’ 44, D- Day, our group was assigned cover over the beach. I was over D- Day at four o’clock in the morning at ten thousand feet and you could see the whole show. The idea for the P- 38, because it has twin engines and twin booms so it looks different than the German airplanes, was that the sailors would recognize us and would feel comforted and not fire. Well, it turned out a couple of us went down to take a look at the beach. Every boat in the harbor lit up at us, so we went back up. The poor gunners were so nervous, they’d just as soon shoot anything, which I can understand. What was it like to see that unfold at that time? It’s amazing. I mean it’s incredible to see six thousand boats, all sizes of course, some of them burning, some of them sinking, fires on the beach. But at ten thousand feet, which is two miles, it becomes blurred, certainly in the sense that you cannot get the personal interactions taking place— like in Saving Private Ryan, where that’s probably a reasonably good reproduction of the landing problem. You don’t get that in the Air Corps, “ we live in fame or go down in flame,” and that’s about the way it is. Sleep in cold sheets at night or in a grave that same night. So our job was to patrol the beach, and the Germans never showed up. There were so many American fighters around there that they just didn’t risk losing all their air force at once. After D- Day, that’s June, in July I had finished the required number of missions and I volunteered to take a second tour, they called it, but I get thirty days R& R [ rest and recreation]. So we flew home, sitting in a DC- 4 at that time instead of the boat, and went out to Oregon and UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 found Mildred, and I think we went back to visit my mother and everything in Illinois, and then I went back to McGuire again, got on another boat, and went back to England. [ 00: 20: 00] September of ’ 44, [ I] joined my group, and at that time we changed airplanes from the [ P]- 38 to the P- 51, which we liked better because the 38, the cockpit was a very cold cockpit. Because the designer had not provided enough heat into the cockpit, and the engines are not in front, they’re off to the side. The P- 51, the engine was right out in front of you, sort of like a fireplace, so to speak, and that we liked. Furthermore, the flying characteristics of the 51 were better suited to Europe. The 38 was better suited to the South Pacific by quite a difference. And explain a little bit why that would be. What’s the difference? Well, in the South Pacific, they didn’t fly very high. They weren’t very cold. They had long hauls over water where one engine would get you home. If you got on one engine in Germany and ran into a German fighter, you’re in more trouble than it’s worth. And the fighting tactics; the Japanese airplane tactics, and the 38 tactics. The 38 guys were able to really utilize their one strength, which was a lot of power inertia, in a fighting tactic, but they would never get in a turning with a Zero. The Germans would never get in a turning with a P- 38 because we could pull it so tight and they’d spin out and we wouldn’t. So it’s tactics. Furthermore, the high altitude we flew at, we left contrails all the time. We left two contrails, not one, so the Germans said ah, P- 38, further than we could see them. So the playing field wasn’t quite even. When we got the 51, why, everything looked alike till it was too late. The 51 has a better turning or the 38 has a better turning? Well, the P- 38 is capable of going around in a very tight turn and never stalling. It stalls but it never drops the wing. A 51, a 109, any of those single- engine ones, if you stall it in a tight turn, it’ll flip on you, and if you’re at five hundred feet or a thousand feet, you go straight in. That’s UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 what happens around here in small airplanes, when people turn to final, the last turn, if they’re overshooting and pull it too tight, they’ll stall and it’s too late. And that happens once a month in the United States, in small private airplanes. The big boys don’t do that very often, fortunately. So you fight with what you have. So the 51 turned out to be— and that picture up there is a picture of me flying my 51 in England in 1944. I’m in the cockpit. And it’s named the Millie G. After your wife. Yes. That’s right. That’s a great picture. And I’m flying formation with a British guy that wanted to take pictures of P- 51s for recognition purposes, so he gave me a courtesy copy. I’ll take a closer look at that before I leave. OK. I’ll give you a card. I had it laser- colored, the black- and- white, in the real colors that it should be, and then I took that and made negatives, and I made little calling cards out of them. I’d like to have that. So I’ll give you one if you remind me. Anyway, we went on through the fall of ’ 44, into the spring of ’ 45. Sometime in April of ’ 45, I’m strafing south of Munich and a shell explodes in the cockpit. A German 20- millimeter shell exploded right off my left shoulder, which hit my shoulder harness— which is my parachute and everything, which is a lot of nylon— with the feeling like somebody hit me with a hammer, a big hammer. I was down about three or four hundred feet. Just in reflex, I pushed the throttle forward, which meant my hand was still working, and pulled the stick back and just went up, and told my wingman, I’m hit. We’re leaving. I then stuck my hand in my shirt and it went all the way in and it went into my chest. Well, it turned out it later wouldn’t quite go into my chest, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 but anyway out comes blood. Well, what do I do? I’ll pass out. I’ll fly for the lines, which weren’t too far away at that time, maybe fifty, a hundred miles, and I’ll belly in before I pass out of blood. But as time went on, I really didn’t get a lot of blood, though the hole was still there, and I go a little further, and two hours [ 00: 25: 00] later I’m back in England. And this hand has gotten stiff, so I land with one hand and everything, and they take me off to the hospital and sew me up. And that’s when I first ran into penicillin. Penicillin in those days was given every four hours with a needle. And so after two days of that, a nurse [ said], Where you want it this time? So I recovered relatively— or quite well. And it turned out that the parachute harness had absorbed 90 percent of the energy in the fragment, and what was left just skidded along the top of my ribcage underneath the skin. That’s what I actually— my finger was going this way, not this way. Not down but just sort of across— And it came out and went in there and came out and was laying in my shirt, a piece of metal. But the war ended. It’s now the late spring or early summer of ’ 45. Then our group got orders, not to go to the Pacific like we thought we might, but to go to the occupation of Germany. So we were sent to Kaufbeuren, which was a German training field south of Munich, oh, about fifty miles. Had never been bombed, had no runways, permanent buildings built in the thirties, beautiful permanent buildings. All the roofs had trees and bushes and things growing on it for camouflage. The Corps of Engineers put down a steel track for us. They still use them today. And we took our airplanes over there. But there wasn’t much to do, obviously, keep flying a little bit, so some of us scooted off to Nice [ France] one day. They’d go down there and spend a couple of nights at Nice. The thing about it, we’d go flying right across Switzerland. Well, they don’t like that, so here show up two white ME- 109s. They weren’t going to shoot us, but they UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 just wanted to inform us, you know, we’d trespassed. By opening the throttle, we actually ran off and left them. So we spent a couple of nights at Nice. We did things like that. Or we would go to Munich and drive around. And I have a lot of movies of all of this— 16- millimeter movie of Munich when the streets are only one car wide, literally, and people are wandering around looking for things to pick up in the rubble of the bombing and everything. Otherwise, we did what Americans do best. We scrounged for souvenirs. Now on the air base was a nice woodworking shop and big stacks of plywood, all sorts. So we told the shop, anybody wants a box made, he’ll give you the size and you just go make it. I still have some of the boxes they made, good German boxes with the countersunk screws and the whole works. And as long as you could meet the post office requirements— it was so many inches and so many pounds— you could mail it home. So they were very busy mailing all sorts of things home. There’s a German BMW called the 328 which is a little two- seater sport model built in the late thirties. [ It] became very famous. It won the thousand, not mile, but a thousand- kilometer Mille Miglia race. And one day on the air base, I saw this beautiful white car running around with some major in it. And the next time I saw it, it was all painted Army green with stars and a big number. I said, What’d you do all that for? [ And he said], Well, now I can drive up to any gas pump and fill it up, Army gas pump, put my number down and drive off, and everybody’s happy. It wasn’t the only car like that. The Americans were very busy picking up automobiles, fixing them, and motorcycles and things like that. People cannot understand the philosophy of the time: if it’s German, I own it. You don’t. If I want it, I’ll take it, whether it walks, talks, or drives. Which is war, especially in a country as technologically advanced as Germany was. So we had a lot of cars running around. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 When you say “ souvenirs,” what other kinds of things were you sending home or were others sending home? Well you can send home guns— not pistols but long guns— swords, crystal, any jewelry you could find, military souvenirs of one kind or another, whatever struck the GI’s [ 00: 30: 00] fancy. There were almost no constraints on it. You can’t do it now, but in those days, fine. Now the story with the BMW is, I was talking to the major one day and he says, I’m going home. What’ll I do with this car? [ And I said], Well, I’ll trade you my Eisenhower jacket for it. Now an Eisenhower jacket was one that Eisenhower designed as a semiformal, not formal but a dress jacket which was pulled here [ indicating]. It didn’t have the side flaps. And he says, All right, it’s a deal. So then I got a car and he’s gone. Now I try to figure out, how do I get this home? And I remembered I had an uncle in the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company, which still is a big shipping company. So I called Antwerp [ Belgium] from the field in Kaufbeirun. In those days, the telephone lines were down, but the Army lines were up, but the Army lines would lose power as you went from one switch to the next. The telephone in this office I had in Kaufbeuren had an amplifier built into it, first I’d ever seen, so every time I’d go through a switch, I’d turn the volume up. So I got this guy in Antwerp, the Lykes Brothers, and he said, Yeah, we’re going home empty. Bring it up here and we’ll take it back to New York for you at not too much. [ And I said] OK. So then I went to see some friends of mine who were interrogating German generals, and they were assigned to our air base for support. I said, How about you guys going up with me and bringing me back? They said, Well, OK, we’ve got this big command car that used to belong to [ Benito] Mussolini and we’ve got this German general’s driver that drives it like they’re still full of generals, and full throttle and full horn, right through Germany. So I put on all my winter flying gear because this UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 thing hadn’t any heat in it and it’s winter. And we drove it to Antwerp. I found the guy, I gave him the battery, and he’s happy because batteries are almost nonexistent. The gas he liked. And then he says, Well, let’s see, no problem. Where’s the bill of sale? [ And I said], What bill of sale? [ And he said], Well, you’ve got to have a bill of sale. I said, You got a blank one? [ And he said], Yeah. So I turned to Hans, the driver, and said, Hans, sign. Hans signs, I give him a carton of cigarettes, he’s happy, the Belgians are happy, the steamship company’s happy, and for a hundred and fifty bucks it’ll be in New York City when I get there later on. So we went back to Kaufbeuren, and then two or three months later I went home the normal way. [ I] went to one of the personnel handling depots on the French coast where they processed people, put them on boats, sent them back to the United States. And then I went all the way back to Oregon where Mildred was still flying for Pan Am, and of course she quit. And they asked me did I want to get out of the Army Air Corps. So I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I did know that I didn’t want to continue to be a fighter pilot because everybody’s doing that. I did know that if I wanted to, which I thought I did, continue in science, I had to go do something about making up for the four years of absolute loss in my memory bank of things technical. And while I’m trying to make up my mind, why, we got orders to go down to March Field. Now March Field is down east of Los Angeles [ California]. And so we went down there. Now I’m driving two cars, the BMW, which we drove out from New York City to Oregon, and Mildred had our car, my original Chevy convertible, so I had two cars. So we drove those down UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 to March Field. And finding a house was something else. We found a little house somewh