William H. Muehleib, served with the Air Corps in WWII.
He asked for Hawaii as a dream place to begin his
service. The dream became a nightmare on 12-7-41! Here
he recounts an experience on that day.
I had arrived on to Hickam Field on
TDY from Wheeler Field for a twelve week course on
aircraft mechanics. When you graduated you received S/Sgts
pay regardless of your rank. Well, in the 10th week of
the class we had a formation where we were told that the
following Monday we were being formed into a ground
defense battalion with 50 caliber, live ammo. Of course
the fact that we had never even fired a 30 caliber much
less a 50 did not enter in to the decision. This was
just before Thanksgiving day.
When you figure there were twelve
classes of about 20 students a class, it was about 240
plus people on shifts of two hours on and four hours off
on a 24 hour cycle. On December 5th, we were told that
we would be going back to class the following Monday,
December 8th. The 21st Infantry were coming down from
Schofield to relieve us. Of course that never happened.
Any way, one of the most important installations on
Hickam was the beer garden, nicknamed the "Snake
Ranch", why, who knows. During the attack one of
the Japanese planes made a hit on the Snake Ranch".
Blew it all to hell with cases of beer going everywhere.
Would you believe that in between strafing runs we had
GI's dashing out of there cover and hauling cases of
beer back to there holes. The rallying cry was not
Remember Pearl Harbor but Remember the Snake Ranch.
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