Not all war stories are sad or tragic.
Grandson Frank Calovich told a great war story about his Dad (George) and his uncle (Mike). Mike—four years the older brother—was drafted and served in the Army Air Corps as a radio gunner in B-24s. George was later drafted by the Navy in 1943. He trained at Great Lakes IL and Treasure Island CA. The Navy assigned him to the attack transport USS Neshoba APA 216 as a Fireman second class in November 1944. Here’s his baby picture!
The crew of the Neshoba landed elements of the Army’s 96th Infantry Division at Okinawa on April 1, 1945. After the war’s end, they participated in operation Magic Carpet and several occupation landings in Asia. As all those young fellas did, George made some buddies while at sea… and they had a nickname.
George was eventually released from duty aboard Neshoba in February 1946 and stationed back at Treasure Island until his discharge in June.
While George was at Treasure Island, his older brother learned of his location. Mike, who by this time was an E-6 Tech Sgt with the Air Force—was stationed out West somewhere, near Colorado. When he learned his kid brother was on Treasure Island… well, the brothers hadn’t seen each other for some time. So Mike went AWOL and hitch-hiked to California to see brother George.
They took a great picture together!
Upon returning to his duty station, Mike was promptly busted from an E-6 Tech Sgt back to a PFC.
This one became a part of the Calovich family lore. According to grandson Frank: “I can’t tell you how many times I heard that story and listened to the laughter.”
Source: The Calovich Collection: http://www.rpadden.com/neshoba.htm