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  • Writer's pictureZeke

Great Lakes Navy Center

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

My military career was centered on a program set up by a Captain Eddy to train young novices in electronics. I think my brother had heard of it and suggested that I apply for entry. I took tests at the Navy recruiting office in Cincinnati during the 1944 Christmas vacation and was officially inducted into the Navy in Feb. with permission to stay in high school until graduation.

I graduated on a Friday at the end of May 1945 and was inducted and transported to Great Lakes Navy Center north of Chicago the following Monday for about six weeks of boot camp. Training there included:

1) Lots of PT.

2) Climbing ropes 30 feet high.

3) Heavy duty fire fighting (Yes, ships can catch on fire).

4) Gunnery – pistol and rifles I got a Sharp Shooters metal).

5) Anti-aircraft gunnery.

6) A bit of boatmanship and navigation.

7) Drum and bugle corps.

I do not recall any spare time in boot camps except for the minutes between finishing supper and going to bed. It was all probably a good lesson in discipline for a bunch of teenagers. We had one guy who was 38 that had a lot of electronic experience and we called him “Pop”.

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