Military Service

Banks Talley discusses his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, when he was trained in Alabama and Texas and served in the Philippines.

Interview on 2012-10-11


00:00:00.000 But when I was seventeen my father had been called back in service. He had been in World War I, he was called back in for number two,
00:00:10.958 and I volunteered when I was seventeen for the service. They had a special program for seventeen-year-olds and I was sent down to Alabama.
00:00:27.940 I had a quarter at the university in Tuscaloosa and a quarter at Auburn, [Laughs] so I learned more about higher education in Alabama than I had otherwise,
00:00:45.184 and I was in the service. What they did, this was toward the end of World War II and there was what they called the Battle of the Bulge in Europe.
00:00:59.600 It was sort of the culminating engagement when the American lines were all drawn out and Gen. Patton played a big role in saving the day.
00:01:14.641 So they were sending all eighteen-year-olds to Europe because they needed human beings. It was a slaughter there for awhile. So one of the Senators,
00:01:34.933 a United States Senator, Robert Taft, who was the son of a former President, objected to so many eighteen-year-old boys being killed,
00:01:50.184 so they pulled all of us out that were eighteen from Fort Meade where we were ready to go to Europe and sent us to Texas for three months,
00:02:04.368 June, July, and August. Texas is still hot and it was hot then. I was at Camp Maxey, Texas, which is up on the border of Oklahoma.
00:02:19.785 More infantry training, mainly a good case of Poison Ivy out in bivouac, etcetera, and then completed that.
00:02:34.326 By that time the European war had concluded but the Pacific engagement was still underway, and I got in a troop train in Texas
00:02:50.346 and we went to the West Coast and on to the Philippines. I was in the Philippine Islands roughly a year and a half, largely in Manila
00:03:06.031 but we had landed in Leyte, which was the famous landing for Gen. MacArthur. But anyway, my year and a half, more or less, in the Philippines, mainly in Manila, was a very interesting experience.