Second World War: Motorcycle Mechanics

Texan talks about his dad's role as a motorcycle mechanic, among other things, during the Second World War.

| Good Old Days

My dad told me stories of the Second World War when I was younger. He was in the U.S. Army, and after basic training, he went to school for motorcycle mechanics and clerk typing school. He was in the 293rd MM Company, which is a medium maintenance ordnance company. My dad, George Smith, went overseas in March 1943 to Europe. 

He tells me they landed in Glasgow, Scotland, then went south in England to a little town named Cutting Corners. Then his company moved south to Dorchester, England, where his company was feeding and billeting the infantry land tanks waiting before the D-Day invasion.

Day after day, airplanes would fly over the English Channel to France, bombing the German positions. There were a lot of balloons in the harbor to keep airplanes from France and Germany from strafing the harbor. One night when the bombers were returning, some German planes followed them back. The searchlights went on, and anti-aircraft guns shot them down.

He said one day after a heavy two- or three-day rainstorm, there was a lot of activity in the harbor. A lot of soldiers and equipment were loaded on large barge-like LSTs. For the next few weeks, ships were leaving the harbor. He didn't know it at the time, but it was D-Day, when Eisenhower made the big push into France.

John E. Smith
League City, Texas

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 

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