Second World War: War Hero Refused to Wear Uniform on Leave

A serviceman home on leave from the South Pacific during the Second World War refused to wear his uniform whenever out in public

| Good Old Days

When a serviceman was home on leave during the Second World War, he was supposed to wear his uniform whenever he was out in public. But we had one fellow in our town who was quite an independent character. When he came home on leave after seeing a lot of action in the South Pacific, he was even more independent and aggressive, and he didn't want to wear his uniform at all times. 

One time when the town cop saw him in public, he approached the serviceman and told him he had to be wearing his uniform and to go home and get it on. This young man, who had seen and used much bigger guns than anyone in town ever saw, and had seen death at its worst, wasn't easily intimidated. He said to the cop, "OK, get your shootin' irons out and try to make me do it. I'm not wearing my uniform if I don't want to, and if you want to make something of it, get your shootin' irons out and try to make me do so."

Well, the cop was dumfounded. He didn't know what to do, and he wasn't about to take on this young war hero in any kind of fashion he was being invited to. So the cop went to the mayor and told him what had happened and asked the mayor what he should do. The mayor said, "Forget about it; leave him alone."

Carl W. Franke
Tucson, Arizona

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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