OUR FIRST HANGAR PARTY
This event took place after our first year in the ETO combat area at our air base near Leiston, England. the Squadron had purchased some kegs of British beer (generally drank at room temperatue with no ice) & decided to hold a 1 year over celebration in the 362nd hangar down on the flight line at night after work.
As you can imagine, it was very well attended by pratically all of our squadron members, except those on duty at night. We always had a very good time at these beer parties, as this first one proved to be so successful that we had a few more after that. Our squadron always worked as a team-enlisted men and officers alike and these events allowed everyone to sort of let their hair down, so to speak.
Generally, the evening was spent in (of course) drinking warm beer, telling jokes, relating past events, singing songs with probably at times some serious thought given to the following days possible happenings. I can remember an event that happened at this first party very vividly. One of my Armament Nissen Hut buddies tipped a few too many canteen cups of beer. I will not mention names, but you will uderstand why as the story progresses.
Our Nissen Hut living area was about one half mile away from the flight line and hangar. In order to get to and from the hangar, we had to follow a path through some fields and past a British NAFI (restaurant for the British civilian laborers on base). Then a little farther on our path passed by what we called a poop smasher(the garbage disposal system for the base with an open pit of muck).
On this particular night, one of my Nissen Hut buddies, after drinking a large amount of the warm beer decided to start back to the Nissen hut by himself. You are probably ahead of me...Yep, he fell into this open pit of muck! A short time later the party started breaking up and I left with some more armorers from my Nissen Hut. As we passed by the poop smasher, we heard a commotion and found our buddy in this 7 ft. deep pit trying to get out and having no luck. It must be said, "He was having a problem, as he was a short individual".
To make a long story short, we held our breath and fished him out. We walked him back to our wash house and hosed him down and then threw his fatigues away, but kept his shoes and scrubbed them clean. We then took him over to the Nissen Hut and poured him in bed. The following morning we aroused him for chow and he didnŐt remember anything that happened and wondered where his fatigues were. He did have a clean pair of fatigues to slip on, but those shoes still smelled bad for days, even after we had scrubbed them clean.