462d was formed at Camp Mackall N.C. in about June or July 1943. I
can't tell you much about patch. The first time I saw it was around June 1943 at Camp
Mackall. This was right next to Fort Bragg. Madigan, who was the Battalion
Commanding Officer at that point, called me into his office and asked me 'What
do you think of this Patch?' You don't disagree with the Old Man,
though it is possible to have him shot, which we arranged later, but that is
another story. I don't know where it came from or who designed it. Anyway,
I guess we bought them at the PX. They were never widely worn.
The leather jackets are another thing I not sure about. They were not an item of
general issue. Not every Officer had one, but most did. I think they were
actually an Air Corps item and our supply officer managed to get them.
Don't ask me how!
We trained at Mackall until about
February 1944, and after passing our Battalion tests we were sent
to Camp Stoneman California. Up until we were sent to California, we
fully expected to be sent to Europe.
We embarked on the Liberty Ship
"Sea Cat" and arrived in Brisbane, Australia about 31
days later. When we arrived in Brisbane we were joined with the 503d P.I.R. We
were only there a week or so when the 503d was sent to New Guinea.
We remained. This was a matter of logistics (there was not enough ship room for
us.) So we had to wait until about September 1944 when we went by Dutch
ship to join the 503d on Noemfoor. I personally was not on this trip as I
had flown ahead and joined the 503d on Aug 14, 1943.
After the 462d
arrived we settled in and did training again. Always training in the Army.
It was during this time that we managed to wound Madigan with a training
accident and I assumed command. On October 20th or 21st,
Colonel Jones and I flew to Hollandia and then on to Angar, which was
part of the Palau Group. We over-nighted there and the next morning
flew on to Leyte to report to Krueger's 6th Army and start preparations and
planning for a drop on Mindoro. The R.C.T. arrived and we bivouacked in
some coconut groves about 3-4 miles south of Tacloban.
On about December
12 we embarked on LCI's and sailed to Mindoro where we made a
seaborne landing on December 15. It was from Mindoro that we left to drop in on
Corregidor on 16 February, 1945. My accommodation was not terribly good on
Corregidor, because I had dropped in without a reservation. Major Melvin
Knudsen took over from me after I was evacuated from Corregidor, and he then
took the unit back to Mindoro and then on to Negros, which was its last
The 462d was decommissioned about August or September
45. Poof, just like that there was no more 462d! Men with
enough points were sent home and those who didn't have enough were assigned
to 11th Airborne, which didn't always please them too much, because we always
looked down on the 11th as a 'junior' outfit. Being badly
wounded, I was sent back to the hospital in Hollandia. A Medical board
decided to send me back Stateside for surgery on my knee. Which they did! You
can't argue with a medical board!