Excerpt from “Chapter 7 – Salt Lake City”

The Jolly Roger: An Airman’s Tale of Survival in World War II by William C. Atkinson

Excerpt from “Chapter 7 – Salt Lake City”:

At the beginning of December, 1941, the inhabitants of Raleigh, North Carolina readied for the arrival of Christmas day. The home of James and Rosalie Williams was beautifully decorated for the season, and their son, Lewis, was on holiday from his studies at the local campus of North Carolina State University. At age 21, his hormones were running at full capacity, and he found his attentions in high demand with a number of the local young ladies. His capacity to entertain the opposite sex was enhanced by the availability of his dad’s 1938 Oldsmobile, and Lewis often brought a date to the movies. One of his favorite movies was “Captain Blood,” a pirate movie starring the swashbuckling Errol Flynn with Olivia de Havilland at his side. Lewis H. Williams’ prospects for the future seemed bright indeed.

With the arrival of Sunday, December 7, 1941, Lewis’ future, along with that of thousands of other young men around the country, would abruptly change. He immediately volunteered for service in the Army, and he was inducted in the latter part of December at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was subsequently assigned to the Tank Corps and began training as a driver. He hated every minute of it.