"DEAR MOM AND DAD"
We receive many e-mails from family members who want to understand more of the times and circumstances of the war service of a family member "who wouldn't talk much" about the war. Fortunately, George L. Taylor wrote home at every opportunity, and his observations have survived for our Heritage.
George Leland Taylor was my uncle, my mother's only sibling, and the only son of a proud World War 1 Veteran. He was raised at a time when family, faith and patriotism were the standards of life and home. He was born in Dexter, Kansas, on October 4, 1923, small at birth and remaining so throughout his life, weighing 145 lbs at his heaviest. The family moved with the oil firlds, and he attended many public schools in Southeast Kansas, McPherson Kansas and finally graduating from high school in Plainville, Kansas in 1941.
He listened intently throughout his young lifetime to stories of heroism and unquestioning loyalty to his country demonstrated by his father, Leland Taylor, who had, aged 18, served in the Great War.
With hostilities finally engulfing the United States, and isolationism no longer possible, he knew he had a job to do. He was called into service while working at Watkins Inc. in Wichita, Kansas and reported for induction on February 6, 1943.
And so began his nearly 3- year odyssey in service to his country.
And so began the nearly 3- year wait for his return.
Pvt. George L. Taylor
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Dear Mom and Pop
When I found out I was going to leave Fort Logan I tried to call but the line was busy. . . .
We left Littleton on the train and went south and the east. Left at 3:30 p.m. and I was awake when we went right thru Burrton by Henry Groniger’s pool hall. Went on up to Kansas City and right back to Wichita. You know how the tracks are thru Wichita, well I went right within 20 feet of Watkins, Inc. It sure gives you a funny feeling when you can’t stop whenever you want to. Got here at 6:00 yesterday. Took about 28 hrs to get here. Didn’t know where I was going till way after we’d been on the train. We came down here under sealed orders. Took several tests at Logan. When I arrived here I was picked to go up for a recommendation for Officers Candidate School. High I.Q. and all. Ha-Ha. Went up to the captain (2 caps & 2 other ones) and clicks my heels, salute and say “Pvt. Taylor reports to board as directed”. I was plenty nervous. They interviewed me and I didn’t have near enough Algebra, Trigometry and other stuff, so I was disqualified. It made me feel good anyway. So next I asks to be automatic rifleman or they call them Mule Packs but you have to be so tall and weigh so much, so that was out. So not I’m one of the boys (by request) on one of the big guns. They shoot off in the distance all day long. Dad, what mountains or awful big hills are to the west & north of us? Sure wish I could get ahold of one of those rifles. Won’t get to be near a big gun for 2 weeks. Did you know that Fort Sill has been here longer than the state of Oklahoma. It’s the biggest artillery school in America and supposedly the best they say around here. I was sure surprised I got what I asked for. . . .