I was in the 355th Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division in July 1944 at Camp Butner, N.C. The division had a quota of two out of 12,000 G.I.’s to go to Fort Benning, Ga., for infantry officer’s training.
Another man from the 353th Regiment and I were chosen and we received orders to report in five days. We drove to Fort Benning, which was a 20 miles southeast of Columbus, Ga. Phoenix City, Ala., was a sister city across the Chattahoochee River.
After several weeks, the troops were getting thirsty (according to them). I didn’t drink and wasn’t interested. Georgia was a dry state and Alabama was a wet state. The problem was to get to Phoenix City, purchase the booze and return to the fort.
The guys knew I had a car. It was a 1942 Plymouth Coach. They put the heat on me to take them on a booze run. There were plenty of military police riding around both cities in their little open air jeeps with big billy clubs. I didn’t want to get picked up by them.
Finally, I agreed to take them if they had a plan. I did not want to be wandering around Phoenix City looking for a liquor house.
The plan was for me to take three guys. Two were to ride in the back seat to be the fetchers of the booze bottles and the third was to ride in the front seat to be the lookout for the military police.
We drove to Columbus one Saturday night, crossed the Chattahoochee River into Phoenix City and located the liquor house.
Instead of stopping, I circled the block and let the two guys out a block away. I informed them we would be back in 15 minutes.
When we returned to pick them up, I didn’t even stop. I just pulled over near the curb doing about 5 mph. The lookout opened the door and pulled the front seat down.
The fetchers came running at full speed and dove into the back seat and we sped away for the Chattahoochee.
The next stop was our barracks, where I let the guys out. Then I drove to the parking lot, parked, came back and went to bed. I never heard what happened to the booze. I didn’t want to know.