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Leroy Sr was drafted for World War II in March/April 1943.
Timeline of where he was stationed
Baton Rouge, La.
New Orleans, La.
Port of Embarkment in New York September 1943
Home September 1945
Note on the map: Dolly says she traced his movements during the war through his letters. They used a code that the first letter of each sentence would spell out his location. Dolly doesn't recall what happened to the letters.
While overseas Leroy Sr. gambled a lot and would send home money in $5 bills. Dolly believes she has a picture of him somewhere playing cards with Mickey Rooney.
Leroy Sr.'s platoon of Army Engineers and Firefighters
Campisi, Salvatore V.
Daniel, Walter G.
DeLaney, Clare E.
Derwart, Dan W.
Gilreath, Webster K.
Glover, Shuford C.
Haslinger, Harold W.
Huler, Thomas F.
Martin, Guy W.
Martin, Richard, A.
Platoon setup the Fire Dept in Normandy Beach.
Story of Homecoming
In the military, if you had so many points and were of a certain age, you could go home. Leroy served as fire chief at the Tempelhof airbase in Berlin. They needed a major fire department at the airbase as an occupying army.
Leroy had more than enough points to come home, but he was needed. His General told him he would be sent home "over his dead body."
Leroy wrote to his mother asking her to play sick or dying. Dolly called Herman Talmadge, then Governor of Georgia, who had been at UGA with Leroy Sr. She told him that his mother needed Leroy to come home. Dolly claimed to have hay fever herself and that Leroy’s mother was sick.
Talmadge wrote a letter to the General to send Leroy home. The General then came to Leroy, and asked him, “Ok Sarge, how you wanna go? Walk, swim, or fly?”
Leroy had a layover in Paris. He went to a nightclub to buy souvenirs. While there, they “fed him a mickey.” He woke up sick to his stomach. Someone had stolen all of his souvenirs, his watch, and his jewelry.
Once during the war, Leroy had a 45 day leave granted, and he went home. Upon arriving in New York City, Leroy phoned Dolly to meet him in Augusta, Ga. He had to go somewhere else from NYC for disembarkation. He told Dolly to tell her boss that she was quitting to stay home and have a baby.
Dolly went early and met every train from the North with soldiers. Having no luck, she rode through the camp looking for Leroy, and asked the main office for the record of who was coming onto the base. Discouraged, she returned to her hotel room.
Leroy went to a hotel when he arrived in Augusta, and was told they were full up. Leroy figured Dolly was still in Athens, and was about to take a cab all the way from Augusta. As he was leaving, the desk clerk called back to ask for his name. When he said it, the clerk pointed out Dolly’s room having recognized the last name. When he reached her room, he pretended to be housekeeping to surprise her.