Americans in Wartime Experience

Calvin Cruse

World War II

After graduating from high school in 1944 in New Mexico, Calvin Cruse worked in the potato industry in Texas before being drafted into the United States Army on October 6, 1944 to help fight in World War 2. Cruse began basic training in Mineral Wells, Texas on October 8, 1944. His main training was as an ammunition bearer on 30 and 50 caliber machine guns, which would later not be his main role in the war. After he was finished with basic training, Cruse was sent to San Francisco, California and was put on a cruise ship along with 1800 soldiers headed to the Philippine Islands.

The ships final destination was on the Island of Leyte in the Philippines, where Cruse would stay for two weeks. While Cruse was at the Island of Leyte, his primary job was to unload supplies from the ships using DUKW (known as “Ducks”), a six-wheel vehicle that could travel on land as well as in water. After staying two weeks on the Island of Leyte, Cruse was sent to the Island of Mindoro where he was part of the 24th Division , in the Infantry Company as the ammunition bearer on 30 and 50 caliber machine guns. Not long after, Cruse was re-assigned to the 24th Medical Battalion and his job was the Clerk Typist because he was skilled in typing. After two weeks on the Island of Mindoro, Cruse was moved to the Island of Mindanao.

On the Island of Mindanao, Cruse was assigned as the cook’s helper, became the driver for the ration clerk, and then was assigned to be the actual ration clerk. in the position of ration clerk, Cruse was in charge of making orders for rations, organizing ration meals, and picking up the meals. After a few months, soldiers started to go back home, opening up more jobs. With the increase in jobs, Cruse then became the Staff Sergeant. When the war was over, Cruse and the 24th Medical Battalion was sent to the Occupation of Japan and stayed there for 3-4 months. On the way to Japan, the ship Cruse was on, along with the many other ships traveling to Japan, had to maneuver through a big tropical storm, but eventually they made it to Japan. Cruse stayed in Japan until January 1, 1947 and was sent home on the ship H.W. Butner. In mid-January Cruse was discharged from the army once he returned home.

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The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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