University of Iowa - Iowa City, Iowa
In 1923 my father became an agent for a Fraternal Accident and Health Insurance Company (Masons only) He agreed to take the state of Iowa as his exclusive territory. We moved to Iowa City from St. Joseph, Missouri. Iowa City was chosen as a residence and office so that my brother and I could attend the university there.
Rental places in Iowa City at that time were expensive for that time. We found a three room place over a printing office and a mortuary.
We were crowded and not very comfortable. Our living room where my brother and I slept on cots was lighted by a skylight with no outside windows as I remember it. A small kitchen and breakfast nook was at the back end of the same room. I used the breakfast nook table as a work bench for radio receivers which I designed and built as a hobby.
I soon became skilled enough in getting the radio receiver kit of that time to work properly so that I had some income from repairing and reassembling the crude radio receivers of that day. Loud Speakers were crude and almost non-existent so most sets used earphones.
My radio hobby continued to be a learning process as it had been throughout my high school years.
I entered the university in the fall of 1923 as a sophomore student of electrical engineering and my brother went into liberal arts as a Geology Major following in our father's footsteps. When I entered the U. of Iowa I was not in good health. I still suffered from the effects of a motorcycle accident. I had abdominal pains and continuous discomfort.
Afterwards I found I had chronic appendicitis. I weighed ll0 pounds and was not strong athletically as I had been before the accident. I played tennis but was not very good as I had been before.
The University seemed very large and strange to me and I was determined to do as well as I could in my studies.
I was rather successful in my sophomore year.
The engineering classes were run on the basis new to me and perhaps unusual. I joined a class in E.E. which had one
classroom with an office type desk for each student.
We all worked together sharing information and the professors came to us for each class. There were really no electives in our sophomore year. We had no classes in language or communication skills which now seems to me to be an improper oversight. I now feel that communication of results is a most important part of engineering or science. I then felt as most engineering student (and professors) of that day that the study and practice writing in our native language as a boring waste of time.
I did well in all my classes with one exception. I was very good at projective geometry but draftsmanship escaped me. I felt drafting was important as a communications media but I could not come to grips with the importance of neatness. I found it impossible to keep the carbon dust from sharpening pencils on sand boards off of my drawings.
Although this type of neatness was never expressed as a goal or criticized, I was shocked to get a C grade which proved to be for this reason alone. Especially since all my other first semester grades were A's.
My particular triumph was calculus. I got an A in every paper and exam in that subject. I felt as if I had come home to ideas which had been a subliminal part of my thinking forever. I felt I was anticipating each new step in that subject.
My whole sophomore year was very good but I found it unsatisfying. We were being taught formulas and hand books and their application. My curiosity was unsatisfied. Where did these strange formulae come from? What was the basis of units of measure, mechanical, thermal, and electrical as well as length, area, and volume. No one else seemed interested. That was the field of Physics and of little interest to engineers in that time and place. An important course ,vas engineering physics. I did not get in stride during the first six week session because I knew little of the fundamentals of mass inertia and gravity. As a result I was assessed as a poor prospect and termed up with a 40 year old carpenter who was upgrading by taking engineering. We were placed together to be a team in the experimental physics lab. To the astonishment of the instructor I soon picked up on the physics theory and the carpenter skills of my partner combined with my insight rapidly made us first in the class.
I particularly remember how well we did on the oil drop experiment to measure the charge on the electron. When we came to electricity and sound my past experience in my radio hobby made our performance outstanding.
I found that physics answered some of the questions I had about strange unbelievable numbers in engineering formulae and became excited about the subject. My talent in calculus was a great help.
During the early part of the second semester the all university math exam was announced. Sophomores were allowed to compete but not much was expected of them. I reviewed my math knowledge until I felt I was getting stale. The night before the exam I relaxed and spent the evening learning to play Ma Jong, a Chinese game just becoming popular.
I was several times temped to walk out on the three hour math exam but I stuck with it. I was surprised to find next day that I came out first for the Lowden Math prize of $50 with a grade of 49%.
I was hailed as a hero in my engineering class and responded by treating everyone to Eskimo pies which was then completely new.
As the school year ended I was approached by a fraternity. I think because my record made me a candidate for a tutor for lagging brothers. I, of course could not finance this and turned it down. Therefore when I was told that I had been elected to Tau Beta Pi I was scornful not realizing that it was an honorary grade fraternity for engineers and that only one sophomore was chosen each year. I foolishly announced that I was changing to Liberal Arts next year to study Physics.
I was encouraged to change my major to physics by Prof; C.W. Stewart, Chairman of the Physics department because of my grades and mastery of the engineering physics course. I should have of course accepted Tau Beta Pi and I have always regretted my stupidity in that case.
I enjoyed that year of hard study and little social activity. I began to make some friends some of whom have lasted a life time. During that year, I met a Hindu student named Gogolapati Ghumdgageharin, known to hi friends as Gogo. I came from the engineering building to cross the street to the physics building. Gogo was coming toward me just then a large truck came up the hill and turned. As it turned
some reinforcement rods with no flag swung wide and struck Gogo in the face.
The truck did not stop. Gogo was horrified. I believe he had never before had a bleeding wound and he was sure from his folklore that he would soon die. I rushed to help him. I comforted him and guided him to the student health department where he was disinfected and court plastered over a small wound in the cheek. He was a graduate student in engineering His family owned Mica mines near Guntur, India and his job was to determine electrical uses for the Mica to help get the best markets for the product. We became good friends. He later took me to his room to show me his robes woven with threads of gold and silver along with heavy silk. I was impressed.
However, he did not bathe and his room and his clothes had a strong odfor which I found unpleasant. I mention him because I had a project with him the next year. When he went back to India I did not hear of him again.
During that year my mother persuaded me to trade my radio set which I had made with a Red Ball Variometer to copy the popular 'Grebe' set with its Magnavox loud speaker to a friend of hers for piano lessons. I really did not want to trade and my piano lessons were useless as I do not have a tonal memory so necessary for musical performance.
I do not now remember the following summer. Perhaps a look at records can jog my memory. Did I go to summer school as I did in succeeding summers? I don't now remember.
The next "year starting in September 1924 was an exciting year. I registered as a physics student in liberal arts. Not because I had the slightest thought of a career as having to do with making a living but because I became excited about physics as a subject, particularly the Electro-magnetic part of it. Electromagnetics always seemed like magic to me as it still does.
I soon learned that we had a young new astronomy instructor as part of the Physics department named Donald H. Menzel. I knew the university had a small telescope in a dome near the athletic field house. I was curious about it as I had neverl ooked though a telescope larger than my father's surveying transit.
I got to discussing possibilities with my friend and fellow physics student Ernest Linder. One day (we were also canoe companions) I suggested that I bet we could talk the new astronomer into loaning us the key to the observatory.
Encouraged by Ernest, I went with him to see Prof. Menzel. To my surprise we succeeded. We had many evenings surveying the stars and showing off to various girl friends. As a result I got acquainted with Don Menzel and we started a close friendship which lasted until his death more than 50 years later.
Another life long friend was one of my physics professors, Professor Claude J. Lapp. Professor Lapp rented room and furnished board for my class mate Ernest Linder. Professor Lapp was in charge of the laboratory for electrical measurements. Prof. Lapp told me many years later that I must have been an incredible salesman because in my junior year I persuaded him in the course on electrical measurements to allow me to do all the possible experiments without requiring a written report on each one; my argument being that I was there to learn and not to report and if I was allowed my system I could do almost all the experiments that the lab provided since I would not be taking time for write up. Prof. Lapp said many years later when he was head of graduate fellowships for the American Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. he frequently thought of our early acquaintance and could not understand why he fell for my persuasion. I had difficulty in report writing because as I discovered thirty or more years late, of a problem of dyslexia.
The arrangement was a real education for me. I already knew a lot about electricity and magnetism and I soon finished the formal experiments in electrical and magnetic measurements. I then persuaded prof. Lapp to allow me to use a work table in the lab for some experiments of my own.
I found in the lab a 5 watt transmitting triode (type R.C.A. 202) and I was allowed to use it with various current and volt meters and a power supply to determine if I could produce high frequency oscillations (or short waves as was then the fashion). I removed the base from the triode, and built a small resonant circuit close to the wires in the base of the tube. I had an imaginative approach to circuits and I was successful beyond expectations. I produced frequencies up to
the then unheard of frequency for continuous waves of 300 megahertz or one meter wavelength. I was faced with the problem of measuring the wavelength and the frequency. The physics shop was allowed to make a wavemeter of my design and I developed a Letcher wire system of measuring wave length for calibration. I produced enough power to light small neon lights along the parallel wire system. This caused a sensation in the physics department and I soon had a reporter from the University Newspaper writing articles about my accomplishment. The young lady coed who did the reporting was named Edith Cobeen. (Co-bean). We became good friends and had a number of dates in spite of my general lack of funds.
I had other dates and girl friends during college but my real interest remained with Elma Stone in St. Joseph, Missouri, who eventually became my wife.
I continued my experiments and produced 250 watts with a larger vacuum tube at 100 megahertz. The higher frequencies I found more fascinating however and pursued the calibration of wave meters and the understanding of electrical circuits and electrical resonance for the then high frequencies.
At the same time I was having success in this field and predicting its use in point to point telephone communication (later realized in micro-wave communication) Professor Menzel in the engineering was trying to establish a radio laboratory and had gotten a then handsome grant from the state legislature for such a Lab. Instead of realizing how easily he could have captured my success by persuading me to join him he chose to protest to Professor Stewart under whom I worked in the Physics department.
Professor Stewart was very unsympathetic to Professor Menzel's complaint that my success was ruining his laboratory's credibility. I heard that he told prof. Menzel that if he and his people could not outdo a junior physics student they had better start over. He refused to interfere with my research and in fact encouraged me in everyway.
As this work was going on I was carrying a full course load including a graduate course in physical chemistry in the chemistry department. This course was
taken at Dr. Stewart's suggestion as he said to me he did not want me to be a narrow gauge physicist. I must go as far in math and chemistry as I could.
I also took math courses in solid analytic geometry and differential equation~ About the middle of my first semester in liberal arts Prof. Stewart asked that I consider a problem in the psychology department for which he had recommended me.
A young man in that department whose name I no longer remember, has done about four years of graduate work in psychology toward a Ph. D. when the professor under whom his thesis work was progressing left the university to a job at a different university. No one left in his department was willing to help him continue his chosen thesis and yet the department felt as a consensus that he deserved a degree. So, Prof. Stewart had been asked if he would suggest a quick thesis subject. He suggested (because of his large experience and fame in acoustics) that a research in the correlation between the phase of tones in each individual ear and the subjective perception of sound direction would be significant and could be done rapidly and scientifically satisfactorily. The reply to this was that no one in psychology knew anything about the necessary apparatus. Stewart said he could supply a man to fill that deficiency and suggested that the Prof. in that department talk to me.
I went for an interview at Prof. Stewart's suggestion and soon convinced thePsych. people that the project was practical. I really needed income as I was subsisting on $30.00 a month from R.O.T.C. and $7.00 from a grant to a student who was needy and did not smoke, drink, or swear. So, financial aid would have been welcome at a later date as changes came. Some financial reward would have been expected I was surprised I was not offered any money however. It was pointed out to me that I needed at least six hours credit in bio-sciences to graduate.
I was offered this credit in psych. and name my own grade if the graduate student couldget his Ph.D. I agreed to this arrangement. Between Physics and Psych. stores I rounded up the necessary equipment. With an electrical audio oscillator of adjustable frequency and a set of switches alternators, capacitors and resistances I devised a system where test candidates could listen to tones in a pair of earphones supplied
with tone current of a selected frequency and intensity so that the phase betweenthe two ears could be adjusted in small steps. This worked very well and we found a good correlation between phase and apparent sound direction for mid range frequency. At low frequencies there was confusion except for very large whose shift and when the frequency was high enough so that the sound wavelength corresponded to half a wave length or more between ears the there was again confusion. However, in the mid range correlation was very good for the majority of the hundred or so student volunteers we tested.
I wrote of the technical part of the paper, a thesis was turned in a Ph.D.received and 6 hours of A+ in Psych recorded for me. I was getting a lesson in the way a University can work. Meanwhile I learned to canoe on the Iowa river and ice skate in winter.
I also learned a little about the small mindedness of some academic people.Just after Prof. Stewart obtained the seven dollar a month grant for me from funds left by a former alumni's will, I had occasion to suggest that my new English friend, Edith Cobeen have lunch with me at a local cafeteria, Edith, who's name Cobeen was a Czechoslovakian name had a farm family of some wealth and she understood my lack of funds. Just after that lunch about 2.00 p.m. Prof. Stewart asked me to come to his office. He was very serious. It had already been reported to him that I had taken a girl to lunch and someone thought this improper for the recipient of the $7.00 a month grant. I quickly explained that Edith had paid for her own lunch and I was sure neither of us would be embarrassed if she personally reported this and in fact, the cashier might have noticed. Prof. Stewart was properly furious with his informant (I never knew who it was). He told me to forget it that he had complete faith in my doing the correct thing. I never heard anymore about this illuminating incident. I continued to get good grades except in French and then in German where I could only achieve a D grade, I now believe because of the combination of teaching
methods and dyslexia.However, I did get a B+ in physical chemistry which was all I could expect in a course designed for chem graduates while I was a physics undergrad.
My big disappointment was Geology, a one semester course.I saved my papers I got 100% on all exams and A on all other papers so I was amazed at a B. I approached my professor and he said he could not give me an A because it would look like favoring the son of a well known geologist. I replied I was getting an A in everything else. (This was before French and German). He replied why didn't I tell him that before, but he refused to change my grade. This experience rather spoiled my attitude toward grades and professors.
My acquaintance and friendship with Prof. Menzel continued and we became close friends sometimes going on double dates together. We discussed the possibilities of inventions for the future encouraged by Gernsback's "Radio New" magazine and science fiction stories which we both found interesting. I under took to teach him radio in return for lessons in astronomy. Together we decided it was time to make television a reality and devised a system using cathode ray tribes and wrote it up for patents. I was similar on many ways to the system later developed by Philo Farnsworth. Don (Prof. Menzel) arranged for a high school class mate of his who had become a patent attorney to look over our invention. We tried to get investors interested in pursuing the matter with out success. Don's friend was very discouraging, pointing out some ancient Russian patents on the subject. I later realized that Don's friend was so certainly negative because he expected to be asked to give his services free and did not feel well enough established for such foolishness. I at least had no such idea of free help at the time. I still have some of the papers and they look like a good start on what came to be.
That summer Don received a request to give a lecture on astronomy at a D.A.R.summer camp meeting in the Ozark's of Missouri (with a small honorarium, I believe) and since he had bought a new car he asked me to join him on the trip. His sister,
Doris, came out from Denver to join up and I believe Don hoped we would be interestedin each other. Doris was not inclined to follow big brother's suggestion and we only kept a reasonable truce. I enjoyed the trip and Don and I roomed together at the small Missouri hotels one of which proved to be infested with bed bugs so that we left the sheets (were) covered with small bloody spots.
We stopped in St. Joseph, Missouri for me to visit my principle girl friend,Elma Stone (later my wife). She refused to see my until I shaved off my beard and she never had seen me with a beard. I had grown a red beard which I felt gave me more authority when I taught summer school electrical lab to school teachers for Prof. Lapp before going on our trip.
I had a busy time one of my lab students was the sister of Mrs. Blanch Lapp, Prof. Lapp's wife.He wanted her to become acquainted with her and I took her canoeing on one Saturday canoe ride we went clear to the upper dam on the Iowa River north of the campus. The water was shallow next to the dam and in turning the canoe to go back down the river I came close to a large rock which showed above the water's surface. I crowded a large bass and he jumped into the canoe. I had a brief but agile struggle to keep my passenger from leaving the canoe and at the same time subdue the fish with my paddle. The fish proved to weigh over eight pounds and furnished Sunday dinner for us at the Lapp's residence the next day. I have still a picture of myself with beard, the fish and the young lady.
I did not receive any pay for running the summer lab, but the experiencewas of great value. I don't remember what I lived on or how, sometimes I was rather hungry. R.O.T.C. and other subsidies did not carry through the summer.
The Ransom family where I had a room were very kind about my small rentand I fear I ended my days in Iowa owing about $20.00 which somehow never got paid.
The next year I had to take a course in sophomore English to meet the liberalarts requirements. Even with this course I was two semester hours short of the requirement because of the Texas A & M spelling test. By that time I was developing nerve and understanding of the university process. I went to the chairman of the English department with copies of a couple of scientific articles and Radio Magazine articles I had written and suggested that these showed enough proficiency in English to be worth 2 hours credit. He agreed and issued a two semester hours credit for me.
Soon after the first semester of my senior year, Prof. Stewart called forme and told me he had an inquiry from a Dr. Asher in the Student Health Dept. and he thought I could fill it. I went to see Dr. Asher and found that he wanted an audio amplifier for heart beats. I told him I could build it but the parts would cost about $50.00. He agreed that that was a reasonable amount and said if I would build it he would pay for my time (which he never did). I produced the amplifier and a paper cone loud speaker (not of the later voice coil design) for a little under the $50.00. The amplifier was very successful and enabled Dr. Asher to determine the relation between the heart beat and the electrocardiogram signals, which was previously unknown. I also built a special heartbeat microphone. The system was quite successful and I could listen to my own heartbeat reproduced by the loud speaker with excellent volume.
After sometime listening to my heart sounds I found I could modify my heartbeat consciously (an early discovery of bio-feedback). With practice, I found I could control my heart beat to more than twice normal rate or slow it down drastically and even interrupt it for a few beats. When I demonstrated this to Dr. Asher he was horrified. He begged me never to show this to anyone as he predicted we would be ejected from the university for witchcraft if I did. However, my heart amplifier lead to their troubles which my innocent mind did not anticipate.
It so happened that while I was building and demonstrating, Dr. Seashore,the dean of the University graduate college, and head of the psychology department was spending the entire research budget of the graduate college ($2,500) for a single stage single vacuum tube heart tone amplifier bought from the bell telephone research laboratories. This was a large device with storage batteries in a big oak box on wheels like a large tea cart. A rather poor microphone allowed heart beats to be weakly heard. The graduate school professors felt cheated and arranged revenge. In those days a series of monthly lectures called the Baconian lectures'! was the customary forum for graduate research considered to be of sufficient importance Dean Seashore was invited to show his prize amplifier at one of these lectures. The lectures were open to the public, so I attended. After a lengthy speech extolling its virtues the Dean's amplifier was demonstrated and at the end of the lecture we all lined up single file to listen to heart beats in the amplifier. I judged it to be only a little better than a standard stethoscope.
At the next Barconian lecture a month later Dr. Asher and I were invited to demonstrate our heart amplifier. Dr. Asher lectured on his discovery of the relation of integrating cardiograph pulses to the actual heart beat and at the end I demonstrated our system.
My heart beats, which I was careful not to very appreciably, could be heard allover the auditorium.. The quality was also much better than earphones because our crude loudspeaker of that time was far more capable of producing low frequencies than the small diaphragms of existing earphones. Our demonstration was a triumph but it put me on the dean's hit list. I did not know till later that he was a vindictive man.
As an example my friend Ted Hunter was due to get a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at about the time I graduated. Histhesis was in some way related to psychology. I never knew the details of his subject. When he turned in his thesis, Dean Seashore took it to a psychology meeting and presented it as his own work without any mention of Ted. When Ted protested vigorously, his E.E. professors gave him no support against the Dean of the Graduate COLLEGE. As a result the Dean swore that Ted would never get a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Ted's family were wealthy Iowa farmers and Ted was a never -give-up farm boy. He persisted but he did not get his degree unti11 seven years later.
This is only one of many examples, but only shows the Dean following the European style of that day. ( Anything done by a student belongs to his superior professors. Professor Stewart was a fair and strong man. He was onceconsidered for president of the university. When my show-down with the Dean came he supported me quite successfully. ( Professor Stewart was not made president of the university because he enforced No-Smoking rules in the Physics building and remarked that if he had the power he would have No-Smoking rules on all the campus. This was considered much too controversial by the Regents of the university.
I attended Summer Sessions between my junior and senioryears and accumulated credits in chemistry and math. During my senior year I continued experiments in high frequency generation and measurement.
At about this same time I was beginning to understand electric wave filters. This understanding was encouraged by the analogue with acoustic wave filters invented by professor Stewart. One of his specialties was acoustics. He received patents on his acoustic wave filters and this invention wasone of the very few ever bought by the Bell telephone Laboratories. He was paid $ 100,000. dollars for these patients , a handsome sun in those days His lab was full of examples and demonstrations. Professor Stewart equipped his model 'T' Ford car withy one of his low-pass filters as a muffler. It was a remarkable device. When the car was idling exhaust noise came through a clearly empty pipe with no visible obstructions, loud and clear. However as soon as the engine speeded up only a little the explosion frequency was raised beyond the filter's low-pass cut-off and literally no exhaust sound could be heard. Sadly this was never a commercial success as applied to automobiles because of one requirement. A wave-filter muffler had to be made with soundproof walls of heavy material to prevent the escape of sound through its walls. This heavy construction requirement made it too expensive for the economic necessities of automobile salesmanship.
Many years later after the patents had expired, a very important application of these acoustic wave filters came into use in the radio receiver industry. It was found that acoustic wave filters using sound waves of super audible frequencies in solid materials could be made much smaller and more precise and cheaper than filters using electrical elements. Thus Professor Stewart's invention became a standard of excellence in the intermediate frequency amplifiers of all high quality communication receivers.
I also did a series of experiments to help in understanding beats between electromagnetic waves of different frequencies.Such beats were the basis of Major Armstrong's famous and basic invention, The Superheterodyne Radio Receiver. This invention is still fundamental to almost all radio receivers in use today. This holds true in spite of the vast changes caused by the shift from vacuum tubes to solid state transistors and micro-chips. I found that sound waves could produce real beats in air and that this interference action is not a function of the properties of the human ear, but is an effect of the nonlinear properties of the air as a sound propagation medium. This nonlinearity is evident because sound as we hear it is a pressure wave in ambient air, and the excess pressure is relatively unlimited while the reduction in pressure for the opposite half of a sound wave is limited to minus one atmosphere. I was slow in reaching this conclusion in spite of its being somewhat obvious from the analogue of the rectifying elements required to produce beats in a radio receiver. At the time, I did many experiments with free space radio waves where no nonlinearity existed at the intensities available before I realized that radio beats cannot occur in free space. The radio beats known as the "Luxomburg effect" were not yet known. This strange action of interfering radio waves is now known to be caused by the ionosphere since the electric charges in that layer do not obey ohm's law ( a linear law) The nonlinear relation between voltage and current in a plasma such as the ionosphere can produce beats between radio waves independent of their various frequencies.
I was impressed with the possibilities of electric wave filters. Radio broadcastingto be recognized as desirable was beginning and sound quality was beginning I had been building and repairing the broadcast receiver kits which were popular and my ten dollar fee for such services was a great help in my desire to eat regularly. So it was natural that I should give producing a receiver design to give the highest some thought to audio quality then possible. I made such a design based on flat top pass-band wave filters in the intermediate frequency amplifier of a superheterodyne broadcast receiver. I was anxious to test my design which I could not afford to build. I showed my design to my Hindu friend GOGO and he was so impressed that he offered buy the parts if I would build a receiver for him. I built the amplifier with 10 kilocycle flat -top response. With the steep rejection of multistages the receiver was a great success. The audio output produced the best sound any of us had heard outside of a broadcast studio at that time. Gogo of course took the receiver back to India with him when he returned about a year later. I did not know how to pursue the matter further. A few years later Western Electric Company produced a similar receiver for broadcast station monitoring ,which sold for about 3,000. dollars.
When the time came for me to graduate in the spring of 1926I had a major in physics in math and in chemistry. I was offered a graduate fellowship in each of those departments. continue in physics. I chose to continue in physics
When I was finally standing in line to receive my diploma,a student came down the line where we were in alphabetical order calling my name. I responded and was told that I could not receive my diploma because I had no grade in the sophomore He suggested I go and see if I could find anyone in the English department who could help.
I went quickly and my luck held. The head of the English department was in his office going over grades. He immediately understood my problem. Oh! He said you were in a sophomore classand those grades are not needed until next fall, so your Lady Professor went to Europe without turning them in. He looked in the file and found that I had received an 'A' in the course. He quickly signed a note to that effect and I was able to get back in line( S being late in the alphabet) in time to get my diploma.
That year on Memorial Day I was made Captain of my R.O.T.C. company and lead the engineer corps in the parade,. My associates said I got that job because I could not keep step properly but they could keep step with me.
I had chosen to complete my R.O.T.C. requirements by going to camp after graduation. Several friends rode with me in my model "T" Ford up to camp at Fort Snelling Minn. In particular I remember Percy Williams who spent his summers working as a powder monkey in a stone quarry. Percy was one of the calmest people I have known. Nothing startled him.
When we got to camp we were told that we could have Sundays off, but we must attend the church of our choice among the local churches. My group wanted to use Sunday to see the countryside, new to us. After some discussion I was elected to try to persuade our army captain to free us on Sundays. I went to see the captain. I told him we wanted to see new country on Sunday. I stated we could not go to church anyway because we were Mohammedans He suppressed a smile OK but keep out of trouble. None of us were drinkers and we really wanted to go sight-seeing. We had a good time on Sundays.
We were in the engineer corps. We were taught to use 1/2 lb. TNT blocks to cut steel girders. Also to break them up with hammers and fill water-spouting with the fragments to make Bangolore torpedoes to cut barbed wire barriers.
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