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1st Lt Rowland E. Ball
Navigator
Dec. 1944 - Salina, KS

Rowland was born January 9, 1924 in Yoakum, Texas. In 1938, He attended high school and was involved in basketball, football and tennis. This is when he met his wife to be, Mag, when they were fourteen years old. He was elected to as President of his Sophomore Class as well as his Junior Class and President of the Student Council during his Senior Year. Mag was also elected to the student council. They both graduated May 1941.

Following the lead from his two older brothers and several cousins Rowland enrolled in Texas A & M. He was able to get a job as a time checker for the general contractor building the then new Foster AAF in Victoria, TX, which was being built to train pilots. Later he was able to obtain a job in the Library, while working on his studies and participating in the band.

In March 1943, the Junior and Senior class was taken out of class and inducted into the Army Corps, with the classes being split into their respective branches as enrolled in school. Infantry was to go to Camp Wolters at Mineral Wells, Artillery to Fort Sill in Oakland and Calvary to Ft. Hood at Killeen. Several other units went to Fort Sam Houston at San Antonio and others went to Fort Bliss at El Paso. Other units went to some place in Louisiana.

The whole thing was a mess. We were told where to report and when to report, but nothing was said about how to get there. Several of the Infantry Band hitchhiked to Fort Worth and spent the weekend and then on the following Monday continued to hitchhike to Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells and reported in. They spent the rest of the week getting shots, taking tests and getting all of their uniforms and other Government Issued materials. Then they brought in a troop train and hauled then all back to College Station.

After finishing up the trimester in April, the Batt announced that they were all being taken out of the school. The seniors were to go to OCS (Officer Candidate School) in which ever branch they were in while at school and after sixteen weeks they received their commissions.

The juniors, which included Ball, were to go to basic training in their respective branches and then go to OCS and get their commissions.


Continued

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60th Squadron Crew Index

Source:Excerpts from "Just Another Guy" by Rowland Ball