I’ll be winging my way to Florida today to spend a week with Al. I’m sure there will be many adventures and lots of barbecue. In fact, in keeping with tradition, our first stop, which is just outside the Orlando-Sanford Airport, will be Sonny’s.
The only adventure that we have planned (so far) arose in an interesting way. Right at the time that I was first considering flying to Florida, that is to say a few weeks ago, I was researching what the 4th Infantry Division was doing in September of 1943. One of the characters in the sequel to The Secret of Their Midnight Tears has been assigned to the 4th and I wondered if it was in England yet. As it turns out, the 4th had just been assigned to Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, Florida, about 45 minutes southwest of Tallahassee in the panhandle. The men assigned there endured primitive conditions in the hastily constructed camp. Indeed, General Omar Bradley remarked that, “The man who selected that site should have been court-martialed for stupidity.”
The 4th was assigned to this mosquito and flea infested place along the Gulf Coast because it was a good location in which to practice amphibious landings, essential to the training of the Division that would be assigned the task of securing Utah Beach on D-Day.
In any case, when my research led me to discover that there was a newly formed museum to commemorate the Camp, traveling to Carrabelle became a must-do adventure. I’ll report back upon my return!
[The photo below appears scrunched on some devices, but not on others, so I just left it in for those of you with a non-scrunching device!]