Interview of Simon Enzor
Transcript Number 078

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

Today we're talking to S. T. ("T" as he is known as) Enzor of Fair Bluff who was in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He served on a B26 medium bomber based in England and in France. 

INTERVIEWER: Go to it.

ENZOR: I started off in Pearl Harbor. I had my papers filled out applying to get into Army Air Corps, but you couldn't apply until you were 20 years old so I was 20 years old December 7. I mailed them things and that started me off. I went to Maxwell Field from a basic learning how my right foot from my left and how to march and stuff like that. They were rushing us. We'd go to school all day and go back two hours at night for school. We had night school. Had that same thing later on in flying. 

I went through the basic training there and then I went to Jackson, Tennessee for my primary flight training where I got introduced to an airplane and we flew the Stearman PT-13. The thing had a ground loop on there, wheels were close together you know. But I never did ground loop, but a lot of them did. In fact, I was the first one in my barracks, there were about 30 of us in there, to solo in primary.

Then after I finished at Jackson, I went to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas and flew the BT-13. We called it the bull T vibrator. From there, I went to Napier Field, Alabama. Oh, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. So I got finished with flying school there and my first choice was a P-51 and my second choice was a B-26. Didn't get the P-51, they sent five of us to B-26. What did they call it? Transition. And by the way of the five of us that went and went overseas in a B-26, there didn't but two of us come back.

I flew 65 missions out of England and France. I don't remember much about the first missions. I just remember on the 28th of May before the 6th of June, I got hit with a piece of flack right here. Turned my eye just as blue and black like you stuck a fist in it. We were bombing a bridge called Le Follet Bridge right in Paris. In fact when D-Day come, there weren't a bridge from Paris to Le Havre across that river. There was every one blowed out.

INTERVIEWER: You got in a crew in the United States.

ENZOR: Yeah, the crew was formed at Maxwell Field, Alabama.

INTERVIEWER: And did you fly the 26 over?

ENZOR: Yeah, I picked up the plane at Savannah, Georgia, and flew down to Homestead, Florida and took off from Florida and I remember we went and went right down the middle of Florida, you know, going down to Homestead and flew right over Lake Okeechobee and don't even remember seeing it. I don't know if I was that excited or it was dried up, but I remember looking down there and you could see all them rivers, nasty looking where they were low and I took off. I spent the night at Homestead and the next morning they called us to briefing and give me a big old envelope and briefed me to go to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico. 

So I flew the southern route they called it then. We wasn't supposed to open that thing til we were two hours out of Homestead. Well at two hours and one minute, I had it opened (laughter) and I saw I was to go to Grove, England. It was an airport right out from Oxford. So we landed at Borinquen Field, spent the night there. Got up the next morning and took off for Georgetown, Guinea, down there where that Reverend Jones, that wasn't anything but a long runway. I refueled, spent one night there and the next day, got up.

They briefed us and we would get off at sunrise. We were to go to Belem, Brazil. Well that called for crossing the jungle and what they assigned us, there wasn't anybody ahead of you. You were supposed to be one hour behind whoever. They'd have us stacked like this as we were going over there. We got over that jungle and got in clouds and had that thing up to 2300 RPM and that thing was still sitting. There was a machine gun on the front of the plane. The site was there, there weren't no gun there, but that thing was there. Had an icicle on it that long.

So over that jungle, the stupidest mistake I had ever made in my whole life. I turned that thing real easy where it wouldn't with all that ice, you know, B-26 didn't have no deicers on it and left that jungle and flew all the way over to the ocean (laughter) and then over the ocean to Belem and didn't tell nobody on the radio nothing. If we'd a went down, would have been 200 mile, I had to walk 200 miles to get out of there with snakes and alligators and didn't think about it until I was laying in bed that night (laughter). Got broke out in a cold sweat.

Well when I got to Brazil, flew across from Belem to Natal, that's where it sticks out in the ocean. We got there and spent two days. It was a brand new plane. Had 25 hours and something on it when we got to Natal. They gave it the 25-hour inspection and while I was there, I took some clothes to the cleaners and went back and got them and a boy from Fair Bluff, a boy that lives a quarter mile of my house, spent the entire war in the cleaners in Natal, Brazil. He didn't believe in white labor (laughter). He had to be asleep back there because he didn't recognize my name and he didn't come to the counter to wait on me. But I came that close to meeting that boy in Natal, Brazil.

Then took off from Natal and went to Ascension Island. That's what's in the middle of the ocean, between there and Africa. A little old place. The runway runs for about high tide from this side to that side and when we come in to land, it was kind of like landing on a battleship. You know the runway was I reckon 75 yards where it was built up with rock and stuff. And it was hump-backed and they warned us to when we landed to hold that nose wheel high because the runway was hump-backed. And I did. Spent the night there.

Took off the next morning for Roberts Field, French West Africa. We settled into the runway and he'd take off and then you'd see when he come back up, he wouldn't give it the gun. And from Roberts Field, spent the night there and had to spend two to three days there, spent the night in jail down there, but I weren't no prisoner. That's the only place that ...the winds was keeping them from going up to England and it was backing them up. We spent the night in a jail.

Got up the next morning and took off to Dakar. Well that was just a little short hop to Dakar. And then from Dakar, I took off and went to Marrakesh in North Africa and in all my life, I didn't know those Atlas Mountains was in that desert out there. I had never heard of it until I got to Dakar and they told us about, you know, them mountains and the pass that go through them, you couldn't see it. You flew into it and then made a left turn and flew out of it. 

The mountains were 14,000 feet high. Well you see, B-26 doesn't have no oxygen on it. So went in that thing and I'd keep checking with the navigator. "Furman, are we all right?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got it." I had a good navigator. My navigator bombardier, he was a navigator and a bombardier. He was a good navigator, but he couldn't hit the ground with his hat when it come to dropping bombs (laughter). But we went in that thing, made a curve and there was Marrakesh, right down there.

Well we went in there and spent the night. Landed there at oh probably 4:00 in the afternoon and they...the navigator spent the night in a tent, those two man tents. Well they gave us a blanket a piece. Well you know when the sun goes down in that desert, it gets cold. We went to bed and wound up the next morning with both of us in the same bed on the army cot covered up, got up, took off for going up to England.

We flew around Spain and Portugal and up so far and made a 90 degree turn and come into, well anyway, it was England. But we pulled back to try to save gasoline, you know. We had 500 gallons of gasoline. They had Bomb bay tanks. It took that for us to get up there and pull back the propellors about 1800 RPM and stuff like that to save gas. And we flew up with the guns and the Bomb bays and there were Germans all there. One plane coulda come out there and have a field day because there was nothing but black space, all over the sky. 

But had to come down under and there was an overcast, had to drop down below it about 500 feet off the ocean and when we turned to go into England and then we had a red light that come on when we had 30 minutes of fuel left. That light had been burning 8 minutes before I saw England. So I called the tower and told them I was going to make a straight in approach. I mean like normally you go over the field and along the round and come and land. They let me...I landed a good 50 feet short of the runway. I didn't want to overshoot because I wasn't going to go around. But it was gravel out there. It was all right.

Spent a day or two there and then went on up to North Ireland. They sent me to North Ireland and we went up there. They give us instructions on what to do if there's a prisoner of war, how to trade our can of pineapple or something to a German, how to bribe them, you know and all that crap. It didn't work that way. Of course, I weren't no prisoner of war or anything like that.

And then after a little bit of that, I come back to my regular base at England and started flying out of there. 

INTERVIEWER: Your first missions were over France?

ENZOR: Yeah France. I don't remember where the first one was. France and I flew a few in France, Holland, Belgium. I flew a few over Germany after we transferred. Along when I had about 30-40 missions, we moved from England over to France, a little town called Rouen. Probably 80 miles north of Paris and we still, all the time I was overseas and flying, we'd fly two days, had what we called sack alert for two days where we had to stay in the area, but we didn't have to fly. Then fly two more days and then the next two days, we was off. I coulda come to Fair Bluff and back if I coulda done it in two days (laughter).

I got a chance to look Paris over. I mean London, they called it the underground or the tube, I don't know what.

INTERVIEWER: The tube I think.

ENZOR: But the night I got to London, come in there and, well I had landed up at Grove where I was supposed to land, but when we come up out of the thing at Picadilly, there was an air raid going on. As we were going up, Lord the English were piling down that other side. And we got out there and there was an air raid going on. The Englishmen were in there and the Americans were in the street (laughter).

When I started flying, I don't remember much about the missions until they got down to I got hit on the eye on the 28th.

INTERVIEWER: What date were you hit?

ENZOR: It was the 28th of May before the invasion was on the 6th. I remember, the Le Follet was the name of the bridge. It was right inside Paris. I mean right in the city limit. We had to go over Paris and oh my, they throwed up, we called it a box barrage. They didn't track you, but they just shot a certain spot in the sky and we had to fly through it, you know, and they said it was about 400 guns that were around Paris that were firing at us. 

It looked, the smoke was so black, it looked like you coulda got out and walked on it. You could smell it. When you hear that "Boom" "Boom" like thunder, you don't worry about nothin'. But when that thing cracks like lightning hitting a tree and you can smell that powder, they got your zip code then (laughter). 

INTERVIEWER 2: You were telling me before this interview about the day that the invasion took place. Tell us about that.

INTERVIEWER: Were you injured at any time?

ENZOR: No, none at all. Well the day before...everybody in England knew the invasion was right on us. I mean we didn't know when it was. We even flew what we called donuts practicing for it, you know. We'd get up and take off at night and then turn around and come back and land (laughter). 

But the morning of the invasion, the CQ woke us up. I was in the barracks. We'd been up playing cards, not gambling, but playing cards.

INTERVIEWER 2: Excuse me, you said, CQ. You know a few years from now, people won't know what a CQ is. Tell us.

ENZOR: In charge of quarters, an enlisted man that was in the orderly room. The charge of quarters came in and he cut on the light. We hadn't even gone to sleep (laughter). "Enzor, Collor, Watson", I can hear it. That's the raid, they were that order - Enzor, Collor and Watson. I was a pilot, Collor was a bombardier and Watson was a pilot. Said, "Go to breakfast and be in briefing at 2:00". 

Went down to the mess hall. They hadn't told the cooks nothing (laughter). I had toast, jelly and coffee. That's what we had for breakfast. Oh, cold macaroni and cheese, they had some cold macaroni and cheese left from supper. Went down to the briefing room and we walked in. You know, pilots would go to ... navigators and bombardiers, we'd go to one briefing and enlisted gunners would go to a separate briefing. 

Walked in there and our colonel was standing up there on the podium or whatever you call it and up there where we'd normally walk in, you'd see the route you were going to take to the target. He had a window shade pulled down over. At exactly 2:00, he let that shade up and he said, "Well fellas, they've been dropping bombers, I mean dropping paratroopers since 11:00 last night. Since we're the best outfit in England, we've been given the honor of going first." (Laughter) And he told us what our mission was. I don't remember now.

INTERVIEWER: You don't remember if it was over one of the beaches or just...

ENZOR: Oh yeah, I know now. My mind slipped a little there. Yeah, we took off at 2:00. See it was night and it was raining. There was a light rain falling. We would line up on the runway. We had a 10,000 foot runway to take off because you know it took a lot of runway to get a B-26 off the ground. Then in the night, they had slipped out there in that North Sea and put a beacon on something. We were to take off and go and make one circle around that beacon. Give us time to get in formation in the dark and then we come back down the channel and we turn and went into Pas-de-Calais and dropped on what we call pathfinder.

We hit the ground and that's all I can say. We got rid of them. But that was the prettiest fireworks I've ever seen in my life. Sitting up there and looking out the whole coast of France. From Calais all the way around, you know, was on fire. I mean they were shooting and you could see right close to the shoreline was them little things and middleways and then back there about the center of the English Channel was them battle wagons, the 16-inch gun and when they would go off, we could hear it like that.

The plane would vibrate just a little. I mean nothing to shake you or anything, but it would just do a little like that. But if they shot at me, I don't know it. I don't know. We dropped the bombs and went behind them and rode down and looking down there at that war going on and circle around by the Isle of Wight and got back to home base just about sunrise.

INTERVIEWER 2: You're flying in formation?

ENZOR: Yep.

INTERVIEWER: Do you remember how high you were flying?

ENZOR: 12,500 feet, never got off of it. The lead flight flew 12,500. The high flight flew 13,000 and then 500 down. That way when you turn in formation, the leader would turn, the high flight would drift over and the low flight, and the flight lead if he done it perfect, nobody, no leader had to change his throttle, you know. It would come in like that and then when you go back, you drift over...it didn't have you putting them up there and then handing them to the tail gunner and back up there. It made it for easy formation.

Of course, the B-26 flew good formation. I mean it was fast and it was heavy. It didn't, like I flew in a P-47 one time and it look out there and those wings was flopping like a buzzard (laughter), I mean and the B-26, if it done like that, you got your parachute and you got out of that thing cause it was fixing to crash. I often wondered what I would do if I had to bail out. 

I found that out down over...we were bombing at a place called ?Noties, way down and...

INTERVIEWER 2: This is in France?

ENZOR: Yeah in France. I was stationed in France at that time. And they were shooting at us, I mean tearing us up good. When we come off the target, this fella Carson I was telling you about was leading that flight. He was a West Pointer and we had dropped our bombs and he was going like this. They shot out his right engine and when he did, I was on his wing and he come like that, right into me as I was racked up like that to fodder him out. Well I pushed down on the stick or the wheel you know like that and snatched the power off and got under. B-29 had a high...it couldn't have missed him 10 feet, but then son of a gun, I pulled that thing back cause I wanted to get back into formation cause if a German fighter was around and you was out there by yourself, boy you had it.

But everything was all right. I snapped done like that, let them gunners you know, they sit down there in the seat back there, but when I done this, they hung from the ceiling (laughter) for a while. Well we saw them going on, everything is fine I think. Me and the engineer, we were the two southerners, we were close together. He called up front. He said to look down at Anzer. That was the first lieutenant's name. Said "You still there?" "Yeah". "Do you know we're on fire?" (laughter). Well now I often wondered what was I going to do. I know what, I was ready to leave that plane right then, no hesitation at all.

But for some reason, I looked back like that and there was smoke in the radio compartment. I done my hand like that and it had hydraulic fluid all over it. I called him up and said, "Reed, the radio compartment is full of hydraulic fluid". See the hydraulic fluid, when they close the bomb bay doors, a piece of flack had come through the side and barely nicked that hydraulic line. Well we had a 1000 pound pressure on that hydraulic line. It sprayed it out in there.

INTERVIEWER: It was sort of a mist.

ENZOR: Yep, a mist, and the bomb bays were open so it circled and went out and came in the back end of the plane. He thought we were on fire. I told him what it was, I said, "Come on up front. You're gonna have to pump the wheels down when we get home." So he come, walk through that greasy, what do we call when the bomb bay is open, catwalk, that big piece of T-iron that runs from one end to the other, that's what held it together. 

He got up front and I looked at him and said "Where's our parachute". He had left his parachute in the back (laughter). You know I had a backpack. Well the gunners, they have a ...they snapped it on their...they towed it, he had left that thing in the back. So he set down there, we come back and he pumped them down. First the main gear just failed cause of the hit. They come forward and the air pressure just took them down and they locked. We had to pump the nose wheel down.

INTERVIEWER: But you landed all right?

ENZOR: Oh yeah, landed, set her down on the runway. When he got back, you know, you'd circle one time and the trick was if you had wounded aboard, you'd shoot a red flare and they knew you had wounded on. But I landed, went down and turned off the first taxi strip I could turn on because I could guide it with my throttle, give it a throttle and get around and let it coast down and they come got me. Brought a jeep out there with a hook and hooked to that front end and just pulled me right on around to the....
INTERVIEWER: You didn't have any brakes?

ENZOR: No brakes at all. But it didn't prove too bad. I really didn't have too bad a time over there I mean I had a tough time down in Texas. I went down and instructed in the B-26 at Del Rio, Texas, until the war was over. Except the last set of students I had, I had them in the A-26. 

The best student I ever had, I was, he was in the left seat and I was in the right...setting there with my doggone feet crossed. Lack of sense, I mean I should have had them on the pedal, but I had them crossed and had my hands on the wheels you know. I could look at the expression on his face and tell whether he knew what he was doing or not.

If I'd a been, I'd a seen the cylinder air pressure coming down. He signaled wheels up and then his mouth flew open just like that (laughter). And then BAM. And that left engine had turned another time. All the runway I had behind me and all the altitude I had was above me and me setting out over there over them mesquite down in Del Rio, Texas. But the good Lord was with me.

Lined up and there's a Jack's flying school right out of Del Rio there where, you know, there's one around every air base you know. People wanting to take flying lessons. I would line right up on that runway. Didn't have time to get the wheels up. I slammed the wheels back down and set that thing down. Out there on the dirt too. I mean, it didn't take that long, but we hit the ground so hard that landing gear on that side was pulled back. It didn't collapse, you know the wing, but it pulled some of the pins out. They had to go out there and fix it before they flew it out of there.

And I remember I called a hard may day and told them I lost my engine and was going to land it on, they called it ______ airport. Then before we hit the ground, I hit the main switch. That's where no fire, you know if you crashed, you didn't want to burn. I remember, I had a flight suit and you know the pocket was down here. And I happened to think, my wife was in town and probably had $10. I had $300 in my pocket. I stuck that thing under my seat and sit on it cause when planes burned, usually the pilot, the seat of his britches would be not burnt. You know the juice out of him would go down. I figured my billfold wouldn't burn (laughter).

We stopped and we caught out of it. Then I got back on it and called them and told them that we was down all right. Funny thing, when I called them, I told them that we had landed, that everybody was all right. I had called them and told them, you know, that we were going to crash to send the, we called it the meat wagon. I had send to send the meat wagon over. 

I called them and told them we were all right. We could slow down and then just for the hell of it, I said, I don't know what made me say it, I said "In case they got them, I haven't checked yet, but in case, if you got a pair of 31 trousers, send them. I may need them." (Laughter) (Laughter) Well I didn't need them and on that flight, the crew chief, you know, I say crew, not the crew, the man that was in charge of, the mechanic on the plane, they had to get so much time, he went with us.

When we got on the ground, I looked up and that man's eyes were turned just straight towards his nose. I thought to myself, "You're the first cross-eyed man I've seen in the Air Corps". Well come on out there and the director said, "Okay, y'all go on home". We had to take a physical.

Once you had any kind of accident, you had to take a physical before you could go back on flying status. Well the next day at dinner, at 1:00 we met down there and he was setting there and his eyes were just as straight. So to this day, I don't know who was cross-eyed, I don't know whether it was me or him.

And then I had something happen. A pilot, an instructor pilot had to pull tower officer they call it. You sit up in the tower and read magazines, funny papers just two years old and stuff and there's people up front, comptrollers you'd call them or whatever they are, and one of them boys, something happened and he said, I wondered if that fella leave them britches (laughter). You know that was me (laughter).

INTERVIEWER: When you were in France, you say you were north, what kind of quarters did you have. Where were you living then?

ENZOR: I got a picture of it right there. It was, I stayed in this place right there in that building. See in that town, it was a bombed out town. There weren't no Frenchmen there. The town had been bombed out and we just went in there and if there was one room or two rooms to a building, you made yourself a place to stay. We had a little pot belly stove about this big. Looked just like this big stoves, but it was a little one like that. 

Had a Frenchman that would come by and bring us wood, break up sticks. He'd bring us a stack of wood and we'd give him some GI soap. That's what I paid him. He didn't want no money.

INTERVIEWER 2: How did you get back to the United States?

ENZOR: I came back on, the George Washington was the name of it. It was a hospital ship for the walking wounded. It wasn't a Red Cross hospital ship. I went to South, I believe we took off from Southampton. There were 10 or 15 officers and most of them were enlisted men. But they were walking or they were on crutches or an arm in a sling and stuff like that.

INTERVIEWER 2: And what year was that?

ENZOR: 1944, was it '44 or '45? It was '45.

INTERVIEWER 2: So you were an old man of maybe 24 years of age.

ENZOR: I don't believe I was that old. I don't believe I was about 22 or something like that.

INTERVIEWER 2: With 65 missions under your belt.

ENZOR: Yep.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a celebration when you got that 65th one in or not?

ENZOR: No, just took it. It was work. I looked it like work. It reminded me, we called it tobacco day on the farm. You know when you....it was tobacco day that day.

INTERVIEWER 2: What does that mean, tobacco day at the farm?

ENZOR: It's the day you put in tobacco. You get up before day and unload the barn and put it in the pack house by daylight, eat breakfast and you go to field cropping while the rest of them (laughter), it's a day of hard work. I mean real hard work. That's when you hang it up and go in the barn to hang it up and you're standing on the tier pole and the sweat dropping off you on to the ground. You know what that is, don't you?

INTERVIEWER: I say (laughter). T when you were in England right before D-Day, you had been bombing the coast of France all way from Pas-de-Calais...

ENZOR: Oh we'd been bombing the whole time, yeah. 

INTERVIEWER: Do you remember when you first saw the three white stripes on the wings of your plane?

ENZOR: Sure do. The 5th of June, about 4:00 in the afternoon. They had all the crews go out to the planes and we painted those stripes on just before sunset before the 6th of June, them white stripes. We painted them on there just before sunset. I didn't think about it, but that should of told us something was going to happen before day. But I was comfortable, I weren't worried about it. I don't know why, I'm not no brave man, but I...like they told us, we flew a donut up over the North Sea one day and the colonel told us, "If you get any ideas from this, keep them to yourself". 

We flew along and there were P-47 escort and we got to a certain place and them P-47 just cut and dived just like that right straight and dropped a bomb, a practice bomb you know. That's where we knew we was going somewhere and they were going...they was going to bomb those Germans, put them back in their holes. It worked, it worked. They knew when they saw them P-47's coming down, they knew to get back in their hole too. As we used to say, when you get shot at like that, you know we had a flack suit, but as we used to say, "We pulled that flack element all the way down to our butt". (Laughter)

We joked a lot. If you didn't, it seemed like really, a crew gets together well. I don't know if I'm going to make it or not. I wasn't that brave. I reckon I just didn't have no sense.

INTERVIEWER: And you say your squadron of 36 planes lost 18 of them.

ENZOR: In the Battle of the Bulge, but I wasn't flying. I was in Paris. I replaced my pool on my way home. I heard about the raid while I was in Paris and my plane got shot down that day. The plane I flew during the war. 

I flew my last mission the 12th of December and the 16th of December, I left the outfit and went to Paris in a replacement pool. I was on my way back home and I set in Paris and then they flew me from Paris back over to England and up to Southampton. I got on a boat and come back to the States.

INTERVIEWER: You missed the Battle of the Bulge.

ENZOR: I missed it. I heard about it while I was in Paris. I had the flight plan of the planes that flew that day and the ones that were shot down. I knew most of them.

INTERVIEWER 2: Did you always fly the same airplane?

ENZOR: Almost until about my 20th mission, I got my own plane. Until then, I'd just fly this one and that one and...it was an old one. I mean the plane was called "Jinx". But it had on the nose on the right hand side, it had a picture of a black cat biting Hitler in the rear end and it was named Jinx. And on the other side, I'll tell you about it, it had a picture of a boot with a snake wrapped, a snake's remains, my crew done that. 

See I was over there and I get a letter from home. I had a brother who was down in Italy, that Gordon was in the hospital, my brother, was about to lose his foot. Well heck, there's a war going on and he's been shot at. I told the crew he'd been shot in the foot and was about to lose it. Well they called me "Snake" over there cause I'm always pulling some crap on them, keeping them loose you know. And I come out to the plane and I looked up there and there was that boot with the snake's remains. I said how come to that and they said, "well your brother lost his foot". I never did tell them he didn't lose that.

What had happened, he had got drunk. They was laying around the fire and he had gotten drunk and he was an alcoholic before he went into the service literally. He rolled over and stuck his foot in them hot coals and liked to burn it off (laughter). But I never did tell them he hadn't got shot in the foot though. I just let that rest. They all thought Snake's brother had lost his foot.

INTERVIEWER 2: Did your crew come back to the United States after the 65th or were you the only one, what about the bombardier and....

ENZOR: They all come back, everybody except the radioman. Then we had different radiomen and then finally we got a permanent radioman. He had to fly about 15 more missions. But he came on back home after.

INTERVIEWER 2: You said "flack happy". Would you tell the listeners what's flack happy.

ENZOR: That's when the war just gets to you. Every plane he would see, he would say "Bandits, bandits". And they were our escorts. And one time, he actually shot (laughter), I mean. So he, they put him in the underground crew and I got a new radioman and then I finally got the regular guy. 

INTERVIEWER 2: All the time that you were overseas, all the flights that you took, and then you came back. What did you learn from being at war? What did it mean to you?

ENZOR: I don't know really what I learned except I learned there was a whole lot of different world that weren't in Spring Branch or Columbus County.

INTERVIEWER: You found out that you could do more than you thought you could do and put up with more than you thought you could put up with T?

ENZOR: Well it, I mean I'm not trying to, I mean I didn't let stuff bother me. I just let it go behind me and keep on going. That's the way. When I joined, I went up and was sworn in, they swore me in and sent me home. I stayed home a long time. I know I come back in, if they had sworn me in one day earlier, it cost me $1200. They swore me in on the 16th of July '42. I was up there the 15th and they wouldn't swear me in. I had to be sworn in. And people before the 15th, they got a reserve commission which meant in mustering out pay, you got $1500.

Well starting on the 16th, I got a AUS commission it's called, Army of the United States. I got $300 of mustering pay, lost $1200 (laughter) and was setting there waiting on them. They didn't have to wait on me. I was waiting on them.

INTERVIEWER: It cost you later on.

ENZOR: They swore me in and I come home. I finished that crop of tobacco and got to waiting around and even wrote them and wondered if they had forgotten about me. No they hadn't, but they sent me, I don't know what it was, they sent me a draft card. So everybody was gone. I went down to the shipyard in Wilmington and walked in there and went in there and man asked me what class. I didn't answer him, I laid my card up there. He hired me just like that. Put me in welding school and I finished welding school and went out and was welding out in the yard, when did they call me? I believe it was February before they called me. I don't remember that too good.

But I remember I went in there and told my boss. I was making $135 a week welding when the war started. I was keeping books for V.C. Fertilizer Company in Fair Bluff for $12 a week, getting $11.88, that's what they was paying (laughter). And banking $5!

INTERVIEWER 2: What did you get paid as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps?

ENZOR: $150 plus we got more flight pay and then I was married so when...I was getting $365 a month when I was overseas. I got, I was a first lieutenant and I had, you know, every so often, you get a 10% increase. I got that and since my wife couldn't furnish her quarters, I got mine and hers quarters allowance and even got 70 cents a day to feed her and (laughter) I, paying me 70 cents a day and I was eating in the officer's mess and it didn't cost me nothing. I mean I had a deal. I was sending $250 a month to the bank.

When I come home, I had money in the bank. I loaned my brother Irving, me and Irving was always close together. I loaned him money to buy. He bought him a refrigerator, a stove and I loaned him money to put in his tobacco and paid for my tobacco while I was putting it in and bought me a frigerator and a stove and a bedroom set. Set up housekeeping. Man I was getting along good until 1946. 

I put in for a car at the Ford place over at Mullen. I went in and they were taking orders and I put down a $200 deposit. He got a new Ford and I finally got that thing and didn't quite have enough money to pay for it. Had to finance some of it and then you had to pay it off in 12 months. Ain't not had no money since (laughter). 

INTERVIEWER 2: If they called you, would you go back in the service if it was an emergency?

ENZOR: They wouldn't have me with my physical. Yeah I would go back. 

INTERVIEWER 2: And you enjoyed flying?

ENZOR: I enjoyed the whole war that I was in. I didn't love to smell that powder.

INTERVIEWER 2: What do you want to tell your grandchildren if they have to go to war?

ENZOR: Ain't much I could tell them cause, to just go ahead and do their job and don't pay mind to what anybody else has got to say. Do what he thinks is right.

INTERVIEWER 2: Thank you.