Thinking today, with great appreciation, about my father, Allen H. Searls, who served twice in the U.S. Army, first in the Coastal Artillery and again in the Signal Corps, during World War II.
As I put it in the caption under that photo,
Pop hated not fighting in The War. So he re-enlisted even though he had already served in the Coastal Artillery. Grandma wrote on the back of this picture… “Pvt Allen H. Searls, 42103538, Camp Croft, S.C., Spartanburg, March 1, 1944.” He was promoted to corporal thanks to having served once already, and assigned to the Signal Corps in part because he scored 159 on the Army’s IQ test. He never bragged on that, by the way. (Though I will.) It was also very hard to get it out of him. Not that we needed to. We all knew how smart he was.
Among other things he—
- Arrived in the second wave at Normandy.
- Lost some of his hearing from laying communications wiring forward of cannons, as his unit advanced.
- Was involved in liberating at least one concentration camp.
- Served as one of Eisenhower’s phone operators after the war ended.
Like most veterans who were involved in combat and other unpleasantries, he didn’t like talking about that. Instead he talked about his buddies and interesting technical details about how things worked, places he enjoyed seeing.
Maybe my sister (another veteran, in this case of the U.S. Navy) can weigh in with some other details.
Main thing is honoring Pop. He was a great patriot and a great dad.