Fort Devens

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James Lairson
Army Security Agency

August 1964, it seams that during the test and forms in basic training, we had to list the MOS 058 as one of our three choices. That was my third choice sense I had already been told I would go to electronic school. Now, you know, without doubt, the Army and a Major at that would not tell you a non-truth. Shame on me, I learned my lesson real fast. No way out of it so I became a 058 that later was changed to 05H20. Sense I could already type seventy words plus per minute, I went directly into code. By the time the rest had learned to type twenty-five words a minute, I had learned eighteen words per minute of code. I was not the top of the class but I think the fourth. Guess what, the top three got their choice of duty, the rest of the class, all twenty-seven of us (I think) went to Phu Bai, South Vietnam.

There was one special person at Fort Devens, wish I could remember his name. You see, I was a pure chicken when it came to flying on a plane. Sense I knew ASA never went by boat, always by plane; I was scared I would chicken out in front of my friends. I went to the CO and told hem my story. The CO gave me a three-day pass, and gave one to the special person also. He was going to visit below were I was heading so he was to go with me on the first part of my trip to help me. It seams that his father flew for the airlines and he knew just about all the pretty ladies that were stewardess for the airline. We went to Boston and got on a 990 Astrojet. To me it was huge. Just so happen, my special friend knew the stewardess at the door. He explained the problem I had and she sat down with me and calmed all my fears. I flew to Peoria, Illinois and he continued a little further down. Peoria has a blizzard and things did not workout in Pekin, Ill. so I slept in the airport and flew back to Boston.

Have a few pictures of the guys at Fort Devens in the snow and the barracks, will post them in the photo section.