T/Sgt. Harold H. Humiston


(N. Smiths)

T/Sgt. Harold H. Humiston

Notes Army Serial Number = 20733268
Known as 'Doc'
Worked in 343rd Ordnance/Armament section
Born: Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas, September 5, 1915
Died: Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, July 22, 1998
In service 5 years from October 1940 to September 1945
Overseas 2 years
Memories 'New Recruit
In the latter part of 1940, my father and his friends, all young and unmarried, knew that they would be drafted for a year of military service. These small town boys didn't want to serve with strangers, so they formed their own National Guard unit. My father and his friends joined Battery A, 130th Field Artillery in October, 1940. His unit joined other units from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska to form the 35th Division of the National Guard. On December 23, 1940, the 35th Division was called up to federal service. After a long, cold ride on a troop train, they reached their destination, Camp Robinson, Arkansas, in January, 1941. Each new recruit would receive $30 a month pay.
Army Air Corps
Dad must have over come his aversion to serving with strangers, because seven months later, August 11, 1941, he transferred to the Army Air Corp.
He left his friends in Camp Robinson for the Air Corps Technical School at Lowery Field, Denver, Colorado. He was at Lowery Field when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and WWII began for The United States. After graduation, he was sent to the Pacific coast as a member of the 55th Fighter Group.
First stationed at Pendleton, Oregon, then Pain Field, Everett, Washington in 1942 and finally McChord Field, Tacoma, Washington in 1943. He would remain at McChord Field until he was sent overseas in 1943 as an armament inspector with the 343rd Squadron of the 55th Fighter Group. In the 343rd he would make friends that would last a life time.
Overseas
After a 5 day train journey through 14 states, he sailed for England from New York harbor on September 4, 1943 aboard the HMS Orion. The 55th FG was stationed at Wormingford, near Colchester, in Essex, England. They flew two daylight raids a day, weather permitting, until near the end of the war. By night Dad would lie in his bunk listening to the bombers fly out all night long for raids on Germany. He remained in England until the war ended.
Home Coming
Dad sailed for home August 26, 1945, and landed in New York on September 5, 1945 -- his birthday -- aboard the SS La Grande Victory. After a train ride half way across the country, he finally returned to civilian life almost 5 years after he left for Camp Robinson.' Norrol Humiston Smith

'While reading the personnel roll, I recognized the names of many of my father's friends. They bicycled through the towns, drank in the pubs and, I'm afraid, they did shoot the King's game on at least one occasion. To hear them tell it they fought the Germans in their spare time.' Norrol Humiston Smith

Obituary from Topeka, Kansas newspaper: 'HAROLD H. HUMISTON Harold H. Humiston, 82, Topeka, died Wednesday, July 22, 1998 at his home. Mr. Humiston had been a butcher and meat cutter for C.O. Mammel Co. until 1956, and he served in the Kansas Air National Guard from 1956 until he retired in September 1975. He served in the Army Air Corps 8th Air Force in England during World War II. He was born Sept. 15 (should be Sep. 5th), 1915, in Hutchinson, the son of Frank S. and Sally T. Hickman Humiston. He had lived in Hays, Zenith and South Hutchinson before he moved to Topeka in 1967. Mr. Humiston was a member of the Congregational Church in Hutchinson and South Knollwood Baptist Church in Topeka. He married Eleanor Lawman on April 18, 1941. She died Sept. 30, 1984. Survivors include a daughter, Norrol Smith, Overland Park; a brother, Frank Humiston, Hutchinson; a sister, Anna Mae Byrd, Cassville, Mo.; and a grandson.'

Additional Photos T/Sgt. Humiston on a P-38 (N. Smith)

S/Sgt. Harold H Humiston's Married Mans Pass at McChord Field, WA (N. Smith)
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