James Giles, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Compiled from messages exchanged by Jim Giles and Jerry Ferrin

James Giles

Military Service in the U.S. Naval Reserves

At right: James Giles at his USNR re-enlistment ceremony, May 1979. Photo courtesy of James Giles.

I graduated from Medicine Lodge High School on May 29, 1943. I enlisted in the Navy on June 21, 1943. I went to boot camp in San Diego and then radio school in San Diego.

In Jan. 1944 we were sent to Camp Pendleton California for Amphibious training. I was assigned to a communication unit, Comm 11, Gropac 7, Pacific. We landed in the Marshall Islands a week after the islands were taken. We proceeded to put in a radio station receivers in one shack and transmitters in another connected to various antennas. I made 3rd class radio technician there, later changed to electronic technician.

In May 1945 I was sent to Pearl Harbor for Radio Teletype training and sent back to the Marshalls until the end of the war. I was discharged in Feb 1946. In Feb 1947 I enlisted in the Naval Reserve but I was moving around working so I didn't make drills, I was standby reserve for 8 years. and discharged. My job was with Southwestern Bell and I was working Mobile Radio, Microwave and Teletype repair. In 1963 I had the opportunity to re-enlist in the naval reserve at a higher rate, from ET3 to ET1 and three years to pass the test for ET1. I passed it and 2yrs later I made ETC and 1 yr later I made ETCS.

I taught electronics in the reserve center and, of course, I made my 2 weeks active duty every year. The 8 years I spent on standby I got letters from the Navy assigning me to various billets but not calling me up. I did get one letter asking me if I would be ready to go if they wanted me and I said yes but I figured I had already served my time and I was married and had a child, I wasn't assigned to a unit and they weren't calling up individuals.

I went on retired reserve without pay in Oct 1979 and went on pay status on June 1985.

When we first landed on Engibe Island in the Eniwetok atoll we had a couple of times the Japs bombed us from Wake Island, that was the closest I came to combat. After I came back from Pearl I was assigned to Roi Namur Island in the Kwajilien Atoll. I was in charge of the Radio Teletype and the telephone office, good duty, I was overrun with bodies so we stretched the watches out to 4 hours on and 24 hours off, of course there was nothing to do on those two islands except go to the Em club and you could just get two beers every other day. Rough duty.

Talking about Saipan: I knew some Marines that were there and at Guam. The fleet that made the invasion of the Marianas staged in Eniwetok atoll before they left for the invasion. We had MAG 22 and VMF221 there on Engebi and a couple of Marines stowed away on one of the invasion ships and went ashore at Guam, one of them had a twin brother on Engebi. The brother that stowed away got killed on Guam. I knew them both because they were in communications with us.

I mentioned before having something to do with aviation. We put in the radio station and then we had to set up our transmitters on two sets of frequencies. Air Strike and Bombardment, and Air search and reconnisance. The Marine pilots scrambled every morning and bombed Ponape and Truk. We had B25 bombers and F4U fighters, also some F6F fighters and SBD bombers. The air search and reconnisance was for the Dumbo, or PBY. My tour during WW2 wasn't very exciting but I was there and ready to do whatever I was told to do. Later as I made rate I could tell them what to do. (4 August 2005)

Current Events

Jerry, I am a firm believer in George Bush and I think he is doing a good job considering the Democratic part of congress he has to put up with. I think he was right in going into Iraq but I'm afraid some of our good "friends" like France, Russia, and Germany are backstabbing us behind our backs, If those three countries had of approved our going in things would be a lot better. If you'll notice this is a Holy War between the Islams and Christians - mainly white Christians - and this has been going on since Jacob and Esau. Jacob is the father of the Jews and Esau is the father of the Arabs. Of course the Christians didn't come along till after Christ was crucified and the Islam didn't come along until after 5 or 600 AD,

But God gave Moses and the Jews the biggest portion of the land west of the Jordan River which is now occupied by the Arabs. (4 August 2005)

5 August 2005

Jerry, the website I was talking about was The Marshall Islands, Engebi island. There was a web site that had several of us guys checked in that were on Engebi during the war. The Marshall Islands is still there but the part about Engebi isn't.

Jerry, you and I have a lot in common. I like storms too, however I live in West Texas, George Bush's hometown, Midland , and we don't get a lot of just rain storms, they are mostly dust storms.

I was born and raised in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, graduated out of High School in 1943 and left for the Navy and never came back to stay. We had some storms up there that were lulu's. We had a storm cellar and many a night my grandmother would wake us up and make us go to the cellar. Mom had a little portable Singer sewing machine and I always had to carry it to the cellar.There was a big bull snake that was always in the cellar curled up on a top shelf and he would look down on us as we sat there waiting for the storm to quit.

Jerry, I've got some pictures that my Uncle Chester took before he went into the Army, they're various pictures of Elm Creek after a storm and Medicine River after a storm and Camp Funston while they were building it. It was a base of 89th Division, 353rd Infantry, the one Chester Hagerman was in.

Medicine River After Storm, before 1917, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles.
Medicine River After Storm, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles..

Elm Creek Rapids, Barber County, Kansas.

Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles.
Elm Creek Rapids, Barber County, Kansas.
The 1865 treaty with the Indians was signed where the Medicine River
and Elm Creek came together south of Medicine Lodge.
Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles..

Barracks at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles.
Barracks at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas.
Photo by Chester Hagerman, courtesy of his nephew, Jim Giles..

4 August 2005

Dear Jim, Was this Jim Giles you or your father? -- Jerry

DRIVE IN MARKET -- Jim Giles and Lonnie Warrington are announcing the opening of their Drive In Market on Friday of this week. They have a mighty fine place on US 160, a half block east of main street. They ask you to drop in and see them. -- Barber County Index, April 21, 1938.

Yes, Jerry, that was my father and Lonnie Warrington. Dad was on workman's compensation at the time and Lonnie talked him into cashing in and putting up this fruit stand. Lonnie got out of the business pretty quick, so Dad moved the building to Main st across from the school and then IGA decided they didn't like competition and started cutting their prices until Dad had to quit.

If you go to May 1936 in the Index you'll find an article about Jim Giles being almost electrocuted. He was working for Kansas Power and Light Co. as a groundman.

On Sunday he got called out, as lightining had hit a pole out east of town and burned the transformer up, and they couldn't find the regular linesman so they wanted Dad to do it. Dad asked the engineer, whose name was Jones, down at the power plant if the power was off on that line. Jones said "yes" as the lightening had kicked the breakers. Well, the power was still on, 13000 volts. Anyway, Dad went up the pole and disconnected the transformer. When he started to kick it loose from the crossarm his pliers on his belt contacted that hot line and the full amount went thru his body and came out his foot. As a result he lost his right leg above the knee.

In Kansas you can't sue a public utility, so as a result all he got was workman's compensation, $9.36 a week for 5 years.

Thanks to James Giles for sharing the above information on this web site!

Also see:

Contributions to this site by Jim Giles
* Photos: Elmer Ellsworth Hagerman
* Chester Hagerman, WWI Casualty
* Obituary: Susie Hagerman
* Photos: Hagerman Family at the Lasswell Post Office & General Store
* Photo: Students at Mingonia (?) School, circa 1920

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