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Keep your Confederate money folks, the South will rise again..
15 February 1945  troops  of  the  475  MPEG Co. once more assembled for duty.  The  new home was Ft. Eustis, VA,  a “reception center”  for  newly-arrived  German POWs  disembarking  at  nearby  Norfolk, VA.    The assignments were mainly those involving  guarding  trainloads  of  POWs  as they were taken to camps throughout the
south.     Usually one or two sections of the 475 accompanied a trainload.    It  was dirty duty riding  in non-air-conditioned  troop sleepers,   with  their  ill-ventilated 4-tiered bunks, behind oil- or coal-burning
soot- and cinder-spewing locomotives.To N - W Railroad link  The  POW’s  rode in  vin- tage  coaches with  guards on  the  end  platforms.    When the  train  stopped,   the  guards  stepped  off both sides to watch the windows  and  platforms  for  possible  escape  attempts.    Once its cargo had been delivered ,  the detail would be hustled onto a return train back to Ft. Eustis.
Tuesday 20 February 1945
      “May 20  will  be  the  second  anniversary  of  the activation  of  our  company.   We’re going  to  have a party  and  if  we’re  still in  the states, which we prob- ably will be, we’re going to have a dance… We got in a bookshelf full of books today,  material  for curtains for our mess hall;   we’re  going to get a billiard table, curtains, and a radio for our day room.  Looks kind of permanent doesn’t it?”
Train Loads of POWs from Fort Eustis, VA
..............[Personal note:  At Ft. Eustis your author was fortunate enough to be assigned to special duty with POW Supply.   There he served as a clerk under the command of a retread from WW1, a Captain Hall.   Each POW was issued a uniform befitting the climate of his next station-stockade. The uniforms were serviceable  Class X  garments  stenciled  with  the  letters “P” and “W”  in  a bright contrasting color.]
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..............On 1 April 1945  a  detachment  of  the 475  was  sent to a Military Intelligence camp at Pine Grove Furnace, PA.    This  was  a  camp that reportedly escaped inspection visits from the International Red Cross.  It was a “side” camp of Carlisle Barracks.
Thursday 5 April 1945
  “The  furloughs  have been cancelled for the present.    The 475  is all away escorting prisoners except maybe 30 of us.    Maybe  I’ll  be  sent  out  on  a  trip too.    They range anywheres  [sic]   from  one  day  up  to  two weeks.    Some  of  the boys went to Texas,   some lucky ones up to  God’s country,  Delaware… I have my summer uniforms now.”
Monday 16 April 1945
I  went  over  for chow   [from my job in PW Supply]  and found the 475th undergoing a new torture.    They  have  to  stand  retreat  every  night  now…  We  had a shipment of prisoners up to Ft, Meade.”
Sunday 22 April 1945
We’re  building  a new stockade here on the post and it has to be ready by Wednesday.”
Friday 15 June 1945
 “We’re awaiting our orders to move anytime now.  We got a phone call from one of our boys who are up  at the Gap.   They are doing MP  duty  in  Harrisburg  tonight.    Capt. Levine will be a Major in a couple of days and is leaving us. Capt. Long returns as CO.” Monday 18 June 1945
“Did I tell you we have a battle star in our E.T.O. campaign ribbon  for  the  ‘Campaign of Northern France.’    We  have  a  flashy  new  patch  for  our  right  shoulder.”[A.S.F. Advanced Depots in France]
..............From 18  to 25 June 1945  the Pennsylvania  detachment  moved  to  Indiantown  Gap Military Reservation, PA and functioned as post MPs, doing town patrol in Harrisburg.  On 25 June these troops rejoined the 475th at their new duty station.
..............On 1 June 1945  the 475 MPEG Co. moved  from  Ft. Eustis  to  Camp  Pickett, VA. 
The  nearest   town   was  Blackstone, VA.      Here  the duty  consisted  of  routine  guard  and  chasing of  POWs.    [Personal note:    Camp Pickett was  notable  to  this  author  for  two reasons:      (1) A  visit  from  his wife  and  a  room rented from a Mrs. Steiner and (2) Meeting  Red Skelton in the line of duty.]
..............One night  while on duty  at the gate  of a secure ward in the Camp Pickett post hospital,  this writer was surprised to see  the “ward boy” letting Red Skelton  out  of  the  ward  where he had been visiting.   As he left, Red said, “Good night, Smitty.   I’ll  send  you  a  cake with a file in it.”    Several nights later I drew duty at the same post.  There sitting on a shelf in the ward boy’s office was  a small cake with  an array of  small rat-tailed files standing up in it like birthday candles.
RED SKELTON - FAMOUS COMEDIAN
Red Skelton in Uniform TO Red's Web link
TO Red's Web link”Red Skelton served as a Private in the United States Army.    The MGM Comedian had more than  600  military  base  and  hospital  appearances  to  his  credit  at  the time he was inducted. When  he  arrived  at  Camp Roberts  in  California,   his fellow soldiers had tacked a sign on his barracks which read,  ‘Tour a Movie Star's Home..  Twenty-Five Cents!’    Red was one of the few entertainers who did not serve as a Commissioned Officer. After his discharge in 1945, Red Skelton returned to NBC Radio in Hollywood for, THE NEW RED SKELTON SHOW.” 
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..............Another  incident  occurred  that  was to affect your author,  not at the time,  but 47 years later. One of the troops said to me, “Herbener, there’s a POW in the stockade with you name.   You ought to go  talk  to  him.”  Like a typical 22-year old uninterested in his geneology,   I shrugged it off.  In 1992, I made contact with my third cousin, Günter, in Bad Wildungen, Germany and visited him.  That POW had been  Günter’s  father,  a  WW1  veteran  who  had  been  a  senior  uniformed  policeman  in  Marburg, Germany.,    He eventually was shipped to Ft. Scottsbluff, NE  where  he helped harvest sugar beets.    I have  a  copy  of  the  postcard  that  was  sent to his wife at the time of his becoming a POW.    He was eventually repatriated to Germany where he died in 1954.
..............On 21 August 1945  the 475 MPEG Co.  was  transferred  to  Camp Stewart, GA.   Several details  were  sent out to POW side camps in rural Georgia to supervise the POW utilization in harvesting crops.   One  such detail went to Statesboro, GA ;  another,  including your author,  to Swainsboro, GA.
..............Freed from the restrictions of the T/O of the 475,   I  was promoted to corporal and given the duty  as  the  "company"  clerk  at Swainsboro.   We  had  a medic complete with ambulance assigned to the side camp.   There I typed morning reports for the signature of the casual lieutenant who was the only
commissioned  officer  at  the  side  camp.  I  also  typed the 7 carbon-copied    (on mimeograph paper)   contracts   for   the farmers  to sign hiring POW labor  in harvesting peanuts.   We had  POW  cooks  and bakers  and ate the same meals as the POWs.   Outside  the  peanut  farmers’  complaints  about the too-small-size of  stacks  of  peanut plants there was not much excitement  at  Swainsboro.   We  had  been  warned  to  stay away from the local young ladies because  their swains carried firearms  in  the cabs of their pickup trucks.    One member of the  unit  apparently  did not heed this warning – his address is
now in Swainsboro, GA The  most excite- ment  at  the  side  camp occurred when a POW suffered a strangular hernia  and the medic  and  I  took  him  to  several major Army   installations in  Georgia  by ambu- lance before we found one with a hospital that would accept him.
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..............By  mid-October  the  peanut  harvest  was  completed  and  Camp Swainsboro  was  about to close.  POWs and personnel transferred to Statesboro which had more permanent facilities.  It was there on October 30, 1945 that I received the telegram informing me of the birth of my son.
..............On  14 September 1945,  the 475  Military  Police  Escort  Guard  Company  was placed on Inactive   Status.      It   was   reactivated   prior  to  the  Korean  Conflict  from  15 February 1949  until 15 September 1950 in Boise, ID.4

Footnotes
1.     N & W Railroad Photo............................................................................................
2,3.   Official Red Skelton Page........................................................................................
  4.    Document #1 from the files of the Center for Military History.  [See appendix]....
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