Uncle Bud by Kelly Haggard Olson
Notes About Uncle Bud – from a conversation in 2002
Bud enlisted at 18 years old in August and was inducted in September, 1945
He had basic training on field artillery, and was one of only 2 guys in his training group not sent overseas.
He was first sent to California, which was not expected, stayed about 3 weeks, and then was sent to Atlanta, GA to the weather service. In Georgia, Bud saw his first jet – the landing strip was short, so the jet circled twice and stood up vertical to lose speed in order to land.
Then he was sent to Washington, DC in 1947 to work, and learned to use the fax machine – one of the first in the nation. It was about 2’x3′ large with a drum.
He would fax the US map with weather info off of the teletype. He’d call locations and then have about 30 seconds to load the paper to receive faxes. He also tracked ships and info on a world map.
He worked in the Pentagon, room 5D281. 5 was the floor, D was the ‘ring,’ and 281 was the room. When he first arrived there, he was just a country boy given orders to report to Pentagon 5D281, and it took forever to find it: he found the floor and ring, but went the wrong way and ended up walking almost all the way around the ring.
RA45076 was his serial #, and he made Sergeant in one year.
He lived in an apartment just 3 blocks off of Dupont Circle in DC. When he left DC, a girl in the office whose name was Fortunato and whose father was a Sergeant Major in the Army band threw a big party with homemade wine. When Bud left the party, the Sergeant Major and buddies were passed out cold on the couch with their feet in each other’s faces.
Others that enlisted when Bud did were released early at the end of the war, but Bud wasn’t. He was jealous of this, until the Korean War – those who had been released early had papers that stated they owed time and were called back into service, and Bud wasn’t.
Bud met Aunt Joan at a skating rink when he was 20 years old. They were married a year later, on May 28 (the official records are off by 1 day and say May 27) 1948.
Bud was 2 years older than Joan, but at the time, women only had to get parental approval for marriage if they were under 18, but men if they were under 21, so Bud had to get permission.
Joan said she was born in her parents’ house (Fouts) in January and with high snow; her father had to fight through snow to get the doctor. Joan’s mother lived in the same house since her marriage in 1928: she and Joan’s father moved in with his parents, who later moved to town.
Bud said he was born in his grandparents’ house (Cecil).