May 16, 2016

Military Monday - Sicily Island Buddy Quartet in Air Corps, 1942

From the July 26, 1942 edition of the Monroe Morning World:


Four Lifelong Friends Join U. S. Forces At Same Time Here

Four fine, patriotic Sicily Island youths trooped into Sergeant McNemar's office in the Monroe post office building last Tuesday afternoon, hot and tired, and informed him that they were ready to go.  

He talked to them informally for several minutes and then inquired as to which branch of the service they would like to enlist for, at which point one of the young men spoke up and said, "Well, Sergeant, down at Sicily Island the folks all say that you are an honest man and that you stick to your word and that you do everything possible to please the people who come to your office so we are going to leave it up to you, big boy."

The recruiter quickly sized each of them up and said that the air forces would be indeed glad to have them, and that he believed each of them would be a decided asset to the air forces and to apply for that branch of service when they arrived at the reception center at Camp Beauregard.

Monroe Morning World
The four young men mentioned are:  Charles David Bourke, 20, son of Mrs. Ida Bourke, who was so anxious to enlist that he forgot to get his mother's written consent, but a long-distance telephone call from McNemar soon remedied that situation, and within an hour he had her telegraphic consent; Charles Clinton Cloy, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Horace Cloy; William Harmon Randall, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Calvin Randall; and Edsel Girard Thurman, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rastus Lee Thurman.

All four of these splendid young fellows were born and reared at Sicily Island, attended the same schools and churches, and have been lifelong pals and friends, and now that they had reached young manhood, they decided that they wanted to continue their close companionship and enlist together in the same branch of the service.

At noon on Thursday, these four boys were back to see Sergeant McNemar, with their pre-enlistment papers completed, their releases from the draft board, and were ready to set out on the great adventure of their lives.

The sergeant said later that he knew the people of Sicily Island, who had seen these boys grow up into the peak of their splendid young manhood, are indeed proud of them, and that he feels that each of them will go a long way in the army.


  1. What an amazing and fun story to have. There just is nothing like the information we can get from newspapers and this is a prime example.

    1. I think I have become addicted to searching old newspapers! As you mentioned in one of your blog posts, newspapers surely fill the gaps when searching for information on family. Important information but also fun tidbits that actually make me chuckle.