|Paul Gakle is the tall man in center with Andy to the far right, Hawaii 1943|
In these last few days after our contact I went back to the story I had written about “Andy” (Walter Anderson) and read through it. I had to laugh at a particular interview I had done with Paul Gakle about him and Andy. Paul Gakle was one of the original Company G men from Chico, California, that was inducted into full-time Federal Service, with the mobilization of the 184th on March 3rd of 1941.
This particular story picked up around the summer of 1942 when the Company was patrolling the bridges and tunnels through the Mt. Shasta, California area from sabotage, along the vital North-South Railway system that ran through the towns of Dunsmuir to Redding. At one point some of the men were entitled to go to the Shasta County Fair that was held in the small town of Anderson, California, just south of Redding.
Paul, who was also one of the biggest comedians of the Company went to the Fair taking Andy with him. Through the day and conversing with many people, and a few beers, the two soldiers had convinced the City Council that Andy was one of the originals related to the Elias Anderson family, of whom the town was named after, little did they know he was just a farm boy from Murdo, South Dakota. Anyway, by the time the two soldiers were getting ready to leave, and with a few more beers, the Council wanted to give Andy the Key to the City.
|From left to right Owen C. “Pop” Jones, Paul Gakle, and Walter Anderson|
Photos and story provided by Scott Brooke
Thanks for the great story, Scott. Scott is writing a book about the unit.