HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – He got a letter from President Roosevelt saying the President needed to see him. That’s how Palmer Love says he ended up in the military in 1944.
He at first tried to join the Navy, but that branch was full. So, Love began two years in the Army in October of that year.
I wasn’t smart enough to be afraid at that time. You know 18-year-old nothing excites you. It wasn’t bad. I mean it was just the idea that, for four months there, I never saw snow. Never come to near freezing to death in my life.Palmer Love, Veteran
The warm weather of basic training in Fort Hood wasn’t bad for a young 18-year-old from Ohio.
Texas would be the first stop of many across the world for Palmer Love.
31-days on a ship going overseas. There was 5,000 soldiers, 1,000 officers, a thousand USO troops and the crew on the ship on that ship going over.Palmer Love, Veteran
That journey included several stop on the way to the Philippines.
When I got overseas, we was in a replacement depot that was bring people in and sipping them to units. Along towards the end of the war, I got transferred into a division that was, I knew, they didn’t tell us but we knew we was there for the invasion of Japan, but Truman took care of that.Palmer Love, Veteran
Love never made it to Japan, because the Atomic Bomb was dropped and the war ended.
He spent his service in charge of administration for a company.
I was in a MASH unit. You heard MASH on television, well that was the kind of outfit I was in, Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. had nothing to do with the hospital, but I was the first sergeant of the company that did administration of the people that was there.Palmer Love, Veteran
He was transferred into that battalion and was the highest-ranking, so he was put in charge at 19-years-old with an entire company under him.
Love said while there, he had Japanese prisoners of war that worked for him. While he did learn a bit of the language to get their attention, he was surprised to learn that some spoke English.
How you speak English? He said ‘I’ve got two years at UCLA’, but he was in the Japanese army.Palmer Love, Veteran
When it was time to come home for discharge, Palmer said his ship sailed through a typhoon on the way back.
When he finally returned stateside it was almost a surprise to his family.
California, we come on train, and I run in and I send a telegram to them that I was on the way home. Well, they got the telegram the day before I come home.Palmer Love, Veteran
Love was discharged in November of 1946.
Wouldn’t take a million dollars for it, wouldn’t give a dollar to do it again.Palmer Love, Veteran
A funny story Love tells about his homecoming. His family actually moved while he was overseas, so Love hadn’t seen their new home or farm until the bus driver dropped him off at the mailbox.
His brother also served in the Army Air Corps in England around the same time during World War II.
Once home, Love got married to his wife and they are going on 74-years together. They have four children, nine grandchildren and many great-grand children.
Throughout his life he managed a farm bureau feed store, was a mechanic and settled into a career teaching vocational school.