Asbury United Methodist Church, Cinnaminson, NJ
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Asbury Veteran: Barry Davies

Army

 

SP4 US Army

 

It was August 1968…the war was raging in Vietnam.  I was sitting in the London Palladium watching Sammy Davis in Golden Boy. How was this happening?

God only knows.

 

It all started on a warm summer day in 1966. I drove up to the house in my “69” Ford Falcon, my first car. As I entered the dining room I could see a forced look on my mother’s face as she handed me the envelope. “Report 401 North Broad Street on October 5th 1966”, Greetings from Uncle Sam.  My friend, Jim, had recently left for boot camp, and as all 19 year olds at that time, we weren’t happy with the mailman.

 

It was 5:30 am when my dad dropped me off on Broad Street. Twenty-four hours later I was lining up outside the train in South Carolina, Fort Jackson, to be exact. Ten weeks later I was on my first ever plane ride to Newark, probably in the best physical shape I was ever in.  A train and a truck later, I was at Fort Monmouth, home of the Signal Corp. I spent twenty-six weeks learning the ins and outs of microwave radio. Most weekends I came home since it was only about an hour drive to my house in Philly. Nita and I had been dating about three years. We met in Abraham Lincoln High School. We talked of getting married but we were waiting to see what the future would hold.  In July 1967, I graduated from Fort Monmouth and received my orders for my next assignment.

 

Lonsfeld, Germany, I could not believe it. My friend Jim was on a troop ship on his way to Vietnam, and I was heading the other direction.  After an 18-hour flight with three stopovers, I landed in Frankfurt, Germany.   My ears rang for days from the sound of the props. After a few days, I was driven to my home away from home for the next year.  In the middle of a large farmers field sat three buildings surrounded by a fence. Scattered through the field were antenna towers. Welcome to the Lonsfeld receivers sight.

 

During that year I turned 21 and traveled a bit through Germany.  I worked and played with some unforgettable guys.   I operated radios, ran generators, built a shed and shoveled snow.  I was told that it was the worst winter in that area in years.   I had a week’s leave and only about 2 months left on my obligation, so I took off for London, where I met up with some other GI’s.  We did some touring and went to some shows. That’s how I ended up watching Sammy Davis that day.

 

Some time later I returned home and processed out at Fort Dix, NJ.  Nita and my Mom and Dad met me at the base.  The training I received helped me get a job at AT&T.  Nita and I were married in January 1969.  Almost 40 years later, with two daughters raised, retired with 31 years at AT&T, and three beautiful grandchildren, God still watches over me.

 

P.S.  My friend, Jim, served in an artillery division and returned home safely from Vietnam.