First-Hand:Young Engineer Puts Mechanical Expertise to Use in WWII

Submitted by Jack Staller

In 1937, I enrolled in Northeastern University. After the first year, I chose mechanical engineering and received a BS in 1942 in the early days of WWII. My first job was with the War Department at the Springfield Armory doing development and testing on machine guns. My preference would have been a commission in the Navy, but my bad eyesight prevented that.

After about two years, the draft board sent me a notice to have a pre-induction physical even though I had a firm deferrment. After the physical, it was suggested that I take the Navy "Eddy" test for training as a Navy Electronic Technician's Mate. I took the test and had my deferment renewed and forgot about it. Then the Navy started bombarding me with letters saying, "You have passed the test-a great future in electronics awaits you."

WWII was a war people believed in and I decided to get into it. I resigned my job, got myself drafted and was sent to electronics school in Washington, DC, for a year with seven months at the Naval Research Laboratories. This led to field service in electronic installation and repair, mostly in Japan.