[Colorized Pic] 1SG Arthur Page, World War II (my grandfather)
I posted this at /pics, but I doubt anyone there will appreciate this as much as this sub would.
This is my grandfather from World War II. He attained the rank of First Sergeant (1SG) by age 21. He earned SEVEN campaign stars on his European African and Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon. If you notice his memo states that he is a Staff Sergeant (SSG).
His story is, he was a shipping clerk at the Cumberland Paper Company and later Cumberland Steel Company (Maryland) from 1940 to 1942. He was a corporal stenographer in the Maryland National Guard's 8th Battalion in 1942, when he switched to active duty on 29 July 1942 to become a radio operator as a Private (PVT). He graduated from Radio Operators and Mechanics school on 27 February 1943, and was promoted to Private First Class on 19 March 1943 in the 75th Troop Carrior Squadron. They recognized that he might be better back doing clerical work and transferred him out of the communications section on 8 April 1943 to the 435th Troop Carrier Group. He was promoted to corporal (CPL) on 28 April 1943 and Sergeant (SGT) on 30 June 1943. He was promoted to First Sergeant (1SG) on 15 September 1943 in the 441st Troop Carrier Group at the age of 20. He applied to be a warrant officer from Royal Air Force Langar (England), 301st Troop Carrier Group, 441st Troop Carrier Squadron on 3 April 1944 with recommendations from his commander due to his abilities in the matters of "counter-intelligence and internal security." He was accepted, but medically unfit at the time of his arrival to the training area on 13 April 1945. He requested a demotion to SSG on (presumably to continue on fighting, I'm not really sure – this happened in Band of Brothers as well with the one 1SG) on 11 May 1945, and was returned to flight duty on 1 June 1945 with the 100th Troop Carrier Squadron.
Here ia a pic of my grandfather and me from 2003 at a wedding after I got back from the Iraq invasion. Unfortuantely he passed away in 2007 before he could see me attain the rank of 1SG as well. Oddly enough, I enlisted as a PVT like him, held a few additional ranks, but eventually attained the rank of 1SG before applying and being accepted to Warrant Officer as well. Hopefully I don't have his same medical issues upon arrival at the school, haha.
Sadly, I never really pressed him on what he actually did during the war, if that makes sense. He wasn't much for talking about it and he was fairly old by the time I was mature and smart enough to really appreciate his service (even though he was the reason I joined in the first place, it still never really hit me until it was too late).