Pearl Harbor 1943

The older children remember the infamous date well!  All soldiers were called at home the Sunday evening of December 7, 1941.  Pearl Harbor had been bombed!  Staff Sergeant William Crismon was instructed to report to duty at 3:30am the next morning.  A Post-wide blackout condition was imposed including the homes.  Automobile lights were not even permitted.  In the dark of the morning, Pop’s 1936 Ford was broad sided by an army truck.  The Provost Marshall said, “Sergeant, file your claim after the war”.  Of course, the claim was never filed.  Two days later Pop was shipped to Yuma, Arizona.  The Army had to figure out what to do with thousands of surplus horses.  William and Bessie decided they would do whatever was necessary to keep the family together.  When school was out Bessie gave up her home at Packer’s Camp and moved her five children to Yuma.  Shortly thereafter Pop was shipped to Camp Campbell, close to Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Bessie and her children immediately followed, settling in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  The last child, David, was born there.  Fort Knox was home of the Armored Regimental Tank School.  The Commanding Officer looked at Pop’s military record and said, “Sergeant, considering your extensive Cavalry School cadre experience, you are now a Tank Commander Instructor.  Take this manual and read it”.  The old horse soldier became a tank commander overnight.  Months later a student turned a tank in the wrong direction, causing it to roll over.  Pop suffered a serious back injury.  Since his 30 years of military service had been fulfilled, William Crismon received an Honorable Medical Discharge on November 30, 1943 at Nichols General Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.