Doll finds new opportunities at home
Vail, CO Colorado
With his leave over, Frank shipped out to Wichita Falls, Texas for flight training.
To describe Wichita Falls, Texas in the summer can only be equated to being inside a pizza oven all day. In all of Frank’s military training, this program proved to be the most disappointing.
With the war just over, the good pilots and trainers had scattered to cover the war. What was left in Wichita Falls was a bunch of nincompoops, as far as Frank was concerned. Thirty-six men arrived for training, six of whom were very young and the other 30 knew more about the military than their instructors.
Frank and his fellow officers were treated worse than the new recruits. With no structure to the training, when Frank went up in a plane for a lesson he only learned what that particular pilot had on his mind that day. The next day was the same.
When Frank applied for aviation school, his idea was to fly and go to the Pacific. It soon became clear that none of his group would have passed the course.
The rules and regulations, however, were the most ridiculous. The officers were not allowed in the Officer’s Club. They couldn’t do this, and couldn’t do that.
These men had seen hell from the bottom up and were not going to put up with the way they were being treated. Frank and all 29 of the combat veterans quit the program.
Well, the army was not going to be shame-faced by the failure of this program, so they called in a bunch of army psychologists who had sessions with the men to find out what was “their” problem. These psychologists decided the men should be relieved of duty due to “combat fatigue”.
So Frank was no longer in aviation school and decided the whole exercise was just a big waste of time. The army now had officers on its hands with nothing for them to do. Frank was ordered to teach drills to new recruits and he simply said, “No.”
Next he was sent to Fort Sill to the training center there. He taught communications.
In October 1946, word came that the war was officially over.
Changes were in the air. For an officer such as Frank, he was offered one of three choices: stay in the army, be discharged, be discharged into active Army Reserve.
It was the latter that Frank chose. What it meant to be in the active reserve was that he had to attend monthly meetings and complete certain assignments. hese meetings were held in Glenwood Springs and Frank attended them without fail.
For several years, the world of war stepped out of Frank’s life. He returned to the ranch in Gypsum, where his roots ran deep and where the grass still grew tall and lush. One day he was at his brother’s house.
By this time, Morton had married a woman named Starr. At the house he saw a picture of a group of people. One girl in the picture leaped out and caught Frank attention.
“Hey, Starr, who is this girl?” Frank asked.
“Oh, that’s Imogene Nottingham. You remember her from high school?”
“I don’t remember her looking like that!”
Starr smiled. “She’s available.”
Frank got right on that one.
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