U. S. Army Air Forces. Technical Training Command. Chicago School of Aircraft Instruments. Training Detachment [cover titles of two distinct pamphlets].
The “Fighting Technicians”
Pair of World War II U. S. Army Air Forces Technical Training Command class books from the Chicago School of Aircraft Instruments Training Detachment.
These yearbook-like souvenirs were made for two classes of the so-called “Fighting Technicians”—the “Gyro Class 24–43” and for Class 26–43 who came to learn “the vital task of calibrating instruments.”
In addition to a class history and photographs of the class officers and instructors, each class book contains a portrait and capsule biography for each student. The students were from all over the United States, but both groups appear to have come directly from basic training in Miami, Florida. The class history of Class 26–43 outlines their training:
On January 11, 1940 thirty men from Miami Beach, Florida arrived at Chicago School of Aircraft Instruments to learn the intricacies of aircraft instruments. Some of us were suited for the work ahead by previous training, most of us knew little about instruments, but we all were ready to give our best efforts. ... From basic shop work and simple pressure gauges, which we studied under the able direction of Mr. Cline, we went up through the more difficult phases of our training under Mr. Cook, Mr. Amacker and Mr. Neuman. Now that the day of graduation has come…we are ready to take our places along side of the men who have gone before us… (p)
Like any good yearbook, some levity finds its way in. This is especially poignant here, however, when considering that these air corpsman were training for war. In a pseudo class book entry for the fictitious “Pvt. Joe Oomie Talking” of Gyro Class 24–43 is this “biography:”
I was born approximately in 1942. I deserve space in this book as a representative of my people. We are the Gremlins. We are the scapegoats of the Air Forces all over the world. We carry on our campaign only against the United Nations. That is, we seem to fight against them. To the instrument men we are a godsend. Whenever a gyro man is in his usual position on the floor looking for a ball, he says a Gremlin pushed it off the bench. Whenever his instrument does not calibrate, he says a Gremlin put dirt in his bearings when his back was turned. That is how we get in the way. We are proof of the high morale of you fighting men for it is one of them who is our creator. We are going to do our part in bearing the brunt of their excuses until this is over. We will then make a happy departure into the skies from whence we came, with the hope that we will never find it necessary to return. (p)
Interesting and informative U. S. Army Air Forces Technical Training Command class books from World War II from the Chicago School of Aircraft Instruments Training Detachment.
Description: U. S. Army Air Forces. Technical Training Command. Chicago School of Aircraft Instruments. Training Detachment [cover titles of two distinct pamphlets].
[Two oversized pamphlets]. [Likely Chicago: U. S. Army Air Forces Technical Training Command, 1943]. pp. each. Illustrated, flexible blue wrappers; stapled. Each 11¼ x 8½ inches. Illustrations from photographs. One pamphlet with ink inscription. Each, near fine.