Interview with Harry Gumby
- Digitized: 2012
Mr. Gumby grew up in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, a rural area where his family owned a farm house with three and a half acres. Initially exempt from the draft, he describes the circumstances surrounding his requirement to serve in 1943. When he arrives at Camp Pickett, Virginia for basic training, he recalls waking up the next morning and discovering that a hometown African American friend who was assigned to his unit’s living quarters had suddenly disappeared. He also mentions the presence of long-time members of the 9th and 10th Calvary in his unit and credits them for influencing his goal to become a non-commissioned officer, which he later achieved. During the war, he acquires training as a combat medic, serving in camps and bases in the United States and includes detailed descriptions of the living quarters assigned to African American soldiers compared to those of white soldiers. After his World War II service concludes, Mr. Gumby re-enlists and decides to pursue a career in the military. He retires as Chief Master Sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force.