I was selected "by friends and neighbors" to be drafted into the United States Army in 1957. After doing some number of weeks in boot camp learning to love my rifle and not my gun I was sent off to an unusual training of another six weeks or so at Fort Gordon learning lots of information about things that were kept unknown to the public at large while also surviving my propensity to being a civilian smart-ass kid in a military training center where smart-ass kids were fodder for breaking (I survived intact only one step away from being court martialed for some of my childish pranks but with some unusual clearances I'd never heard of before). The group I graduated with along with myself were all flown to Fort Dix in New Jersey and there awaited shipment - by boat - to Germany where we were going to be living in tents etc and within a few days all were shipped out except yours truly who received orders for London, England AND I was to fly over rather than boat over. At the time I was a 'stripeless' Pf-1 or what ever the designation was and all my clothing was shapeless fatigues with a shapeless hat in which I was dressed as I walked out to the impressive plane shown above. The plane was completely filled with officers of all ranks, mostly Captains, Majors and a few light Colonels and needless to say they all gave me the 'glad-eye' as I climbed aboard and claimed my window seat. They were sure I was a 'spook' but all I was, was spooked - what in the hell was I doing with these regular army men of rank as a skinny, shaved-head non-com of the lowest possible rank and looking worse than Beetle Baily of WWII fame looked on his funkiest day. We landed some long time later at RAF Bovingdon near Hetfordshire, England and there my orders told me to get a bus into Hemel Hempsted and there to call my assigned duty station at a base whose name I no longer remember and tell them to send a car to pick me up for my assigned barracking. Some half hour later I arrive at Hemel Hempsted and use the public call box to dial the base. A laconic British bloke answers the phone and I convey my message. You're an American he says - and yes says I - and we are to send an automobile for you, a private you said - and again yes says I - lots of laughter on his end - well Yank I hate to tell you this but this has not been an American base since the end of the war some years back but best of luck on getting to where you should go and he hung up!
I am in England with only three American dollars to my name and orders cut for a none-existent base and it is getting dark and I haven't the slightest idea of what to do.
True story - more later