Cadets Arrive

Officers of the 96th College Detachment

Permanent staff was sent to ensure that army regulations and doctrines were instilled into the cadets.   Officers often gave out demerits to the cadets for being unshaven, having unpolished shoes, or breaking curfew.

 UW Oshkosh Archives and Area Research Center photo.

Before the cadets arrived, the permanent staff had already moved into their quarters. The permanent military staff was composed of six officers and thirteen enlisted men. First Lieutenant George N. Miles was the first Commanding Officer, but he was replaced early on by Captain Richard F. Hartman, who was soon afterward promoted to Major. Hartman commanded the detachment for the rest of its stay in Oshkosh after replacing Miles. While the faculty and staff of OSTC were responsible for academics and boarding, Hartman and his staff saw to the military indoctrination of the soldiers and ensured that all army regulations were followed during the cadets' stay in Oshkosh.

Cadet Letter
Upon arriving in Oshkosh from Jackson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, Cadet Gene Aabel wrote his parents describing the journey and his new school.  The people of Oshkosh were excited to host the detachment and met the cadets at the train station at 1:30am.  When they cadets arrived at their barracks for the first time, Gene thought, "about half the city was out to see all the soldiers.  We are quite an oddity!  But that is the way we like it."
UWO SC 246. UW Oshkosh Archives and Area Research Center.

The first 400 cadets arrived from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri and Miami, Florida on March 29, 1943.  They had made it through basic training and had come to Oshkosh to fly for the first time and learn the other skills they would need as future pilots, bombers, and navigators. 

Over the course of 1943, the detachment called up cadets from Greensboro, North Carolina and Keesler Field, Mississippi, as well as cadets from Utah, Texas, and even cadets who had seen action in Iceland and North Africa.