Dedication of Korean, Vietnam
and Desert Storm Memorial
World War II Oral History Interview
Date: January 6, 2003
Veteran: Stephen M. Andel
US Army: Sergeant, Tenth Armored Division
Interviewer: Michele Carrara
Summarizer: Irving Bauman
Stephen Andel was born in Coaldale, Pennsylvania in December, 1917.
He was drafted in July 1941, when he was working as a chemical laboratory assistant at Merck & Company in Rahway, New Jersey. After induction, he was sent to Camp Croft, South Carolina for basic and advanced infantry training. His most vivid memories of the sixteen week course were the high heat and humidity. Andel remembered soldiers suffering from dehydration, passing out and drinking saltwater. Following his training, Andel and his unit moved to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for unit training and maneuvers as a member of the Eighth Divisionxs Thirty-fourth Infantry Regiment in what he referred to as a xmock war.x At the end of that training he was granted a five day leave to see his family in Pennsylvania and New York and then returned to Fort Jackson. He later went absent without formal leave to New York to visit his ailing father, but returned to his unit.
Following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Andel was shipped to the west coast by train and then sailed to Hawaii on a cruise ship converted to a troop transport vessel. Arriving in Hawaii, he was assigned to the Twenty-fourth Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks. While at Schofield he became a cook in the officersx mess hall, a job he retained during his service in Hawaii.