Roy D. Gage
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 11/22/1942 - 12/07/1945
Medical Administrator, 199th General Hospital

"The army was good. I told them, `If you let me sign up for twenty years and stay here, I'll sign up today," says the Shreveport native who almost didn't make it into the service. Roy finished high school in 1940. He went to work at Barksdale Field as a civilian "storekeeper," working in medical supply. Diagnosed with a heart murmur, Roy nevertheless enlisted in the U.S. Army the day after he married on November 17, 1942. He weighed 124 pounds and stood six feet, and one inch tall. His heart murmur was detected again during basic training, and he was placed on limited service with the 199th General Hospital. Roy sailed to Europe on the SS America. In England his hospital was placed at Little Budsworth, between Liverpool and Manchester. He recalls living in a complex of Quonset huts warmed with two small stoves, and sleeping on hay mattresses. Six weeks later he sailed with the 199th, on the Leopoldville across the English Channel to Marseille, France. Roy worked in medical supply in a small outbuilding beside the hospital. He often sat in the operating room balcony and watched surgery. As the war in Europe ended, he was sent to a staging area for troops headed to the Pacific. After Japan surrendered, he was returned to America in September of 1945. Roy was promoted to sergeant shortly before his discharge at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on December 7, 1945. Roy returned to his civilian job at Barksdale Field, where he retired as hospital plant manager in 1980. Meanwhile he had joined the reserves, and spent a total of twenty-five years in active and reserve duty.