392nd Bomb Group

2974th Financial Detachment


2974th Financial Detachment and the
586th Army Postal Unit Party June 1944.

From the 392nd history collection from microfilm

[Note: Just like a successful reunion, a Company party took careful planning, attention to detail, and sometimes intense negotiations. The fun and fellowship that we experienced at the reunion was reminiscent of the parties planned at Station 118. As this excerpt from the history of the 2974th Finance Detachment shows, party planners approached these events with the same energy and focus as a combat mission.]

During the month of July 1944 the social life of the 2974th Finance Detachment improved immeasurably. As a result of long drawn-out negotiations between this Detachment and the 586th Army Postal unit, located at AAF Station 118, it was decided that certain vital social needs of the two units (Total combined personnel: 23 good men and stalwart…albeit slightly aged around the edges!) had, in the past, been ignored. It was suggested that this distressing lack could be remedied by a party. A meeting of all personnel of both units was called in the Finance office, and details were arranged as to the nature, scope, emphasis, and expenses of such an ambitious affair. The necessary committees were appointed and the date set.

The dance was held on a Friday evening, the 14th of July. Women were obtained from the government Post office in Dereham (through the professional activities of the army Postal Unit) and additional females were borrowed from Barclay's bank (contact having been made through the financial activities of the 2974th Finance Detachment.) In addition to the personnel of the Postal Unit and the Finance detachment, there were a few members of other squadrons and female staff of the Red Cross club to provide a broad representation, and the two Base chaplains to provide (but not necessarily promote) dignity. Total women present: 21; total men: 26.

Knowing that man does not live by dancing alone, arrangements were made to feed the "inner man". 27 gallons of ale in kegs, bolstered by sandwiches and cake provided by the mess hall, grapefruit juice for the tee-totalers, and miscellaneous other refreshments calculated to put all the company in merry mod, were obtained. Cpl Morris D. Glickfeld of the Finance Detachment did the honors as bartender, and all later admitted that he acquitted himself with discretion, efficiency and great dignity in the tradition of that ancient profession.

Music was provided by a radio-phonograph combination furnished, complete with records ranging from sweet to hot, by Chaplain Clark. The dance itself was held in the Finance Detachment barracks which, for the occasion, had been stripped of clothes and equipment and was suitably decorated.

Without question, the party was a great social success. The achievement was hailed as such by authorities as widely separated as (1) the men who attended, (2) the women who attended, and (3) the Chaplains who attended.

Plans are already under way for a repetition of this magnificent success. One thing must be pointed out: that the success of this affair has a deeper significance than merely that of social success itself. To the dance came young women of a class rarely seen or met by the American soldiery in the course of their normal operations in the neighborhood. As a result of this party it can confidently be said that Anglo-American relations have been established satisfactorily on a new level and with a new group, and the implications for the future are no less than profound.