During his service in the US Army, Martin said he made several lifelong friends that he kept in touch with after the war. Sadly, only one is still alive and he resides in Minnesota. Randall said he still corresponds with his friend. Randall said he was lucky to not have sustained any injuries while in the service, though many of his friends and fellow soldiers did not fare as well.
While he may not have sustained any physical injuries, Randall was forced to watch other soldiers killed right next to him, which leaves a scar all its own, according to him.
“The fellows who were killed would want people to know how it was,” Randall said. “When you’re out there, everything is hollering, yelling, screaming and all that. You’re all tense at all times when it’s like that.”
Randall and the other soldiers in the 1st Cavalry Division were the first regular division to arrive in Australia, Tokyo and Tacloban, a Philippine city about 360 miles east of the Philippine capital Manila. His division did not fight in Australia, but merely underwent additional training.
Martin said his time in Australia would have to be his fondest set of memories from his time in the service. Because he was only training there and not fighting as he had elsewhere, Randall describes his time in Australia as peaceful.
“The people were very nice. When we went into Brisbane, we were treated wonderful there,” he said.
Unfortunately, Randall had to endure a number of less-than-pleasant times as well. He said the most pitiful sight he saw during his time overseas was at San Tomas University in Manila. He witnessed American civilians being held there and starved to death.
“They were just skin and bones when I saw them. I just can’t imagine why anyone would treat another person like that. But in wartime, terrible things happen,” Randall said.