Grundy (1).jpg (44274 bytes)

Gary Thewlis (on the left)

From a December, 1966, letter home to my then fiancee:

Saturday is Grundy Day! On that day the candidates of the 5th WOC
Company literally take over the company for the day. It's a tradi-
tion among the candidates, but the day it occurs must be kept
secret from any of the Sgts. or Officers of the company to prevent
their tampering with our Grundy Day plans.

We elect a General Grundy, and he personally relieves the company
commander for the day. We have a free hand, as long as we do
nothing destructive or totally out of line. Our power lies in our
numbers, and we take orders only from our chosen grundy leaders.

The uniform is: Tennis shoes, green socks, pants to a sweat suit,
fatigue pants worn over sweat suit pants and rolled up to the
knees, inside-out fatigue shirt, inside-out flight jacket (it
has a dayglow orange lining), necktie tied around the neck in
a bow, and the baseball cap worn inside-out with a handkerchief
tucked in like an Arab.

And from a letter not too many days later:

Today was Grundy Day here, and it came off quite well! We all got
up at 3:00 A.M. (oh, my aching bones!) got dressed in our proscribed
uniform, and marched down to the flight companies area. We gathered
around the 2nd. WOC Co. (the one we will be going to after PreFlight)
and sang Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs for half an hour.

When we were sure everyone was awake and thoroughly pissed off we
marched back to the company area. We then called the company
commander at home and told him that he had been relieved of duty
by General Grundy, but his presence would be appreciated later in
the day at the presentation ceremonies.

The weather (about 20 degrees outside) put a bit of a damper on
our activities, but certainly not in our spirits. The only reason
we really got away with all this stuff was that it was highly
organized and absolutely no destructive actions or disrespect was
involved. We just did everything back-asswards!

Breakfast was a small riot. We all marched down and formed up
around the mess hall. Then on the command of "Let's Eat!" all
300 and more of us piled into the mess hall! We went in every
entrance imaginable; all of the doors and some of the windows.
Needless to say it took quite a while to get everything straightened
out and everybody fed, but we did and had a ball.

Coming back from the mess hall we traveled in groups of at least
10 at a time. The Tac officers enjoyed the whole thing as much
as we did, but they tried to isolate one or two or us at a time and
then tried to break us down.

Everybody was named Candidate Gross, and the correct answer to
everything was: "Sir, Candidate Gross. i am under the direct orders
of General Grundy, sir!"

Whenever anyone got caught by a tac, the leader of a larger group
would yell "Police Call!," and we could police the area. This
consisted of rushing the tac or tacs and the captured candidates,
and literally picking up those captured and carrying them off by
weight of numbers.

In the late morning we had the ceremonies, attended by all the
actual company staff as well. There were speeches on how to gold-
brick and goof off. General Grundy informed us he had taken over
command because he was worried about us - we were looking too
sharp, working too hard, and not getting enough demerits; he
intended to correct this!

The company executive officer was presented with the Silver
Defecation Award, and the company commander with the Purple
Shaft with Barbed Wire Cluster.

Final event was to pass in review, normally done (looking
from the reviewing stand) from left to right in formation.
We did in single file, from right to left. After that we
formed up and General Grundy turned command back over
to the Company Commander. Sigh.


That was Grundy Day for class 67-13, at least the way I described
it then and there.

I have a black and white (unfortunately) picture of myself and
two other Candidate Gross's, sitting in the mess hall in
uniform. I just scanned it in, so if anyone wants a copy
contact me back channel.
Gary Thewlis



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Last updated May 04, 2012