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High School Interview 
with Royal Mayon

 Interview with Royal Mayon, 128th Ordnance Bn., 6th Armored Division
Conducted by Jenny Eues under the direction of Teresa Bagwell, Morgan City H.S.
Originally published on the Morgan City H.S. web site under the title
"A Sacrificial Gift to the Nation"
Reprinted here with the kind permission of
Jenny Eues, Teresa Bagwell, and Royal Mayon


In some ways, this account is one of my favorites. Two years ago Jenny Eues was a high school student in Morgan City, Louisiana where  Teresa Bagwell is chairperson of the Social Studies Dept.  Ms Bagwell makes sure that her students learn about WW II, and one of her methods is to have the students interview local veterans.

During a web surfing session last year, I was surprised to find a reference to the 6th Armored Division on  a
high school site -- it turned out to be Jenny's interview with Royal Mayon, of the 128th Armored Ordnance Bn.
Ms Bagwell, Ms Eues, and Mr. Mayon have all graciously granted permission to reproduce that  interview here on the Super Sixth web site to contribute to the Personal Stories section.

Other interviews conducted by Jenny's classmates with veterans of other units and other services can be found at

A Sacrificial Gift to the Nation
Jenny Eues


Mr. Royal Mayon is an army veteran of World War II. He was drafted into the National Guard and
trained with them. His high school principal was a commander and excused him from weekly drills
because Mr. Royal had a college football scholarship. He also issued Mr. Royal a discharge because
he knew that war was going to break out, and the National Guard would be the first group sent. He
was right. A National Guard division composed of Morgan City boys was sent to England where they
built a camp. Mr. Royal Mayon was later sent to army training at Camp Cooke in California as a
replacement. He became a member of the 128th Armored Ordinance Maintenance Battalion in the
Sixth Armored Division. His battalion's motto was Constanter agite, which means Relentlessly ahead.
Mr. Royal said, "Camp Cooke was almost like haven, but it wasn't home." While at the camp, the
soldiers in training slept in tents. They had many forms of entertainment. They could go the theater, the
gym, and if they were lucky, they could get a pass to visit nearby Los Angeles. Baseball and boxing
were popular sports within various divisions. Mr. Royal, along with the other division boxing
champions, was rewarded for his boxing talents with a visit from Joe Lewis.

Mr. Royal's wife was six months pregnant when he went to Camp Cooke. As she approached her due
date, Mr. Royal was granted a fifteen day pass home. His wife was unfortunately overdue, and his
pass became expired. Mr. Royal begged for an extension, and it was granted. His wife gave birth to a
beautiful baby girl. The hospital was run by a group of nuns. They were very strict and would not allow
any visitors to see the baby until a few days after the birth. Mr. Royal brought in his uniform and
explained his situation to one of the nurses. She realized that this might have been the one and only
time Mr. Royal would have gotten to see and hold his baby, so she snuck him in to see his little girl. He
had to return to the army the next day. The sixth division, also called the "Super Sixth" was then sent to
Europe. Mr. Royal's battalion was coincidentally placed in the camp that the Morgan City men in the
national guard had built. They stayed there until a few days after D-Day. Mr. Royal was a T-5, which is
equivalent to a Corporal. His ordinance was the maintenance battalion. His daily responsibilities
included repairing guns and tanks. He worked on a two and a half ton truck that was practically a
hardware store. The Sixth Division, like many others, was often on the move. They were involved in
battles in Normandy, North France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. In the summer months,
the soldiers would sleep outside in tanks, tents, and trucks, but the winter months were too cold to
sleep outside. The soldiers would either move into vacant homes or move in with European families.
Mr. Royal and a fellow soldier moved in with a Belgium family. The family was very kind; they were
also very poor. All of the food available for the soldiers was rationed. Mr. Royal would always get as
much as he could, so he could give some to the poor Belgium family.

One of the sergeants, along with many of the soldiers, was a very nervous man. He worried constantly.
Mr. Royal did not think worrying would help matters. For this reason, he was nicknamed "Cajun." The
other soldiers would say, "Look at Cajun, he don't worry about anything." Mr. Royal said that he was
afraid; he just did not show it. When Mr. Royal entered the army, he developed a brotherly love for
Tony, a nineteen year old Italian boy from New Jersey. The two were inseparable. They were in the
same battalion, and they agreed that they would obey whatever command they were given; however,
they would never volunteer for anything. One day, Tony received a letter from his girlfriend in the United
States. She had written to tell Tony that she could not wait for him to return home. She had moved on
with her life, and had found someone new. Tony was devastated. After that, he began to volunteer for
everything. When walking in Europe, you were supposed to walk along a path to avoid setting off
mines. One day, while heading to a battle in Brest, France, Tony volunteered to go back and get more
supplies. While walking back to the camp, some people started yelling that someone was drowning.
Tony, along with a few others, ran off of the path to help save the drowning victim. They set off a mine
trap and did not escape the explosion. Tony was killed instantly, and he was the battalion's first

Mr. Royal said that the hardest duty he was ever asked to perform during the war was guard duty on
enemy territory. He said that you had to stay on watch for enemy soldiers; meanwhile, sirens were
going off, and there was no way of knowing if that was a signal for enemy attack. There was never a
time when Mr. Royal thought the United States was losing because Germany was limited on supplies.
He said that as his division entered the Battle of the Bulge, "The Germans were beating our boys; then
we got enough strength and supplies to defeat them." Mr. Royal feels that if Germany had more
supplies, the war would have lasted much longer.

Mr. Royal was paid twenty-one dollars a month for serving in the army. During the war, he and his
family exchanged pictures and letters. After he returned home, Mr. Royal said that he would be sitting
in the same room as his daughter, now three years of age, and someone would ask her where her
daddy was. His daughter would get up and point to a photograph because that is the only thing she
knew her daddy from.

Mr. Royal said that while he was in the war, he was too young for the war to change his views on any
particular subject. He also recalled a time he would never forget. After the residents of Buchenwald
Concentration Camp were rescued, General Patton commanded every soldiers under his command
to walk through the camp to get a feeling of what the prisoners were going through. Mr. Royal still has
some photographs of Buchenwald. Mr. Royal received a bonus from serving in the war, but nothing
else since he was never wounded. He said the government does do a lot for most veterans; however,
he strongly disagrees with government cover ups about injured soldiers during the war.

Mr. Royal agreed that the military is not for everyone, but he strongly encourages those who are
unsure of their future plans to enlist. He said that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States
had no choice but to go to war. Under the same circumstances, Mr. Royal Mayon would definitely do it
all again if it were necessary.

He will never forget the many friendships he made during the war. The veterans of the "Super Sixth"
Division hold a reunion every year in various parts of the United States. Among many other sites, it
has been held in New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. It not only gives the veterans
a chance to reunite with each other, but a candlelight memorial service is also held to remember and
honor those soldiers who lost their lives fighting for this great nation.


  Quinton Leathers: A Brush with Two Tiger Tanks 
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Cy Schockey: Memories of Grow and Patton

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