Cambridge G. Beckel – 5th Army HQ WWII

My uncle, Philip E. Bergquist, served the USA at 5th Army Headquarters from October 1943 until October 1945. These stories about his colleagues come from letters he sent home from Italy to his family.

Cambridge G. Beckel was only written about a couple of times, but they were both important events in his life at the time. Philip’s letter of 16 March 1945 describes Cambridge’s promotion to 2nd Lieutenant as follows:

“Today was a pretty big day in our office because one of our Sergeants (T/Sgt Cambridge G. Beckel, Jr) was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the Army of the United States. Yesterday he was a civilian because he was discharged from the Army as an Enlisted Man so as he could be commissioned to-day. Boy, we sure had fun cussing at him and stuff yesterday and he couldn’t do anything about it—but today, he is now a 2nd Lt. All kidding aside, though, he is really a swell fellow and he really deserved his commission. He was assigned to Fifth Army Headquarters at the same time that I was. At that time he was A T/3 (Technician Third Grade). I guess he has gone off on a three day pass now. From what I understand, all officers get a pass when they are first commissioned.”

A few weeks later, Cambridge Beckel was written about for another change in his duties while in Verona, Italy: “Lt. Beckel is now our Section Leader.”