Myron “Mike” Kumin
by Zack Kumin
Mike Kumin- WWII Veteran
In August of 1943, Mike Kumin went to war at the age of 23.  Mike grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, before he joined the army to join the American troops in Algiers, Africa.  By the age of 22 Mike was graduating from college, and wanted to help out the American troops in battle.  Mike said “It was just as well to be lucky, not dying, and not finding yourself in troublesome conditions, and you have no control of where you are.”  When everyone left home, they did not know if they were going to make it back.  Many men did not.  Mike felt guilty when he came home and others did not.  Every man that put his life on the line to fight in this war was a hero whether or not they made it home.
Mike Kumin joined the army in August 1941.  he started to train in Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) for one and a half to two years.  He was put into OCS.  They were known as a “five striper” or a “sergeant”, a “SGT”.  He spent three months at the school.  The school was for making the soldiers into good physical shape.  They had to crawl under barbed wire while other soldiers shot above them. So if anyone got up they would be shot.

They had gas mask training where they would fill up a tent with tear gas and when it was filled up, you would enter with your mask in hand and then he’d put it on.  If you couldn’t get it on then you would choke.  Then the gas would get into your eyes and lungs. They also did map readings for good tracking skills.  When it came to guns, they were issued carbines (they were asked to take them apart and put them back together).  The main reason they were there was to build physical fitness.  They had to run in full equipment the majority of the time.  They had to wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and were told what equipment they had to run in.

Tour of Duty
 Mike shipped out on a troop carrier first and was sent out from Ft. Dix, New Jersey.  Mike first landed in Algiers in Africa.  They camped out in Algiers for two weeks, living in tents.  Then they headed for Italy on a boat with nurses, who weeks before had been on a ship that had been to Tripoli.  The men had to sleep in their clothes.  Eight men slept in a room and the trip took about one week.  Their ship was one of many ships in a large convoy that included destroyers to protect them.  The ship was named the S.S. Montove.

They stationed in Naples, Italy, and were in Casserta, 20 miles from Naples.  The attacks were located on Via Appia, which was the main road between Naples and Rome. At first, when they arrived, they could have as much food as they wanted, but it wasn’t very good.  They lived on spam for the first month.  The next meal was milk and powdered eggs.  They didn’t get to eat much meat and they rarely got fruits and vegetables.
Free Time
Sometimes Mike would have some time off.  The most memorable time he recalled was when Mt. Vesuvius had been erupting for several weeks, and once it stopped, he was able to visit. He was able to go inside the crater and walk around.  One night he saw a German plane bombing Naples.  It flew in from the North using Mt.  Vesuvius as a beacon.  Mike made one good relationship with another soldier named Dick Bry, who was a professional writer.  He met him on August 1, 1941 in New York before they shipped out from New York.  They used letters to keep in touch but didn’t see each other much later on in the war.  In the winter of 1944, south of Rome, Italy on New Years Eve Mike met his cousin in the medical unit.

Other Jobs
Mike had a few other jobs such as drilling troops of 300, mess supervisor (in charge of food), and also General’s aide when he went to southern Paris, France in June,1944.  When he was the Company Supervisor, officers in the company roomed together in Italy, and all of the other officers were technical officers, and had nothing in common with them.

End of War
While my Grandfather was in the war he was not part of the front lines fighting  but he made up the strategies for plans of winning the war.  The efforts he made in communications were a big part of communicating with troops in the battle field situation.  Every soldier that served in this war was a hero and made all the efforts to fight for our freedom, and they will always be remembered.


Interview with Myron Kumin, January,2006

Mount Vesuvius, Windows to the Universe

Spam, Dan Garcia's Spam Homepage,

Gas Masks