The Million Dollar Wound

Updated: Apr 11, 2018


WWII was over early for Orville Fleming but he didn’t know it at the time. He enlisted in the Army in 1944 in San Francisco, CA. Jobs were scarce and he intended on making the Army his career. He was sent to Ft. Ord, CA. for sixteen weeks of basic/infantry training. During his training period, the Battle of the Bulge broke out in Europe and the training was reduced to thirteen weeks.


Instead of heading to the east coast and Europe, he was heading west to Honolulu for an assignment in the Pacific theatre. He remained in Honolulu for “one or two months” and finally received his assignment. He was assigned to the 77th Infantry and would be going to an island called Okinawa in early 1945. The 77th made 15 landings on Okinawa and Orville said the battle had “been going on a while” so his company landed on the beach with little enemy resistance and made their way inland.