Dr. Williamson being drafted was typical of thousands of college and graduate school students across the nation that were absorbed into the U.S. military at the height of World War II, especially those in the medical sciences, which were in high demand for the war effort.
Williamson well remembers the day at dental school when a uniformed major showed up and told the assembled dental students that they were now in the Army as members of the Army Specialized Training Program. They were told that, in addition to their dental studies, they would wear uniforms, fall out for formation at reveille and conduct drill training.
?He talked to each student, one by one, and he was a big, intimidating fellow with combat experience who acted like he was very unimpressed with the likes of us,?? Williamson said, smiling at the memory. ?He wanted to know if anybody had anything like military experience.
?He finally got to the guy right before me and he looks at him, gets right in his face and asks him with a sneer, `So, sonny boy, where did you go to college?? My friend snapped to attention and stated loudly and firmly, `At The Citadel, sir!?
?That?s the guy he put in charge of drilling us,?? Williamson said with a chuckle. ?That guy from The Citadel knew how to do it. We had reveille, we had to drill and march, all of that.??
By dental school graduation, though, the war was over and the Army discharged the entire class, releasing them to go into private practice.
It wasn?t long before the military came calling again and Williamson returned to active duty as an Air Force dentist, stationed on Okinawa, Japan, during the Korean War. After the war, he was placed on reserve status.
-The staff at DPS offer a (slightly late) Veteran's Day salute to Dr. Williamson and his dental school colleagues.