Personal Narrative: American Administration At Camp Cooke

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I remember an incident that was indicative of the extent to which the American administration at Camp Cooke was willing to go to satisfy us. On Friday or Saturday afternoons, we received from the food commissary on the main post freshly sliced meat or cutlets. On one occasion, the cooks in our company feigned great anger and refused to accept the meat that was delivered. They said they were planning a meal that required a different type of beef. About an hour later, the Americans replaced the meat with the requested type.
During the time that I was at Camp Cooke and Tagus Ranch, food was always very plentiful. For example, at Tagus Ranch one evening, I noticed in the corner of our mess hall an eating contest involving sausages and potato salad. Suddenly there was a pushing crowd and a call for medics. It turned out that the contestant had eaten 36 sausages, thereby winning a bet that he could not eat more than 35. The winner had to have his stomach pumped.
Every POW received on his birthday a delicious pastry prepared by our German chefs. In the afternoon or in the evening, the birthday boy would invite his friends to join him in celebrating his birthday with coffee and pastry.

At Camp Cooke we were all well fed—much better in fact than the Europeans on the Continent.
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We were all miffed and were of the opinion that now the American Army was showing its true face. Since the war was over and the Americans had their soldiers back from German captivity, we felt that perhaps we were now being punished for the concentration camps. To a large extent, however, the food shortage was offset by the actions of Captain [Robert L.] Everett and the professional culinary skills of our own cooks. According to rumor, Capt. Everett had connections with Army kitchen personnel and was able bring more food into the stockade than was authorized. The provisions were then shared equitably with all the POW

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