Water Survival Training
at Yellow Wood Lake, Brown County, Indiana
(sure to give Jack Roberts Chills up and down his spine)

The Dreaded "Tower"

"There appeared on the bulletin board a notice that I dreaded, but knew it had to happen. We were scheduled to take a survivor training exercise which consisted of jumping off a tower into a lake. On camp site there was a small lake where a tower was built over the water itself and had a steep ramp running from the tower top platform to the ground level. Each soldier, dressed in full gear with back pack, carbine, etc., was required to climb the ramp to the top of the tower, then jump some twenty feet into the water below and swim to shore.

I had seen the tower and the lake and I knew what I was in for. Beneath the tower a small boat containing two soldiers would be there to pull the soldier out of the water if he could not swim, or if he got into trouble while in the water with his full gear on his back. I did not know how to swim and I was petrified of the water. I knew that I would have to be one of the guys pulled out of the water. The idea of the exercise was to get the feeling of what it is like to abandon ship if it was torpedoed while going overseas. Also, in case we participated in an invasion we would have to jump off the landing craft, swim and wade to shore to continue fighting."

From the memoirs of John M. Roberts, 106th Infantry 1944 

Camp Atterbury Platform.
Located at Yellow Wood Lake in Brown County. 

Compliments 81st Engineers.
Construction supervised by Sgt. Ed Wojahn, "B" Company C

Page last revised 09/23/2016
James D. West