Spurgeon Burdine got surprise duty in World War II - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Spurgeon Burdine got surprise duty in World War II

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Near Minden, LA -

Spurgeon Burdine signed up for the U.S. Coast Guard out of high school in Haynesville during World War II. But he found out the job didn't come as advertised.

He saw in ad in 1943 saying guardsmen were needed to patrol the gulf coast around New Orleans on horseback.

"I was born and raised on the farm and I thought that would be the very thing," Burdine remembers.

But after he finished high school and reported for duty, things changed.

"They put me on a train and I went to New York City. No horses." he says with a big laugh.

Burdine found himself aboard a destroyer escort ship, which the Coast Guard used to protect U.S. supply ships across the Atlantic to Europe.

"It didn't make much difference to me," Burdine shrugs. "I was just a young buck. I didn't care."

He was also lucky. While a couple in his convoy were once hit by German torpedoes, Burdine's ship was never attacked. He only had to man a gun one time to take a shot at an enemy plane.

"But he was way out of range," Burdine says. "I never was in a whole lot of danger. "I was able to come home all in one piece and we got the job done, too.

"We were just lucky. We were one of the lucky ones."

Even though he didn't get to ride horses, there was a good trade-off. Spurgeon says that as a sailor he could find a girl in every port.

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