Its a Small World
By James K. Richardson
Co. B, 272nd Infantry Regiment

The other day,I was looking through the pictorial “History of the 69th Infantry Division,” when I came across an article and picture of Robert O. “Bob” Easton.  It brought back memories of when he became my Company Commander of Company B, 272nd Infantry Regiment.

When I first met him, I was tinkering around with a homemade radio station that I had built and was playing records for the men in our company.  Admittedly, it was a “bootleg” station, but at that time no one seemed to care.  Captain Easton was fascinated by the thing, and even encouraged it. 

Shortly after that, I was transferred to an Ordinance company, and later transferred to a unit that was returning to the States.  The only loot that I started home with was all of the topographical maps we used from Belgium to Torgau. 

I was discharged from the Army on October 20, 1945, and immediately took advantage of the G.I. Bill and attended college.  I studied business, then switched to Electronics, and roomed with a young man from Lampasas, Texas.  He and I became fast friends and remain in contact to this day. 

When I graduated, I went to work in a radio station in Bonham, Texas.  I got a phone call from my friend in Lampasas, telling me of the new radio station coming on the air there.  He was the chief engineer of the station and asked me to join their staff as a combination engineer/announcer. 

After about a month at the station, the station’s owner came by and my friend introduced him to me.  I thought he looked familiar, but when he said he was Bob Easton, I asked him if he was a member of Company B, in 1945.  He then recognized me, and we had quite a conversation.  He had been with the 29th Infantry prior to joining the 69th, and he remarked that he would sure like to have some maps of Germany.  I told him that I had saved all of the maps we used, and still had them.  He was so excited that during a break, I went home and brought the maps to him.  

I already knew that Bob had written a book, published by Colliers magazine.  What I didn't know that he was still writing, owned the local newspaper, and he and his wife were working on another book.  His wife has published many books, and her father wrote under the name of Max Brand, as did she when her father passed away.  I saw an obit on her a year or so ago. 

Robert O. Easton has also joined the long gray line recently.  To me, having him as CO, and later working for him as a civilian, proves that this is indeed a small world.

 Note:     Robert O. Easton's biography is on page 78 of "The Fighting 69th Infantry Division" book published by Turner Publishing Co.  For More information about Robert Easton, his wife,  Jane Faust Easton and father in law Frederick Faust, go to Google and type in the name Robert O. Easton, Jane Faust Easton or Max Brand.  (Max Brand is one of the names Frederick Faust wrote under)  Max Brand books were adventures of the old West.  (My friend who asked me to join the new radio station in Lampasas, Texas and long time friend of Bob Easton, was Don Peak, a well known recording engineer in Hollywood.)