In Memory of William Potter Gale – Roxanne Gale

by Roxanne Gale; (1988)

“… never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeats.”—Theodore Roosevelt.

(The following is a capsulized account of Bill’s earlier days in the military before he moved to Mariposa. The information was abbreviated from a book to be published in the near future.)

At the age of sixteen, on August 8, 1932, Bill joined the Army reserves at Fort MacArthur. Bugling was his first accomplishment; he was considered “the best bugler on the post,” and auspiciously, the job allowed him time to study. The Army sent him to San Pedro High School to earn his diploma, but at night in the post library, he was tutored for officers’ prep school by orders of Lt. Colonel R. Duncan Brown. In 1941, under the Thomason Act of 1936, Bill was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the regular army.

He had an affinity with the military establishment, perhaps because he had been raised an Army brat by his father, a North Dakota veterinarian who rode with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, later known as the Fourth U.S. Calvary. Charles Gale, a young commander of ‘D’ Troup of the Fourth U.S. Calvary, organized the Maccabbee Scouts in the Philippines under General Arthur MacArthur. History seems to have repeated itself in the Gale and MacArthur families; forty years later, Bill served in G-4 planning section in the Philippines under General Douglas MacArthur, the son of Arthur MacArthur.

He was one of the first commanding officers of the First Filipino Infantry in the United States. As first officer under Colonel Robert Offley, Bill organized a volunteer Filipino unit to go into New Guinea which was the support base for the whole Philippine campaign. Offley’s father was military governor of the Island of Mindoro; he was an Army brat and a West Pointer also, same class as Eisenhower—1915.

Bill once said the regular Army hand-picked four officers: Colonel Offley, Colonel Tirso Fajardo, a Filipino West Pointer named Atanacio Chavez and himself—to command the Filipino guerilla unit because all of them had fathers who had served in the Philippines and they knew Filipino customs.

“The old Army,” he called it. “In my Army, an officer takes care of his men,” Bill once said. As an officer, he would not sit down to eat until his men ate first. “That was the way I was treated in the old army, that’s the way it operated. An officer takes care of his men, then his men take care of him.”

There were only 65,000 men in the whole regular army in the U.S. when World War II started. Then suddenly there were 13 million troops and an officers’ corps put together from nothing. Bill liked to point out that despite the exceptional training of the regular army at that time, it was the civilian officers who won the war. “That’s why this country is great,” he said. “It goes back to every citizen being a soldier, your militia citizen soldiers, because that’s what you are going to bring in to fight a war with.”

He chuckled sometimes when he recounted how General George Stratemeyer, General Wedemeyer, and other American war plans officers, who happened to be all of German descent, had been sent to Germany to study what was known as the German General Staff Concept, after World War I—after Versailles. According to Bill, the Versailles Treaty at the end of WW I in Germany restricted the German army to 150,000 men in total. The Germans subsequently trained all 150,000 men, even the privates, to be qualified general staff officers! These men were trained in officer leadership, combat and even general staff concept of cadres to fill in with the troops.

After training the Filipino troops at Camp San Luis Obispo, Bill was assigned to the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff (Pentagon) where he worked under Generals Stratemeyer, Wedemeyer, and the other American/German war plans officers. Bill’s theatre section consisted of General Marshall and General MacArthur; in September, 1943, at the age of 27 he was sent to Australia to help General Eastwood plan what the Southwest Pacific theatre needed to win the war. Colonel Offley was his commanding officer.

In November, 1944, “Major” Gale was assigned to the U.S. Armed Forces Far East in Hollandia, off the Coast of New Guinea. Hollandia was the base from which the Philippine Liberation campaign was launched. He soon joined the fighting at the Philippine island of Leyte, in fact, he was in the first jeep into Tacloban, sitting on the hood, with Jap snipers shooting at him.

After the war was won, Bill was in G-4 (General, supply and logistics) occupation forces in Japan; GHQ of Japan and Tokyo for three years. Nobody obtained a building in Japan without Bill’s approval—the Japanese government didn’t spend or use one piece of gold or precious metal without Bill’s approval.

On June 30, 1950 Bill retired from the Army at the age of 33; he was listed under the 1949 pay law as combat physical retirement and promoted to a full Colonel. He had been shot in the shoulder in Manila, and later in 1945 he was sent home from Leyte with chronic yellow fever, weighing only 92 pounds. Not expecting him to live, the Army sent his coffin with him on the SS Brazil. A friend had told him later, “They sent the box with you buddy.”

In 1950, while hospitalized with hepatitis, Bill was invited by General Harold L. George and General Gordon Seville to come to work at Hughes Aircraft to help straighten out the critical problems in contracts and procurement. Bill attended the meeting in Culver City between Howard Hughes and General Seville (Chief of Research and Development of the Air Force) in which Hughes was told “to keep his nose out of the business.”

Taking the job as Manager of Government Property Control, while working under Will McGee, the Hughes Controller, Bill collected all the final fees and obtained clearance on completed government contracts … and made it possible for Hughes to build the Tucson plant. He later said, “I was maybe wrong using the Army way, but that’s the only way I knew! I couldn’t do that job without crashing some heads together. I had a job to do, and I did it.”

In 1952, Bill bought a home at 1842 Outpost Drive in Hollywood. He was dynamically involved in several activities at once. He was the Hollywood Division Manager for Waddell and Reed, distributor for mutual funds and united funds. He was Vice President of the 57th Republican Assembly, and teaching bible study classes at the Whittier Hotel every Tuesday evening. He often traveled across country with San Capt, teaching the Constitution and the Bible, while Capt taught Pyramidology and Egyptology. Bill once remarked that people came from all over Texas to hear them.

In 1957, Bill was the state chairman of the Constitution Party and its candidate for governor. In 1968, he announced his candidacy for the governorship on a platform calling for the abolishment of both federal and state “income” taxes.

He felt safe from retaliation by the IRS because his W-2 form from the Army Finance Office showed that he didn’t have taxable income under the 1943 “Pay As You Go” Tax Law. That tax law, which was incorporated into the revised 1949 Tax Law, provided that all officers must pay income tax on their retirement pay, EXCEPT for those officers who were retired for physical disability incurred while in active service. Bill was listed in the latter category.

*****

Today, I stroll the Manasseh ranch grounds and I reminisce on the bustle of the church seminars. The activities at the ranch are in abeyance now, but there was a time when the lanterns strung outside the tents and trailers in the camp reminded me of the thirteen tribes of Israel. The spring grass is drying now, a scattered assortment of electrical spools repose idly behind a grove of oak trees, a haunting sadness pervades the ranch.

Yet, like the lost tribes of Israel who became great nations, so will those who attended the seminars march onward to become the future of this nation. Nothing is lost, nothing is forgotten. The ministry continues here in Mariposa too.

A friend once called Bill the “father of Identity.” Perhaps he was the first to reach out across the nation with this message, but he’s not the last, and that was important to him.

A soldier, a reverend, a “Christian soldier,” a gentleman and a scholar; he was all those things. But, foremost he was a fighter. “Don’t rock the boat, tip the damn thing over!” he once barked. “I think you should get involved in things. If there’s something wrong, clean it up, don’t just shut up about it!” Most people will remember those words as the essence of his spirit.

In the autumn of his life, Bill was at peace with his accomplishments in the ministry. He knew the message would live on after he joined his Father in heaven, but his vitality and energy were so intense his frail body could barely endure it. To the very end he fought for the right to make choices. The inalienable, God-given right to have a choice.

On April 28th, at Castle Air Force Base hospital, Bill emerged from a coma semi-paralyzed; he visited with John Boggs and I one last time, all the while mortified at his condition and letting everyone know about it loud and clear, then around 3 a.m. he made his last choice; he refused the oxygen tube the nurse tried to give to him and he quietly joined Yahweh.

*****

We could not have a better ambassador on the other side to urge our Father Yahweh day and night to come quickly. Bill really enjoyed doing battle with the enemies of Christianity while on earth. To return with Yahweh to finish the job would be one of his greatest rewards.

I want to thank all of you for your lovely cards, your prayers and your words of encouragement. Colonel Gale lived with honor, and died with dignity. He is a man I will always respect and remember with love.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: