The Green Goose
By George deGrasse
On July 12, 1943 I was an eighteen year old Army Air Force Aviation Cadet at Santa Ana, California Army Air Force Classification Center.
Here cadets would take a battery of written and physical tests which took an entire day. Depending on the successful completion of the tests
the cadets would be classified as pilot , bombardier or navigator trainees and shipped out to the appropriate bases. If any of the tests were failed we would be "washed out." One part of the test was a required interview with a psychiatrist.
I reported as ordered to the psychiatrist , an Army Air Force Major, and as I sat in front of his desk I wondered what this was all about. After a few general questions: Why did I want to fly , why did I enlist , etc. He said : " Repeat after me .The green goose flew over the gray mountain" I replied " The gray goose flew over the green mountain.
Shaking his head he said "You transposed the sentence and got the colors of the goose and the mountain wrong. " He paused and looked at me expectantly. I looked back at him and replied : "What difference does it make as long as he gets over the mountain?"
After blurting this response I was horrified as I realized I had not only smart-mouthed a Major but probably had destroyed my life-long desire to fly.
He looked at me silently slowly shaking his head for a short time ( two years to me).Then pointing to the door he said: "Get out!" I rose extremely quickly and saluted .As I did I thought I saw a slight quivering about his mouth. But. .
Incidentally, I got a commission and fulfilled my dream and became a flyer.