SEGMENT: FAMILY BACKGROUND, COURTSHIP, & MILITARY SERVICE:

Harold Steele>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 11

SEGMENT: FAMILY BACKGROUND, COURTSHIP, & MILITARY SERVICE:,

duration 14:53

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FAMILY BACKGROUND
Born in Sublette, IL in Lee County in 1922 because of doctor's "twilight sleep". Mother was Georgia Baker Steele. Father was Forest George Steele. Grandfather arrived in Dover in 1848 with siblings and mother from OH. Dover was village of 600 (Bureau County) where he bought 80 acres in 1874. Was a diversified farm in his childhood - had rotation of two years of corn, then oats, alfalfa, or clover. Pigs, cows, chickens, vegetables, orchard. Only had to buy flour sugar and coffee. After WWII, farming changed. Father advised that he should not 'get married' to dairy cows. He had work ethic and management skills. He invested excess money in stocks. Uncle was an insurance agent in Chicago.
MILITARY SERVICE
He enlisted in the army from college ROTC. Went on active duty a year later. Went to train in Michigan, trained at Ft., Sill in artillery. Shipped to Ft. Benning for infantry, then officer's school. 83rd Infantry in North Carolina, shipped in late 1944 to England. Diverted to LeHarve, France going to the Bulge, Belgium.
COURTSHIP
After war was over, moved division to France. Transferred to Austria and Vienna to headquarters. Met wife on a blind date. Married in 1946 in Vienna. She was from New York. She wanted to serve country - went to War Department and found out about counter intelligence (OSS). Trained in Washington as a cryptographer, served in N. Africa and Greece. After the war joined the CIA in Vienna. Met socialists, communists, whose government was from the top down. Called home from Vienna to tell parents about impending marriage. Party phone line with neighbors listening. Shocked to hear he was marrying a New York City girl, Margery Whitely. Her parents shocked at her marrying a farmer. She adapted to new life.