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 BUTTON About the Book

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Funds received from the sale of this book by the 17th Infantry Regiment Association solely support the General William Quinn Scholarship Fund!
It Wasn't Funny Then

  • 164 pages; 7" x 8" format
  • 22 original illustrations by Rick
    Kollinger, cartoonist for The Washington Times
  • Foreword by Senator Barry Goldwater
  • $6.00 per copy, plus $2.50 shipping - see Order Form.
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about the book
Anyone who has ever worn an American uniform - or known someone who has - will appreciate the 38 gaffes and seemingly mortifying incidents that General Quinn recalls with crystal clarity from his 37 years in the Army.

Beyond being a genuinely hilarious read, It Wasn't Funny Then is a clear and unsentimental look at the inside of "The Old Army," and as such provides dynamic insights into how it truly was in the era from Same Browne belts, parochial Army life in tiny, far-flung garrisons from Maine to the Philippines, through World War II, the Korean War, and the height of the Cold War.

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about the author
Born in Maryland in 1907, William Wilson Quinn served his country as a distinguished infantryman and intelligence officer in war and peace. He was commissioned into the Infantry with the United States Military Academy Class of 1933. During WWII, then-Colonel Quinn served as the G-2 (Intelligence Officer) for the US Seventh Army from the invasion of southern France through the historic penetration of the High Vosges Mountains, the drive to the German border and the Rhine, and the final assault across southern Germany to Austia, Czechoslovakia, and through the Brenner Pass to Italy. In January, 1945, he correctly anticipated the final German offensive in the West, Operation NORDWIND, posturing the soldiers of the Seventh Army to successfully blunt the drive. Quinn


After the war, President Truman appointed him Director of the Strategic Services Unit, the successor to the OSS and immediate precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. During the Korean War, Colonel Quinn commanded the 17th Infantry Regiment from 1950-51, earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart, among others.

Promoted to the general officer ranks in 1953 - a spectacular 20 year rise of itself - he served in critical positions throughout the remainder of his Cold War service. From 1953-55, he commanded the Joint Military Advisory Group in Greece, and commanded the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis in 1957. From 1961-64, he served as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. From 1964-66, as a lieutenant general, Bill Quinn commanded the Seventh Army , which was then facing the Communist Warsaw Pact juggernaut in central Europe. Retiring in 1966, he served as Honorary Colonel of the 17th Infantry Regiment in the 1980s and 90s. Bill Quinn passed away in September 2000, the very day that It Wasn't Funny Then went to press.

Those who knew him best recognized not only General Quinn's professional brilliance and battlefield courage, but his natural and often self-deprecating sense of humor. In It Wasn't Funny Then, he shared this side, with the help of Pulitzer Prize nominated illustrator Bill Kollinger, political cartoonist for The Washington Times.
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consider a few
Cadet Quinn, United States Corps of Cadets, is walking out of a dance at Cullum Hall at West Point, talking intently with his date. Inadvertantely, he steps on the train of the dress of the girl in front of him...and suddenly beholds something else that rivets his attention. dress


fire Second Lieutenant Quinn, 5th Infantry, gets word of an impending fire drill to be called by the Corps Commander, and has his men fall out with axes, hoses, and pails as the bugler's first notes ring out...only the call is not for a fire drill.


Lieutenant Quinn is met as he gets off the boat in the Philippines and is met by his sponsor whose "welcome" activities put him in bed for two days and earn him a trip to the hospital.

Lieutenant Quinn, 31st Infantry, becomes another in a long line of US Army and Navy officers to become crushingly infatuated with beautiful Russian emigré, and finally lands "the big date." The next day, he finds out (from the G-2!) why she is so well known to so many American officers. love


Colonel Quinn, G-2, Seventh Army during the invasion of southern France in August, 1944 is invited by Lieutenant Colonel Bill Yarborough, CO, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, to have dinner with him in a fine French hotel...only the Germans haven't quite checked out of the area yet...

Colonel Quinn, X Corps HQ, arrives in Wonsan, North Korea and watches as Marines pour off their landing craft to assault the beach, running straight into...Bob Hope.

General Quinn, US Army Public Relations Officer, has a one-trick basset hound whose ability to shake hands delights guests to the Quinn family's quarters at Fort Myer. One night, when a young lieutenant comes to call on General Quinn's daughter, the dog demonstrates an entirely new trick that no one ever suspected.

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how to order
It Wasn't Funny Then is available from the 17th Infantry Regiment Association through the Aberjona Press for $6.00 per copy, plus $2.50 shipping.




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