At the age of 18, Curtis “Dan” Outlaw registered with the government in hopes that if he was drafted, he would get into the Navy. However, Outlaw is color blind and because of the Navy’s use of colors and flags, he wasn’t accepted.
Outlaw, now 91, recalls, “The Army took me though. I was proud to serve, even if I didn’t get to see many battles.”
By the time Outlaw finished training in California and was shipped to the Philippines, the war only lasted 21 more days.
Outlaws’ unit patrolled Manila, the capital city of the Philippines on a peace-keeping mission for nearly a year. His next stop was Yakama, Japan and Tokyo. These were also peace-keeping/reconstruction missions.
Outlaw smiled as he recalled the camaraderie within his unit. “I was with a bunch of boys from Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Those boys loved the rodeo and they missed it. So they decided we were going to have a rodeo right there in Japan. Not just any pony would do. They wanted Hirohito’s white pony and they got him!”
At right, Japanese General Hirohito astride his white stallion. Outlaw ran into “Mac” Mc- Clamy at a rodeo in Japan featuring the famous horse after World War II.
Japanese General Hirohito’s white Arabian was legendary and images of the general atop the stallion were used for war propaganda. Lt. Dick Ryan was credited for riding the famed horse into the arena.
While watching the antics of the rodeo, Outlaw noticed a familiar face in the crowd. It turned out to be a fellow Jacksonian — H. M. “Mac: McClamy, who had also been drafted.
Outlaw laughed, “It’s a small world, even when you are a world away from home. Somebody knows you somewhere.”
McClamy would go on to be a long-time Jackson pharmacist after the war.
“I might not have seen much fighting, but I met people I will never forget. I saw things I won’t forget and most importantly, I got to serve my country. I’m proud of that.”
Outlaw returned home and married the former Dottie Boone and had raised five children in Jackson where he worked for Boone’s Hardware and Liberty National Insurance.
Weekly columnist. Feature Writer.