Jack Novak wanted to be a pilot and in September 1944 (at age 17), he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps (not for 3 years, but "for the duration"). The Army delayed his induction until he graduated from Oak Park High School. After graduation, with the war in Europe over, the Army didn't need any more pilots, and so and in June 1945 (with the Battle of Okinawa still raging), he went to Basic Training at Camp Biloxi*(1), Mississippi to begin training for Operation Olympic -- the invasion of Japan -- then scheduled for November 1, 1945. By the time he'd finished Basic, atomic bombs *(2) had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, stopping the vicious & brutal war in the Pacific. Prior to the Atomic bombings, it had been expected that conflict would continue until late 1946 at the earliest*(3). No longer needed for the Pacific, Jack was sent to occupation duty in postwar Germany (US Zone in Bavaria), where on leave from his duties, he was able to attend part of the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi war crimes. Promoted to Corporal, he used his draftsman skills supervising others in the 8th Photo Tech Squadron.
He was honorably discharged at Fort Sheridan (N of Chicago) in December 1946, and after returning to Oak Park, he enrolled on the GI Bill at the University of Illinois, got his degree in ceramic engineering in 1950, married Florence Ann Conlon in November 1952, and they're still married (61st anniversary coming up!), with 4 children and 10 grandchildren, and 3 grandchildren-in-law!
*(1) Dad later commented that Camp scenes in the Matthew Broderick film "Biloxi Blues" brought back many memories of his own Basic Training.
*(2) The existence and use of the two atomic bombs (the entire US arsenal at the time!) allowed the Japanese to surrender without "losing face" (being shamed or suffering embarassment). Had they not been used, Dad and hundreds of thousands of other Americans AND millions of Japanese would likely have been killed, and I wouldn't be writing this today. *(3) The Pentagon expected so many casualties from an invasion of Japan, they ordered 500,000 Purple Heart medals. Because the atomic bommbings stopped the Pacific war, this 1945 supply lasted until after 2001.