Paul Meyer's experiences as a soldier in the 215th coast artillery, a branch of the army in World War II, started twelve months before the war, just as the United States was starting to feel the effects of the war in Europe. At first, Paul Meyer was a regimental sergeant-major. His job was to look after clerical records. He was basically a private secretary for his commander; his headquarters were located in Mankato, Minnesota and the regiment consisted of the communities surrounding Mankato. Later, Paul was sent to California where he did most of his training. He even went out to the Mojave Desert for firing practice.
After Paul completed his training, he was transferred to Kodiak, Alaska. He was a second lieutenant by that time. His mission in Kodiak was to provide anti-aircraft defense for the Naval air station at Kodiak. Kodiak had a very fine harbor, they not only had light cruisers and merchant ships, but also submarines and a lot of different types of warships. They had 90 mm anti-aircraft guns with a few 37 mm batteries and two searchlight patterns to pick up enemy planes.
While Paul was in Kodiak, war was declared by the U.S. Paul says that he can remember that day like it was yesterday: "We were in our barracks when the telephone rang. It was the commander, and the commander's words were, 'Pearl Harbor attacked today.'" Then the commander put all of them on alert. The attack on Pearl Harbor was the beginning of the war for Meyer and thousands of other soldiers. His regiment stayed in Kodiak for three and a half years. He was there when the Japanese tried to invade Attu. Then they were shipped off to the States, and one unit was sent to Europe to serve in General Patton's Third Army. Paul Meyer was shipped to Fort Bliss in Texas. The remaining men were sent to do work around the United States.