Wednesday, January 28, 2009

At Fort Riley, Kansas - April 17, 1943

April 17, 1943

Dear Mother,

That's quite fancy language you're using there in your letter. But I get the general idea. You and Dad know most of the most important things to look for in a place. I don't think a person would go far wrong on any of those we have looked up. Did you get out to see your woman at Potasi? From the description you gave it sounds pretty good to me. Being close to St. Louis isn't too bad as long as it's not too thickly settled.

I visited the fair city of Pittsburgh last weekend. The only change around there is in the people. The place is full of officers training at the airport. Of course Saturday night the boys from Camp Crowder come to the dances around there by the train loads. I don't blame them Pittsburgh has some good dances.

Frake and his barber shop was gone. The barber in the hotel said Frakes took his shop to some army camp, I forget where, and he is giving GI's to soldiers now. Most of the other fellows I knew have been drafted by now. I saw Delores Scott but didn't get to talk to her. She was coming in on a bus as I was going out.

That box of candy sure came in handy. It got here Friday noon but I didn't get to open it until Monday. We had an all night convoy Monday and the box of candy added fuel to the system of us anti-tankers to withstand the rigors of a rainy night. All the anti-tankers offer their thanks.


Monday, January 26, 2009

With The 9th Armored Division At Fort Riley, Kansas - April 5, 1943

April 5, 1943

Dear Mother,

I sure waited long enough to write didn't I. I've got a fair excuse this time. We just got back from a three day bivouac. There was only about sixteen from each company. It was more of a trial than anything else.

We covered a lot of ground in three days for an army convoy. With every company in the Division out it looked like all the soldiers in Kansas were out.

Friday night they messed us up. About dark we picked up our beds and drove 35 miles to a new location. After we got there they told us we would move out again about two o'clock. It was so late that we hated to open our bedrolls. We tried sleeping in the vehicle but it wasn't made for resting. After a while it got so cold we opened one bedroll and three of us tried getting a little rest. At two o'clock I woke up and decided we weren't going to move so we got all the bed rolls and slept until about five thirty.

We got into camp in time for pay and that made us feel a lot better.

The anti-tank section went down to the obstacle course this afternoon. They have ropes across a small stream. Some you swing across and others you go over hand over hand. We got to swinging across three and four on one rope. Well this didn't work any too well cause the lowest man seemed to drag his feet in the water. Some of the boys tried carrying others across on their shoulders. The boys weren't as good as they thought. About half way across the load got too heavy and splash right in the middle of the drink. I fooled them I stayed dry.


Here is $30.00 more towards a farm.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inspections, More Inspections

March 28, 1943

Dear Mother,

Well I got back to camp in good shape. But I think I came back at the wrong time. This past week has been terrible. We have an inspection coming up next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by a three star general. This past week has been spent preparing for that inspection. We had to sew chevrons on all our clothes of the evening. It looked like a sewing circle in the barracks for about three nights. During the daytime we polished vehicles till they almost shined. With the officers running around like chickens with their heads off there is no peace for the rest of us until after this coming week. All we can do is be patient and hope things settle down after the big shot leaves.

I've been checking my watch since I got back. Evidently it was accidentally turned up an hour when I wound it at Grandmother's last week. This past week it has kept pretty good time, it looses about a minute a day.

Jimminny, but I'm getting hungry. I just got up a few minutes ago and that means it's almost time for dinner. I've been resting up so I can walk guard Monday night. I won't get sleep then so I'm getting all I can today and tonight. It won't be enough but it'll help some.

Chow-first come first served so here goes me.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ups and Downs at Ft. Riley


Dear Mother,

Ho! Hum! Another day another change of temperature. That seems to be the trend this year. That's so you won't get tired of the same old thing I guess. The way that winds coming up now I think it will be long handles tomorrow for sure.

I just about got a cold from sleeping on the ground last week. We took our anti-tank guns out in the hills then we laid around on the ground waiting for an enemy attach. Funny thing one never came. The only enemy we had was the Lieutenant coming around waking us up from a good nap.

You know it surprises me like the devil, the number of sheep we used to have in this country. I say "used to have" because I think I have whittled the total number of sheep considerable, and I don't eat any too much at any one time.

Congratulate Dad on his raise. I hope the other one goes thru by the first if not sooner.

I finally got paid last Saturday. I'm not kidding when I say that my last twenty cents was looking awful small with a weekend coming up.

I'm trying for a three day pass Fri, Sat, and Sun. If I get it I'll see you Friday if they turn me down I'll write.

Until then