Friday, July 31, 2009

In England Jan. 1944


Dear Mother,
Here I am in jolly old England. It looks a good deal as one would imagine. The thing that seems the strangest is the oldness of all buildings. So far I haven't seen any new buildings like you see in the States.
Some of the homes and villages are quite picturesque. They look like something from a story book. The straw thatched roofs with their gables and peaks. I'm sorry now I didn't bring a camera to take pictures of this country.
Our housing situation is much better than I expected. We have barracks belonging to one of the old Historical Regiments of England, from the age of the barracks they must be very historical. The beds we sleep on make me laugh every time I lay down. They are almost six feet long and have a straw tick for a mattress. Now I'll have a comeback if Dad ever starts talking about straw ticks.
I got your letter of Dec. twenty-seventh. Am glad to hear everyone had a good time. Linda Lee should be getting pretty husky by now. I would have like to have gotten something for the kids, but I've been moving so fast and so far that many things had to be foregone.
This letter will probably reach you about your birthday so I'm taking this oportunity to wish you a *HAPPY BIRTHDAY WITH LOVE*.
Tell Dad to take good care of that Christmas cheer. And don't do anything with it that I wouldn't.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Christmas In New York 1943

Dec 25, 1943

Dear Mother,

Some of my mail finally started catching up with me. I received two letters from you and one from Vanita that were mailed around the first of the month. Each one of them had a half dozen addresses on it.
I also got your letter of the sixteenth. Thanks a lot for the watch. I spoke to the company commander about having it sent here. He said that you would have to take this letter and wrist watch to the post office before you could send it. The letter is to show that I requested the watch and that the request was granted by my company commander.

I don't know weather you got that package I sent from the last post or not. I have the shipping ticket with me if you need it let me know and I'll see about getting it through to you. Unless it is absolutely essential I don't think the censor would pass it because of the camp name on it.
We'll have no more of that peaking at presents before Christmas in the future, or else.
Vanita and Grandma's packages haven't been able to catch up as yet. If I stay here long enough maybe they'll find me here.
Send Granddad's house number so I can thank him for the card. His is about the only address I haven't got.
Christmas was pretty quiet around here. Mostly we sat around the barracks trying to see who could get closest to the stove. We had a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It was a little surprising considering the number of men that are being feed at this one mess hall.
So long for now.


Monday, July 27, 2009

In New York - Dec 23, 1943

Dec. 23, 1943

Dear Mother,

How is every little thing at home now? I hope it's warmer there than it is here. It was about five below zero this morning and that's cold after being used to the kind of temperatures we had for the past few months. I don't care much for the south but at least it's better than this ice box here.
I suppose you have been wondering what has happened to me in the past few weeks. Sometimes I wonder myself, but things happen so fast they make your head swim. Just between you and me these New England states aren't all they're cracked up to be. I'll take the middle west anytime.
I saw a show last night that you should see if you get the chance. I don't remember the actors names but it's about a little girl and a news paper reporter. If you get a chance see "Lost Angel" you will enjoy it I'm sure.
Is Vanita and Al going to be down this Christmas? How about the rest of the gang, any of them coming down? If they come down serve them some apricot liquor for an appetizer. If you serve it to them I won't have to drink it when I come home. That's a ____ of a thing to wish on any one but someone has to drink it. I doubt if you have touched any since I got it. Have you?
You can write me at the following address now.
Co B - 126 Ord-Maint. Bn.
A.P.O. 254=% Postmaster
New York, N.Y.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Transfered To Texas - Dec. 10, 1943

Dec 10, 1943

Dear Mother,

Hey this must be catching. I just paid a visit to the dentist this morning. They said out it comes so out it came. You should have seen the roots on that tooth. I thought the Dr. was going to break my jaw with all his pulling and twisting. It's a good thing I had him give me another dose with that needle of his.
The complete side of my face feels funny as the devil now. It has pinpoints just like a foot that's been asleep.
I'm sorry I didn't write sooner but things just happened too fast. I got out of maneuvers anyway. They thought they had the last laugh when we went out to the field. Now they know better.
This time I am transferred to Texas. I am stationed at Camp Bowie in the center of Texas. The camp is about a hundred and twenty five miles from Fort Worth. Also about five miles from Brownwood. This seems like a fair camp although it rained practically every day since our arrival. I'm hoping for a change in the near future so I can get out and really see whats here.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention it but I am no longer in the Ninth Armored Division. Nine of us from ordinance got transferred to the Fourth Armored Division here at Camp Bowie, Texas. I don't know yet how well I'm going to like it but there seems to be a swell bunch of fellows here.
I've got some old clothes and other odds and ends here that I'm sending home pretty soon. There just in the way and I never use any of the stuff. Some of it's pretty heavy such as the 37 mm shells I picked up. I'm getting awful tired of playing pack horse every time they decide to move me.

Don't worry if your job is small
And your rewards are few.
Remember that a mighty oak
Was once a nut like you.

Ya gota go ya gota go.


P.S. Don't try to remember all these addresses or you'll go batty for sure.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Slipped Back Into Camp - Dec 4, 1943

Dec. 4, 1943

Dear Mother,

I got a chance to slip back into camp for a few minutes today. So I thought a couple of lines home were in order before I go back out.
You should see us trying to work on instruments out in the field. About the time we get going good we have to move to another bivouac area. By the time all fox holes are dug and pup tents pitched we haven't much time left for working.
I managed to slip a package into the mail today so watch out for it. The only thing is that I forget to put "Do Not Open Until Christmas" on it, so I'm warning you now, Beware.
Oh yes, don't write or send anything until you hear from me again in about a week or two. We can't have anything on us to give the blue army a chance to identify our units. I'll let you know just as soon as I know the score.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Maneuvers After All - Nov. 30, 1943

Nov. 30, 1943

Dear Mother,

You can disregard that last letter, sense it was pure propaganda. The happenings of the past week have convinced me that I was over optimistic. Right now I am sitting out here in the beautiful south dam near freezing to death. Perhaps I should start a little further back and explain how I came to be sitting out here with the rest of the division on maneuvers.
The 612 Ordinance Battalion that we were attached to got orders to move. Their orders came so suddenly that there was no time to arrange for us school boys to be transferred to another outfit. Some of our Battalion came in and hauled us out to the field. You should have heard the ha! ha! they gave us when we appeared in the chow line.
If anyone ever tries to tell you it's hot in the south during the winter, hit them over the head for me. I was on guard the other night and I had on every thing I could find. Summer underwear, winter underwear, coveralls, field jacket, and overcoat and I was still cold.
Thanks for the book on architecture. The Sportsman model would best suit our needs. With the wheels on the back you could grab hold and haul it around to your hearts content.
How are all the teeth coming along? I hope Dad is feeling better or maybe he's feeling worse cause he's got some more coming out. You should have yours finished by now. How about Rosalyn has she finished also? At least I won't have to worry about getting home before all of you finish with the dentist.
Don't expect any Christmas present until about February. They pulled me out of camp before I could get around and there is absolutely nothing out here in these Louisiana swamps. I had a three day pass all planned for Christmas if I had stayed in camp as per the original set up.
Well it's getting kind of late and I'm just a little tired, so it's off to bed I'm going. Goodnight.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Going On Maneuvers - Nov. 23 1943

Nov. 23, 1943

Dear Mother,

We got settled in our new home yesterday. It seemed funny watching the company pull out and not going with them. Especially on maneuvers.
We are living in tents again similar to Camp Perry. These tent frames are just a little older, as a matter of fact they look like they need props to hold them up straight. The tent that we sleep in is more like a barracks than anything. It is three tents all fastened together so that eighteen of us sleep under one roof. It's not bad considering everything.
As you have probably surmised by now we are not going on maneuvers. Some of the fellows seemed to think we are lucky getting to stay in camp for the two months the division is in the field. What do you think?
It looks like we will get off for Thanksgiving, but it will be one day only so I won't be able to get up around your way. I guess I'll just stay in camp and eat turkey. Come on down and I'll save you a bite!
Did the hunting trip ever come off or was it called off? From what I've heard it's almost impossible to get shells for any civilian use at present. I got Dad a thirty-seven millimeter shell maybe he can get something with that. Do you recon?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still In School Here Nov 18, 1943

Nov 18, 1943

Dear Mother,

Has it warmed up any up there yet? It's been real nice down here so far. We had a few chilly nights but the sun warms things up in good shape during the day time.
Well I'm still going to school. Of course it isn't really a school it's a base repair shop where they make major repairs on instruments. They haven't decided yet weather to make this our last week over there, or weather to let us go another two months and miss maneuvers. We are hoping for the latter more or less cause it's going to be cold and wet sleeping out in this part of the country. It won't be bad for those with trucks to sleep in, but if I go I'm supposed to drive a jeep. With a jeep there is no place to sleep but on the ground.
Some of the fellows in the battalion went to New Orleans the 11th to drive vehicles in a parade there. They wouldn't let me go because of this school. The dirty dogs.
From the sound of things all we have to do is build a half dozen cabins along the edge of the lake at our place. From them we should be able to pay for the place in a short time. It's something to think about anyway.
I had something I was going to show you when I came home on furlough. But it is no more, I did away with it when they canceled my leave. Heh! Heh! you should have seen me with that beautiful cooky-duster. The other fellows were getting jealous so I shaved it off. If you could have seen it.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sending Money Order

Nov. 5, 1943

Dear Mother,

I only have a few seconds before leaving for school tonight. I wanted to get this money order in the mail before I left. I'll write a letter at a later date.


Going to Instrument School - Nov. 1943

Nov. 3, 1943

Dear Mother,

What did you do over Halloween? Anything exciting? I didn't even go to town just stayed in camp like a good boy.
From your letter I gather that you went down to the place last weekend. Did it rain on you as per usual or did you have nice weather for a change? What did Millie and Ray think of the place? If I know Ray he probably liked it with the river right there.
Its too bad you couldn't come on down here while you were out driving. Its nice down here this time. Not too hot and not too cold. So far we have only had two light rains. There is usually a heavy dew on each morning and sometimes fog but the sun soon takes care of that.
I'm afraid that furlough idea is out for me. I had one coming to me next week but they transferred me to instrument repair section. Since I didn't know anything about instruments they are sending me to a school here on the post. Now I go to school from six o'clock in the evening until two o'clock in the morning. They day time is mine to sleep or mess around as I see fit. I usually sleep.
Yes the Ninth Armored Division has been messed up. Some men have been added others have been transferred. All in all they have things pretty well messed up.
You are right that box of candy arrived and disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. Now you see it now you don't. It was real good and all the boys thank you and Grandma.
Pay day again today. I'm enclosing ten semolians in this letter. When I get a chance to visit the post office I'll send some more by money order.
It's about time for school to start so I'll have to bring this to a close.


Monday, July 6, 2009

At Camp in Louisiana October 25, 1943

Oct. 25, 1943

Dear Mother,

I sure wish I had some way of getting a part of these pine trees around here up to the place. I haven't been out of camp far enough to tell how good the trees are out a ways. Those here in camp grow right straight up for about fifty or seventy-five feet. They would really make a swell log house.
Boy they have been putting us through the paces the past few days. We have been out on the parade ground eight hours a day, walking, walking. and walking. In our spare time we go out to the range and run up and down the range. We'll probably be used to that by the time we leave here, from all indications that's about all we're going to do here. Just brush up on infantry stuff. Of course that's not as bad as it sounds because we're not supposed to be here much more than a month. After that we have two months of steady maneuvers. It's a great life if you don't weaken.
That boy that wants to be a flyer will have a lot of that useless stuff before he sees a plane. I think all new men have three months of drill before being sent to flying school. Three months in the infantry is no fun.
So Dave is in New Orleans. If I get a chance I would like to go down and see what kind of girl he picked out to marry. It looks like all the old bunch are about married off. I guess I'll have to start shopping around myself. Don't you think?
Hurry up and get those teeth fixed. I don't want to come home if there is any danger of you not being finished. You might want me to go down with you. I don't like dentists that well.
You are really getting into the social swirl. Do they play poker for pretty good stakes or just for fun? I hope you haven't been getting tight at the parties. If you have I'll speak to you when I get home.
I don't know weather I can find a tall, dark and handsome Sargent with curly hair. We have a tall red headed Sargent if she would like that color. Of course he just had his front teeth pulled, and it looks sort of bare when he grins. Outside of that he's in good shape. Let me know if she wants me to bring him along.
Take care of yourself.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

In Louisiana Oct. 1943

Oct. 18, 1943

Dear Mother, You guessed it, we are in Louisiana now. We sure hop around a lot. If this keeps on I'll visit every state in the union yet.
We came by way of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Got into camp early this morning. I feel like I could stand about twenty-four hours sleep. We have been on the go since four o'clock this morning.
Did you and Dad get to see the world series? I'll bet that was a disappointment to lots of St. Louis fans. We listened to as many of the games as possible. Every once in a while an officer came and put us to work, but not for long.
I'm going to quit now and finish tomorrow night.
It really feels good to get back in barracks again. Even if it does mean scrubbing floors and making beds.
This camp is a good deal like Funston. The ground is sand and pine trees grow through out the camp.
The thing most of us like best is the change from "C" rations to "B" rations. You don't realize how good fresh milk, butter and eggs are until you have eaten powdered milk and eggs and canned butter.
How are the teeth coming along? Has Dad or Rosalyn run out on you again? If they do let me know and I'll send one of my Sargent's down to give them a talking to. Some of these Sargent's can really tell you off.
That fellow from Co. 'E' you met in St. Louis has probably been too busy to do any visiting as yet. I know we have.
I'll write again when we get straightened up a little.