Guess I Better Cut the Gas Line

Saturday Oct. 9, 1943

11 p.m.


Dear folks,

It’s about time for lights out so I’ll just start this tonight and finish it tomorrow. I finished your letter last night and came back and went to bed at about 10:20 I guess. I was up at 5:30, dressed & out for reveille. I decided not to sleep so I shined my shoes before breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and a pear. After breakfast I made my bed, swept, shined my buttons and my buckle before going to class at 8. First we had study which I spent on Chem. At 9 we had Physics drill & worked on Problems. At 10 we had another study and I worked on Chem. some more. I found out my grade in Physics. It’s a B. I got a score of 25 on that test. It was 3rd highest in the class and what do I get on it, a C. I didn’t like it very well but what can I do about it. I can see right now my grades will be lower. He doesn’t use class average like they did last term. Actually I’m doing better work. Oh well, I’m not flunking so they think we should be happy. At 11 we had Chem. We did problems & I hope I got it O.K. I got a 97 on last week’s test. He only gave me a 93 but he made a mistake in adding it up so I’ll get credit for it. At 12 we ate – stew, string beans, salad, bread, butter, milk & lemon pudding. Then I came back and shaved, took a shower, dusted & got dressed for inspection. It was a fast one but we were lucky. He asked everybody to show their dog tags. No dog tags – one demerit. Neither of us had ours on but he forgot to ask us so I guess I better wear them from now on, for inspections at least. After inspection we heard the results. By then it was about 2:30 so Freese, Ferd & I went to the football game. They played Arkansas A&M – a team of sailors & Marines. They beat Arkansas Univ. 19 to 12. Those boys were really rugged. It was a swell hot afternoon. The game lasted until nearly 5:30 so I kept my laundry. I’ll send it out next week. There wasn’t very much anyway this time – just some socks & a couple sets of underwear. So you’ll know why you didn’t get any wash. We went on over to supper from the game. I had scalloped potatoes, cheese, beets, salad, bread, butter, milk & lemon pudding. After supper I changed to my blouse and about 6:15 Freese & I went over to the Union and played ping pong until after 7:30. I won 8 games & lost 5 I guess. He’s a better player than I am though. We were alone tonight. Bill Anderson hasn’t been around all week. He has a knee that has troubled him for several months and he may be out at the hospital. Leonard & I may go out to see him tomorrow if he’s out there. I haven’t seen him since we played tennis Sun. but his knee was bothering then. From the Union we went to the show – a newsreel, short on black markets, & “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” It was a good musical show with Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Ann Sheridan, Joan Leslie & lots of other stars. The story wasn’t too good but there were a lot of swell tunes & good scenes. It lasted until 10:30 and then we came back here. The Union was too crowded so we didn’t stop. I got your Wed. Oct. 6 letter today. So that’s today in a nutshell at 11:20 and I better get this light off so good night.

Sun. Oct. 10, 1943 – 9:08 p.m. in late study. Here I am again. This won’t be as long as last Sun. letter probably. I went to bed as soon as I finished writing on this. I was awake off and on from 6:30 and I finally woke up for good at 8. I got up, rounded up some books & got back into bed and went to work. I filled in my Chem. experiments in the new manual I got. It took about an hour to write up the 9 experiments. Then I read 2 chapters of Chem. for Tues. At about 10:15 I got up and dressed. Then I read 2 chapters of Physics before going to dinner at 12. I had roast beef, potatoes, cauliflower, salad, bread, butter, biscuits, milk & ice cream. Then I went to work on my Physics Problems. At about 1:00, Ferd, I & Rudy Helle (from Columbus O.) went out and took some pictures. Then I came in & went back to the Physics until 2:00. Freese & I caught a cab and went out to the Vet’s Hospital to see Bill. We were out there until about 3:45 talking to him. He isn’t sick. He just has a bad knee that he hurt before he came into the army. He’s bucking for a C.D.D. but I doubt if he gets it. We came back and went down to the drugstore for something Freese wanted. Then we stopped at the Union & I got a couple sandwiches. We got back to the dorm at about 4:45 and I went back to work. I finished the Physics, copied over some of my Geog. notes and started on Analyt. until we left for study at 7. From 7 to 9 I worked on Analyt. but didn’t get far. So you see how I spent most of today. I put a lot of time behind a pencil & book but didn’t accomplish too much. I hated to do it too as it was a beautiful warm Indian Summer day – But I guess I had enough recreation last night maybe. I still have Analyt. to do and History & English to read for Tues. I’m 5 chap. behind in Geography but he gives most of it to us in class. So long as I get a good set of notes I’m O.K. Practically all day and 9 experiments, 2 chap. of Chem., 2 chap. of Physics, one set of Physics problems & some analyt. done. I can’t decide if that’s good or not. I brought a couple letters along to answer tonight but I probably won’t. One I got from Amelia Aug. 28, the other from Lillis Aug. 30. I imagine people have a low opinion of me by now for not writing but I can’t do everything. They are talking of a new setup now so that fellows can get tutoring in their weak subjects. The tutors are to be the ones who know the stuff. So far it’s on a volunteer basis but I absolutely refuse to be a tutor for anybody. I have to grind my nose practically through the grindstone to keep up myself let alone take my study time to help somebody. I’m always willing to help anybody here or there if I can and the fellows all know it but that’s right where I draw the line.

Well I’ve rambled on that long enough I guess. According to what the Lt. said tonight we may get a new Analyt. teacher. At first the Army acted as if they didn’t particularly care if the fellows made it or not. Now they seem to try to do all they can to get us through our subjects.

I don’t suppose you folks went up there today. It doesn’t really seem like October here. The leaves are down a lot but not from frost. The fall colors are lacking too. I imagine it’s a lot cooler up there than it is here. The Yanks won again today. I sort of think they’ll win this year. How did Detroit get way down to 5th. They were in 3rd I believe when I was home. Boy Notre Dame really tromped on Michigan too.

Well now to your Wed. Oct. 6 letter – I didn’t send my laundry as I said so it will be a little larger next time. This baking you keep mentioning sounds swell if it means what I think it does. Well Lake View & Lansing aren’t too close together. I don’t know when I’ll write to people unless I write each morning after reveille instead of sleeping. You’ll see some low marks on those papers too. Mark lives in Razorback now. He’s in a different Company so I don’t see him too often. We were never very great friends anyway. His ideas & mine aren’t so close together. Freese is much more nearly my sort of a guy. He still has his mind set on the air corps and he’ll make himself believe he can’t get this until his mother gives in & lets him try for it. Johnny never wrote so I don’t know his address. One of the fellows he went with has had or soon will have a boat ride. Whether Johnny is in on that or not I don’t know. Yeh, I lose a lot of tennis games. My racket is no good for one thing. The strings are so loose that you can shove them back and forth with your fingers. I don’t think they stopped teaching German anywhere. The army is sending a lot of men to school to study. I once heard that they quit teaching it in high schools during the last war. That may be what he was thinking of. They never taught it at Eastern. That 7% is just another rumor but it’s hard to tell what is true and what isn’t. Starch is a polysaccharide of the formula (C6H10O5), so now you know what you put on your clothes. Jack Caron’s name sounds familiar but maybe I’m thinking of a wrong one. We don’t hear too much but I guess the American 5th is doing O.K. in Italy. What’s the milkweed for – cellulose – (C6H1005)n?

That answers your letter at 9:55. This would be a sort of important & looked-forward-to week if I were home but it doesn’t mean much now, just one more year. I really wish I could have gotten to college a year or so sooner. If I ever go back now I won’t be out until I’m 26 or 27. The most lively part of my life will have been spent behind a book or in the Army. By the time I get ready to set back & enjoy life I’ll be getting too old or beginning to slip. Each generation slips a little sooner. Oh well, enough pessimism. I should be happy that I was drafted out of good school & a scholarship and sent to the Univ. of Ark. with free clothes, book, tuition, food, shelter & what have you. Oh I’m fortunate to get this training. Well I’ve spouted about enough for tonight so I guess I better cut the gas line. No kidding I’m not really this disgusted so don’t take it too seriously. I’ll be sort of looking for my laundry along about Tues. or Wed.

Well for another mad (?) weekend, I’ll say so long.




For 2 Cents I’d Quit

Thursday Sept. 30, 1943

8:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

This won’t be too long as I have a test in Analyt. to study for. For 2 cents I’d quit and let it go. I look at the stuff and understand it yet I seem to gum it all up on a quiz. I went to study at 7. I read my chem. and then started on Analyt. in late study. I got to doing some of the problems & before I knew it it was 10:30. I quit and went back and to bed. I was awaked at 5:30 but they said no reveille because it was raining so I stayed in bed until 6:15. Then I got up and dressed, leggins and all for breakfast. I had an egg, toast, butter, Rice Krispies, milk and an apple. Then I made my bed and swept and read some Analyt. before we went to class at 8. Tomorrow we get the test. I imagine it will be plenty stiff. Some of these boys have a racket. They work out all the problems. Then when he gives us some to do in class they copy them off. Naturally they get more done. I’m about 30 points behind the high men but I’ll bet I understand it as well or better than any of them. At 9 we went to Physics. He gave us 12 problems to do which I cleaned up in short order. We get a lecture quiz in Physics, one of those tough ones Monday so I guess that will knock a hole in my weekend. I’ve got 2 chapters to study. At 10 we went to Chem. He gave us 8 prob. to do for Sat. Also a test on 2 chapters. Then we had study until about 11:30 when we went to dinner. I had spaghetti, green beans, beets, salad, potatoes, bread, butter, milk and prune pudding. Then I went back and shaved. It has threatened rain all day but hasn’t done much. At 1 we went to History. Test next Tues which means I have 3 or 4 chapters of that to read. There goes Sat. & Sun. with two good shows on too. Tests over Analyt. tomorrow, Chem. Sat., Physics Mon., and History, Tues. We probably will get a couple more too. Next week is the 4th week and I suppose grades will have to go in. At 2 we came back for P.T. We ran the 300 yd. dash and were through. I did a little better this time – 42 sec. – but it’s still mighty slow. Then I took a shower and dressed. At 3 we had English & speeches. I was lucky so I have until Tues. now to get mine ready. At 4 we came back and had close order drill until about 4:20 when it began to rain. We went in. For mail call I got your Mon. letter & the pictures are swell. I’ll keep them all. I shined 2 prs. of shoes before supper. I had spaghet., potatoes, salad, bread, butter, milk, and pineapple jelly roll. I went over to see about my jacket but it was closed. I’ll get it Sat. I got my O.D.’s out of the closet for tomorrow, and then put most of my laundry in the box (except for what I’m wearing). Keep my own pants and 2 shirts, send the G.I. suntans back. At 7 we came over here to study. I worked on Analyt. until I started this. I think I’ll put another hour or so on it and then to heck with it. They made an inspection today and there were 3 ½ pages of names with demerits but our room was all O.K. I went over to the registrar’s office this morning and got my grades for last term. Not bad either I think. 6 A’s and 1 B. She didn’t know how that 90 in English would be. It depends on class average which she didn’t know. I’m not kicking. For 24 credits that’s plenty good. It won’t be like that this time. Well it’s 9:45 and I’m at the bottom. For this time its so long.





History 90       – A

Geography     – A

Trigonometry – A

Algebra           – A

Chemistry       – A

Physics           – A

English 90 (Either an A or B, but probably a B)

Fresh From Mars

Tues. Sept. 28, 1943

5:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well, I’m back again. I’ll write a little until time to go to supper. I finished writing last night and got to bed at about 10:45. I was up at 5:30, dressed, and out for reveille at 5:45. When I came in I shaved, washed, and cleaned my teeth and then lay down until breakfast at 6:30. I had toast, butter, 2 boxes of Rice Krispies, milk and a banana. After eating I swept under my bed and then lay down until 7:30. I got up, tore up my bed to air and then we went to class. At 8 we had Analyt. He talked all hour and then gave us 3 problems to do. I’ll swear I really got disgusted. I hurry like the devil to get through so what do I do, I mess one of them up completely. When I go slow I don’t finish. When I hurry to get through I make a lot of foolish mistakes. I’m about ready to quit worrying about it and just do as many as I can and let it go. Maybe I’m excited over nothing but boy I really was mad with myself. The thing was easy really but I sure screwed it up all right. Oh well that’s gone now. The point is studying won’t iron out that kind of mistake. I stayed disgusted until I went to English class and then I felt better. From Analyt. we went to Physics Drill. By the way we get a big test in Analyt. Friday. It will either floor me or I’ll do O.K. I’m really not having trouble with the subject. I just don’t go for him or his way of teaching. In Physics I already had the problems done so I started doing some reading. I’ve about 2 chap. to read yet. At 10 we had Chem. lecture on Phosphorous, Arsenic, Anitimony and Bismuth. You put PbAsO4 on your spuds. (Lead arsenate). We start organic Chem. now and except for a few odds and ends it’s all new stuff. This should be the good part. At 11 we had study until 11:35. I looked over last term’s themes for a subject for a 3 min. speech in English. Then we ate – spaghetti, carrots, lima beans & corn (is that succotash?), salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. After dinner I polished my blouse buttons and got out my belt and polished it. The buckle has lost its plating and isn’t very sharp looking. I probably won’t wear the belt much. All of us seem a little small for our blouses. Mine isn’t bad but it was fitted over my O.D. shirt & heavy underwear. Last spring the buttons were pulled tight but now there is a little slack. At 1 we went to class and had History. I’ve got to start reading that too as he might give a test. I counted 250 er-ah’s in his lecture during the first ½ hour and then quit. Time out for supper at 5:40.

Back at 7:15 in study hall. At 2 we came back for P.T. It had been sprinkling but it quit and I played volleyball. At 3 we had English. We had a little quiz on an article we read and then instead of giving speeches he read those themes we wrote the first day. Then he gave them and the exercises we did on outlining back to us. It really made me feel pretty good. I got 100 on the outlining and as you can see, 92 on the theme. That’s probably about a B+ but I’m happy to get that on a theme written in class. I don’t think I’ll need to save it so I thought I’d send it on to you. You can see there was just one place where he crossed out a word. At 4 we had a training film on the Articles of War. It’s the 4th time I’ve seen it I believe. We left there about 5 and went back for mail call. As usual on Tues. I didn’t get any. Then I wrote on this until supper. I had potatoes, more succotash (?), beets, tomatoes, bread, butter, milk, and prunes. After eating I went over to the Union. I got me a beginner’s slide rule $1.50 and found some pretty stationery which I bought. This paper I’m using now is what goes with these long envelopes. I’ll use this up before I start on this I just got tonight. I don’t use stationery like I used to. A pack didn’t last a week at McCoy. I came back and took a shower and changed socks and stuff and then at 7 we came over here. All I have to study for tomorrow is Analyt. and I read that last night so that’s why I’m writing now. At 8 there is a G.I. movie for us so I think I’ll go to it and then go to bed. The slide rule is just a beginner’s rule but it seems to be pretty accurate and will give me something to learn on. Now I have a couple of your letters to answer so I’ll go through them. Wed. Sept. 22 – I wish you could have known I didn’t have to have the pants and shirts in a hurry. I now have 3 clean shirts & pants hanging in the closet. We wear suntans 2 more days and then we quit until next summer. I’d like to think we wouldn’t be wearing them by then but I guess that’s just a wild hope. It’s hard telling when this will quit. We hear fellows in Italy & Sicily have written that they expect to be home for Xmas. Good if true. Gee how do people get those 6 mos. discharges? Thurs. Sept. 23 – You two really have a rough time with your heads. No demerits yet but they are handing them out right and left everyday now. I’ll go see Sat. if my jacket is here yet. The t shirt looked large enough but I didn’t try it on. Say when you get this hat I bought back there, stretch it all you can as it can’t afford to shrink. I’ll have to buy an O.D. cap too probably as I’ll have nothing to wear while this one is being cleaned. I wish that guy would try to claim that shirt. He’d find it hard to explain where my field jacket is. I’m sort of tired of hearing “Pistol Packing Mama.” There’s one song, I guess it’s an old one, that I like but I don’t know the name. Nobody gets a field jacket or overcoat now with a discharge. When the war is over we’ll keep all our clothes. 45 days in the army isn’t bad. I don’t know my ring size. For which finger. I have my H.S. ring on & can’t get it off. You see I have slim fingers and wide knuckles. There aren’t any radios in Fayetteville. Freese & I looked all around once. I don’t want to vote. Why should I? I know how you feel about the B. Day but I’m not the only one. Defer it for awhile why don’t you? Fri. Sept 24 – I wish you hadn’t tried to iron feeling like you did as it wasn’t necessary. From now on take your time with the shirts. You put the AAAF on the right pants. I may send them back for you to keep during the winter. I haven’t decided yet. Roger ought to make Cpl. All fellows who washed out of O.C.S. used to be automatically a Cpl. We are allowed $5 breakage. All over that we have to pay. I look like Orson Welles with my gas mask on – fresh from Mars. I found the eraser O.K. and all the candy too. By the way, how about a hint as to something to commemorate that 22 yrs. “in the harness.” How about it. Furloughs come after we pass these subjects. Well that covers your 3 letters and it’s about 8:45. I guess this will be it for tonight once more. So for tonight,




Oh Happy Day

Our experiment today – to find weight of 1 liter of O2 (oxygen)

[sketch of experiment]


Mon. Sept. 27, 1943

10:05 p.m.


Dear folks,

It’s after 10 in late study hall so this will be short as usual. I did Analyt. until 9 last night and then went back and went to bed. I was up at 5:30, out at 5:45 and then back to bed until breakfast at 6:30. I had an egg, toast, butter, oatmeal, milk and an apple. After eating I swept and then slept until about 20 to 8 when I smoothed out my bed to leave for class. At 8 we had Analyt. He gave us those 2 papers back that we did when he was gone and he didn’t even mark them. Of one group of 6 I did 4 and it took him the whole hour to do 2. I’ve had an A in math for 7 years but I think this will stop it. I know the stuff as well or better than anybody in class but I go too slow. We got our last quiz back & I got 40. He doesn’t use %. He just gives 10 points per problem and at the end of the term adds the points all together. That’s put everything on speed. As long as he counts the same for all prob. I’m going to skip through and do the easy ones instead of going in order. I think he is one of the poorest teachers I’ve seen. He’s sincere & tries I guess but I think I could do as well and I’ve never seen it before. I’ve got a handicap in that several fellows have had this but I haven’t. I had that advantage in Trig. & Alg. last term. At 9 we went to Chem. Lab for 2 ½ hours with only 4 experiments to do. (We used to spend 2 hrs. on an experiment at M.S.C.) Sometimes I think I shouldn’t have let on I’ve had college Chem. as they expect too much. Oh I’ve done all this before but it still makes us have to hurry and you can’t hurry Chem. & get good results. The 1st experiment came out beautiful. My experimental error was less than 1%. The second was very easy. The 3rd and 4th were tied together. The 4th comes from results of the 3rd. I don’t know how but I really went off somewhere there. I can’t find any mistake in figures but I’m about 20% off. I guess I’m not very accurate. At 11:30 we quit and ate. I had potato salad, creamed parsnips, spinach, salad, bread, butter, milk and butterscotch pudding. After dinner we had an hour in the barracks instead of military because we lose our free hour Tues. & Thurs. on account of the parade for our Col’s departure (Oh happy Day). I wrote up two of the experiments. At 2 we had P.T. We did the 8 count Burpee and then played volley ball. I did 11 ¼ Burpees in 20 sec. That leaves the 300 yd. dash yet. I probably won’t run it any faster but for once my legs aren’t all tightened up from the other tests. At 3 we had Physics lect. and at 4 we had study. I got my Physics problems done for tomorrow. At 5 we came back for mail call – I got your Wed.-Thurs. and Fri. letters and my laundry. Everything was swell but I wish as long as you felt so that you’d have thought and let the pants and shirts go for awhile as I won’t need them anyway. I’ll wear shirts on weekends only. I may send the pants of my own back for you to hold with the shirts. At 5:40 we ate – potatoes, corn, bread, butter, milk, and custard pie. After supper I finally got your letters read (I unpacked and put away my laundry before supper). At 7 we came to study. I’ve read Chem., English & Analyt. and here I am. From now on my laundry will be smaller and require less pressing. If anytime you don’t feel up to pressing a shirt leave it out as I have 4 to wear weekends only. I have 11 sets of underwear now too. Well it’s 10:30 and my eyes feel like I should head for bed so I’ll sign off. Here I am getting behind on your letters again.


Love, Son

We Have the Same Nose Rubber

Monday Sept. 20, 1943

6:30 p.m.


Dear people,

Hi. Another week started. After I finished your letter last night I worked on Analyt. until 9:30. I got through 16 prob. in that time. It takes a lot of puzzling to figure some of those babies out. I was up at 5:30 and dressed and out for reveille at 5:45. When we came in I went back to bed until breakfast at 6:30. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, Farina, 2 bottles of milk and an orange. That old man and woman who used to boss the mess hall were kicked out while we were home and now we get more food and more variety. After breakfast I made my bed and swept and then cleaned the hall and stairs. Just one more morning and we’re through as latrine orderlies for about 3 months I hope. I must be about due to draw C.Q. again pretty soon too. At 8 we went to Analyt. He gave us 6 problems to do on a test in 20 minutes. He says he always figures to give more than anyone can do. Then he sees just how far we each go comparatively. I got 3 ½ done out of the 6 and that’s as far as anyone got I guess. I’d really been stumped if I hadn’t done them last night and figured out the processes. It’s now 7:10 and I’m in study hall. After Analytics we went to Chem. lab from 8 to 11:30. First we got our equipment and then we started. We work individually except on difficult experiments the same as at M.S.C. We were divided according to previous lab work so I was put in the college chem. group. We had 3 experiments to do but none of us got more than 2 done. The first was cutting glass rods and making tubes, plugs, and stirring rods. It was hard but took quite awhile and I always was awfully slow in lab. I got that done O.K. but I broke a couple of the pieces later in the hour. You see we get the glass pipe or tubing and make our own pieces [sketches] etc. The 2nd experiment was on finding how much copper combines with oxygen. Two of us worked together on that -Helle and myself. We just barely finished by 11:30. Our answer wasn’t too accurate but I guess it was close enough. Our apparatus roughly: [sketch of experiment].

At 12 we had dinner – stew, potatoe [sp.!] salad, salad, beans, bread, butter, milk, and peach cobbler. At 1 we had military and a lecture on gas masks. Tomorrow we have gas mask drill during our drill period. I tried mine on for the first time this noon. It didn’t work right but tonight I tried it again and finally got it so the air will expel through the front. As it was the air wasn’t going out except around the edges and in a couple of minutes it got pretty hard to breathe. It isn’t half bad now. I got it adjusted so it fits me. At 2 we came back and had P.T. and spent the hour playing volleyball. At 3 we had physics lecture. I’m sure not getting much out of physics so far but I guess I’ll get into it once I start to studying it. At 4 we were issued another blanket so there’ll be more fuss on the floor. It’s a new gray one. I’ve been using my O.D. blanket nights. We came back to the barracks and I sewed a patch on my shirt, fooled around with my gas mask, shaved, studied some Analyt, and read your Thurs. and Fri. letters before supper at 5:45. I had steak, potatoes, gravy, carrots, salad, bread, butter, milk, and cake. After supper I rounded up my books and then wrote on this until time to come over to study. I have enough to do to keep me busy until 11:30 but I don’t know how long my ambition will last. Now to your letters. I’ll write until 8 or until I run out of paper whichever is first as this is the only sheet with me. Thurs. Sept. 16 – Well canned spaghet. I wonder if it’s old stock or new. Gee don’t go around thinking about being drafted or whatever it is all the time. It’s nothing to worry about like that. Of course I know it’s easy to tell someone else what to do & not to do but don’t let it get you down. Maybe my feelings are a little dulled due to the fact I’ve been drafted. Remember that “Good-by dear, I’ll be back in a year” stuff. I wonder whatever happened to that. I have another piece of that eraser yet but you can stick it in sometime. You aren’t going to be drafted out of your home so forget it and get something else to think about. You have that slip I gave you which shows how much insurance I have. We still have 6 hrs. P.T. but it’s in 1 hr. periods. Actually we don’t get as much because we used to get 80 min. out of 2 hrs. now we get 30 out of 1 hr. I’ll come home if I stay here for another term. I’d forget the $100 bond too if I were you. I’ll leave the birthday up to you. You can postpone it until later or when I’m home if you want.  I’d enjoy anything a lot more at home that I would with you there & me here but don’t go way out for anything. C. I’ll leave to you. Say what about Oct. 19. I’d like some suggestions too. There’s not much I could use here. I don’t need the buckle I guess. A radio is nice but they’re next to impossible to get and shipping them is a problem and I’m only in my room about 3 hrs. when I could listen. The price is about double now too. Well that’s Thurs. Fri. Sept. 17 – For gosh sakes quit worrying about me being over worked as I am not letting it worry me. C’s are still passing and I don’t have to do much work to get C’s so just quit worrying. I’m not working myself into the ground for anything or anybody. I intend to get through with good grades but I’m not going to worry if it drops a little below A. I don’t hurry to eat. We usually find a hole in the line. It’s not so long now as they stagger the eating times. I’m not sick. I just decided I’d rather sleep than go over to breakfast. I didn’t catch a cold. We have the same nose rubber. He’s a good teacher too. There are quite a few civilians – mostly girls (about 4 to 1) and a few 4-F’s and kids under 18 and some advanced engineers. Do you want me to have a nervous collapse so I can get a discharge? I don’t want one that bad. Oh, no. I’ll stay just as good as I am if I can. I’ll send my wash every week unless I say differently. Now quit worrying about so many things. I hear we may start wearing O.D.’s Oct. 1. I’ll still were [wear] suntan shirts with my blouse weekends. That’s your letters and its 8:15 so I’ve got to quit. Latest hot rumor – no furlough Dec. 5. We get a week from the Wed. before Xmas to Wed. after. Nice if it’s true but you know these rumors. Well good night.




The Sandwiches Didn’t Taste Of Soap

Someday you’ll get a real letter maybe. Anyway this gives you a brief idea of the situation.


Thurs. Sept. 16, 1943



Dear folks,

I have about 10 minutes or so to write before we go to class. After I finished your letter last night I started on Chem. and read that until lights out at 9:30 when I went to bed. I was up at 5:30 and dressed and out for reveille at 5:45. When we came in I started to sleep but decided to work instead so I finished skimming through my Chem. before going to breakfast. I had an egg, toast, butter, oatmeal, milk, grapes and an orange. After breakfast I swept and made my bed and then swept the hall and stairway and helped clean the latrine. We went to Analytics at 8. Then at 9 we had Physics Drill but he went on with his lectures on wave motion. At 10 we had Chem. lecture. Chemistry is suddenly getting tough. We have to do problems now to hand in. I’m just about at the end of my old knowledge and I haven’t the time to study & learn it here like I did at home. At 11 we had study. I did some Analyt. and Chem. We had dinner at noon – stew, beans, raw carrots, bread, butter, milk, and banana pudding. Now here I am at 12:35. I’ve got to get going on my work tonight. Otherwise I’ll have to spend my weekend studying. I want to keep from that if I can. Irving Berlin’s picture “This is the Army” is on Sat. and I want to see it if I can. Now to your Sat.-Sun. letter as long as I have time – The ceiling wasn’t too high where I was either but I guess its something none of us can do much about. I didn’t want to come back. I hope your pen gets broken in so it will flow steadily. The sandwiches didn’t taste of soap. They just tasted good. We are supposed to get 15 days every 6 mos. or 30 days a year. We will get ours 7 days at a time, 4 times a year. I’m still due 15 days which I’ll never get. I think you know how I felt about coming home and having to leave again. I was getting back into my old groove. That sort of answers your Sat. part of the letter. I haven’t mentioned everything in it but I’ve got it all and I know what you mean all right. I’ll have to quit now at 12:48. See you later.

Back at 9:20. Boy this Analytics is getting me down. I spend all my time on it without getting anything else done. I’m going to have to quit doing so many problems and hope I know how or I’ll be so lost in Chem. & physics I’ll never catch up. At 1 we went to History. At 2 we came back for P.T. and played volleyball. At 3 we had English. We got a rugged teacher and wrote themes in class today – “My Hometown.” Boy he gives out assignments too. You’d think we had only English. At 4 we had a demonstration on interior guard. We came back at 5 and at 5:30 had supper – spaghet., peas & carrots, salad, corn, bread, muffins, milk, custard pie and graham crackers. After supper I tried to get my shoes & see about a jacket but supply was closed. Some of the fellows wanted me to play tennis but I didn’t. I started Analyt. at about 6:30 and I’ve been on it up to now. Yi. You see I go through all the exercises in the book. It’s good practice but takes too much time. I’ll have to quit it I guess. The work this term is really rugged and I mean it. There won’t be any 5 A’s this time I’m thinking. I got your Mon. letter & a card from Edna today. This is a heck of a letter but lights go out in a couple minutes. I don’t know when I’ll do some of this other work as we are still studying in barracks & lights go out at 9:30. I hate to cut this so doggone short but that’s it I guess for tonight.

So long everybody.



Another Day, Another Week, Another Term

Monday September 13, 1943

12:45 p.m.


Hi everybody,

Another day, another week, another term. I got to bed last night right after I finished your letter at about 10:20. I was really sleepy and it seemed a little more like home to sleep in pajamas. I woke up early this morning because of loud thunder. Boy was it storming around here for awhile. It died down gradually and I went back to sleep until 5:15 when somebody turned on the lights in our room. I got up and dressed but nobody had reveille so I could just as well have slept. I made up my bed and at 6:15 or so I went over to breakfast. I had hot Farina, toast, butter, grapefruit juice and milk. There was no organization of any kind around here this morning so I lay down and slept from 6:30 to 7:30. I could have come in on that train this morning and nobody would have been the wiser but I played it safe. One of my roommates had a bus break down and didn’t get here until 7:30 this morning. He beat the Lt. and so far he hasn’t heard anything. At 7:30 I got up and helped straighten up the room for an inspection. The room was pretty dusty and we didn’t do much of a job. At 8 we got organized into our new sections and registered for classes. I’m in Section Q-2 now – what a name. We’ve got some mighty smart boys in our section this term and I’m going to have to work to keep up with the class averages. It took about an hour to register. My schedule is about this. Military – 3 hours of class & 2 of drill; P.T. – 6 one hr. classes a week, on Wed. we have one in the a.m. & one in the p.m.; English, History, and Geography – 2 hrs. each per week which is an improvement; Analytics – 5 hrs.; Chemistry – 2 hrs. of lecture, 1 hr. of drill and 3 hrs. of lab; and Physics – 2 hrs. of lecture, 2 hours of lab and 3 hours of drill. In all it’s about the same amount of hours as last term but we will have fewer study hours during the day. Our classes begin at 8 and run to 5 so no more 7 o’clock classes for awhile maybe. Having History & English only twice instead of 3 times a wk. is good but they probably will give larger assignments. At about 9:15 we came back here for the rest of the morning. I could have written some but I thought we might be called out for something or other so I spent the rest of the forenoon until 11:30 chow just sitting around. Just as we left to eat the Col. was downstairs to make the inspection. It’s an Inspector General Dept. inspection. We haven’t heard any results but I can’t believe it was very good because none of us are much interested in stuff around here. We are all bemoaning the shortness of our furloughs. For dinner I had spaghetti, beets, salad, bread, butter, peach cobbler and milk. The looks of the food is disappointing without even eating. Oh its good food and I shouldn’t be complaining but after eating all the kind of food I like for a week it’s hard to come back to this. Everybody says the same. They were just getting settled back into the old way of things when they had to leave. After dinner I came back here and now I’m writing. Just as I suspected we had a big box full of mail which they passed out this morning and I got your Wed. Sept. 1 letter finally. I’ll look through it again to see if there’s anything to answer. I guess I covered the situation pretty well last week. Yes I answered everything in it while I was home so I’m caught up with our mail again. I have 8 letters I should try to answer while I’m having time before classes start but I don’t care particularly whether I write or not to other people. It’s now 1:20 and I think I’ll sign off for awhile. Be seeing you.

Back at 7 p.m. Well I’ve moved again. I waited around and was about ready to go out and play some tennis when they told us to get our rooms ready for that inspection which we supposed was all done. So we brushed up our rooms and then we had to fall out and get new room assignments. The inspection never did come off. Boy I was lucky for once. I’m back up on the 3rd floor in Davis Hall. This time I got a 2 man room. Oh boy. Each of us has a closet and small chest of drawers to himself. You should see the beds. Real coil springs and innerspring beauty rest mattresses. You sink about a foot in it. These aren’t G.I. beds but some the girls used to have I guess. The room is quite small but I’m more than satisfied. It ought to be fairly easy to keep clean. I moved my stuff up here. Then we went over and got our books. We got 10 – 3 English, 2 chem. 2 Physics, 1 Geog., 1 History & 1 Analytics. I brought them back, then I put my name in them, cleaned and arranged my closet before mail call. I didn’t get any mail. From there we went to supper – potatoes, carrots, beets, salad, muffins, butter, milk, and rolls. After eating I came back and finished putting away the stuff in my barracks bags and arranging my drawers. At 6 we went over to the Union and I had a shake and came back at 6:30. Then I made my bed and finished up the last touches of moving. I guess I have everything in order now. These beds really make up nice and smooth but the sheets are a little narrow. Now I guess I’ve covered the situation for today. I don’t know whether classes start tomorrow or Wed. The regular students start Wed. There is going to be another G.I. movie at 9 so I think I’ll go see that. It’s now 7:15. I think I’ll clean up a little and get the moving dirt off. I guess I’ve covered it pretty well for today so I’ll close this. Last tem they couldn’t flunk us out until the 12 weeks were up. Now we hear they can wash us out anytime our grades go down so it looks as if we’ll really have to dig. So for once more I’ll stop.

“Good night all.”