Someone Appropriated The Balls

Mon. 30 Oct. ‘44

6:40 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another week under way. Next week by this time I hope not to be here. Last night after I finished up your letter I got to bed and I was up on schedule this morning – dressed, out for reveille, and ate – cakes, syrup, butter & milk. After eating I did my work and then slept ½ hour or so before going to work. I got my morning reports done and then at about 10:00 we went up to the finance office and transcribed our payrolls. When we got back I typed on some furloughs until about noon when I quit for dinner. The meals are really lousy lately. I was a little late and missed most of the food. I got a couple of eggs, some dressing, bread & butter. After that we went over to the P.X. for some milk. At 1:00 I went back to work and spent the whole afternoon typing furloughs. I had 29 of them to do. The way I figure they are about only 10 men from me on the list now but I’m afraid this is the last group to go out. I guess I shouldn’t complain though. I quit at about 5:00 tonight and took my blouse and field jacket over to the cleaners. I went over to the mess hall but skipped the supper. I just couldn’t see that meal of pork & stuff. The boys are really getting fed up with the food. I played 4 or 5 games of horseshoes with the boys and now here I am. I got your Thurs. and Fri. letters today. Was ist der “Mein Borin.” Do you mean that little wooden frame I used to have with you & Pop in? So far as I’m concerned the work can be slowed up so long as I can get home. It would be done if I weren’t in the Army so to heck with it. I’ve been pretty careful about sitting anyplace while I was sweaty. I imagine it really does look like fall up there now. It doesn’t seem like Nov. here yet at all. We’ll probably get up north with about the first snow storm. You should have got a letter Fri. because I wrote Tues. I hope you got up to the place last week end. Then you’ll be home next week. Well that’s your letters and today. Tomorrow night I have another class to go to. Tonight I think I shall go to the show with Buchman. It’s 7:15 now so I’ll bring this to a close. Someone appropriated the balls so no ping pong tonight. Anyway,

Auf Zeiderschen, or something like that

Be seein you



This Table Will Be The Ruin Of Me Yet

Sat. 28 Oct. ‘44

9:25 p.m.


Dear folks,

I’m in the day room tonight writing this between games of ping pong. This table will be the ruin of me yet. Back again at 10:50 after playing a few more games. I get beaten by just about everybody around here. It’s later than I thought so I think I’ll quit and maybe get to bed in decent time for a change. I got your Wed. letter on schedule today.

Sun. 29 Oct. ’44 — 12:15 noon. Well, I’ll start again. Fri. night I got to bed as soon as I finished my letter. I was up, dressed, & out for breakfast after reveille as usual – corn flakes, toast, jam & milk. After eating I got my dirty clothes together to send to the laundry and then shaved before going to work. I managed to get in a couple games before 8:00. I did my report and spent most of the day typing stuff. I didn’t get too much done as I wasn’t very ambitious. We quit at noon and I spent the noon hour playing. I didn’t miss anything for dinner except the good old pork they throw out. Breakfast is getting to be my best meal. They can’t do much to the milk & boxed cereal. At 1:00 I went back and we fixed a few allotments, made a new list for Good Conduct Ribbons & also men who are eligible to wear overseas service bars. We quit at about 4:00 and I got a haircut before I came back for supper – spaghetti, wax beans, bread, butter & cinnamon roll. After eating I changed to fatigues and took my stationery over to the day room to write. I didn’t get much written as I got involved in several games. I just about broke even. Finally I quit that and then got into a dart game with Buck. It was a little after 12:00 I guess when we quit and went to bed. I intended to eat breakfast this morning but when I woke up it was after 9:00 so I went back to sleep and got up at about 11:30. For dinner we had steak, wax beans, beets, biscuit, butter and cake. Now here I am. No mail. It’s a beautiful day out. Practically everybody is in camp today. You can tell it’s the end of the month. I think I’ll get dressed and take off in a little while. No mail today so I’ll get to the back letters. I found that Tues. Oct. 10 letter stuck in between some others so I’ll get it first. We don’t keep our blouses. They have a new type – short, tight-fitting blouse that comes just to the waist. I guess I don’t get mad just a little perturbed at times. I meant Buchman was a little aloof. He isn’t “one of the boys” who goes out and has a big time with the gang. If regular mail goes as fast its lots better as you can write more. I think Oct. 14 was much nicer this year than last year. At least I was on my way home. Now Tues. Oct. 24 – Do you mean you caught that kind of feet from me. I was afraid it might happen. If we could get beans here like you fix I wouldn’t mind them at all. I would sure like to see another postponement of things. A group goes out on furlough Tues. & comes back the 15. As it stands we leave the 20th. I’m about 10th in the next eligible group so a 2 or 3 weeks delay would do the trick. I meant I thought maybe you’d think that.

Wed. Oct. 24 – Yeh, it was too short a time home but it was swell while it lasted. Looks like the rumors about closing down the Camp went haywire all right. Something will turn up to solve your housing problem I think before the 6 mos. are up. Well that’s all the back letters. It’s about 1:30 now so I think I’ll sign off for awhile and go shave.

Back at 10:10 p.m. I quit and Buck and I went over and played some ping pong and darts until supper at 4:00. Buchman trimmed me today too. Everybody seems to be doing it now. I had some bread, butter, cheese & pickles for supper and skipped the rest. After eating we got into a game or two of horseshoes but got beat at that too. Then I showered, shaved, dressed and Buck & I went into town. We got some ice cream, went to a show, got a couple sandwiches and came back. We saw Abbott & Costello in “In Society.” It wasn’t bad but a bit silly in spots. So that’s today. It’s time for lights out so I think I shall sign off and get another good night’s sleep. My ass’t got back from pass today so he’ll be back on the job in the morning. So for tonight,

So long,



Haymes Has Sinatra Way Outclassed

Thurs. 26 October 1944

5:55 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m C.Q. again. It seems to come around fast yet I guess it’s over two weeks since I last had it. Only the 5th & 4th grades pull it and since they’ve promoted some of the sgts it means fewer men on the roster and we get it oftener. Last night after I finished your letter I went over to the P.X. and got my cleaning and brought it back. By then it was about 8:30 so I decided to go to the show. It was “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” with June Haver & Dick Haymes and was pretty good. It was in color and some of the music was very good. This boy Haymes has Sinatra way outclassed when it comes to singing in my opinion. I got back at about 10:45 and got to bed. I was up as usual and through the same old routine this morning. For breakfast – cakes, syrup, butter, milk, and an apple. After I got things cleaned up I shaved and then went to work. I had a little trouble with my morning report and didn’t get it out until nearly 9:00. Then I worked on allotments & stuff most of the rest of the forenoon. At the last minute one of the orders was rescinded so as a result I had to prepare a new morning report. They change their minds so often now it’s hard to keep up with it all. I quit at 12:00 for dinner – potatoes, peas & carrots, bread, butter & ice cream. After dinner we had a physical. My feet are all healed up O.K. since I quit scratching them so I had no trouble. I got back to work at about 1:20 and we worked on allotments & interviews all afternoon. I quit at about 4:30 and went back to eat – spuds, spinach, relish, bread & cookies. I came over here at 5:30 and except for a couple calls I’ve been writing. Back at 5 to 7:00. I had a couple calls and some telegrams to take care of. Today I got your Mon. Oct 23 letter and Gram’s letter. I guess it’s about time I did a little answering. First – Wed. Oct. 18 – I saw the car as the train pulled by but I was sitting on the opposite side of the train. Another phone call. I wish Babe could have found me someplace ‘cause I didn’t want to leave. My feet look O.K. now. Well I guess me and my big mouth did it again. Now look hear just a minute. I said you had an inferiority complex. By that I didn’t mean maybe what Webster does. I used it in my own sense of the word. He and I may not agree C. I certainly didn’t think of it by the definition you used. I mean you always try to make people think you hold yourself back from this or that. You have always talked & said you didn’t feel people liked you and similar remarks. I merely said that you had an inferiority complex. In other words you are just a little hesitant about shoving yourself forward. I certainly didn’t mean it the way you seem to have taken it. And anyway there’s nothing there. I’ve said the same thing a good many times about myself. I always fade back instead of stepping out in front and making myself look important. I never carry on a good conversation unless the other person keeps on talking. I don’t make friends very easily. Yet I’m not particularly worried about it. Now I wasn’t criticizing you and I don’t see where you got the idea. A lot of things I said I meant to try to snap you out of it a little. I know you pretty doggone well whether you’ll agree or not and you are worrying too much about things. Yeh, I know I can talk but still it’s the truth. You’ve always held yourself back lots of times. If I was wrong in saying what I did I am really sorry but you’ve said practically the same thing about yourself a good many times. Why don’t you mention these things when I’m home where I can get really at them. When I write it’s often easy to be misunderstood. If you don’t agree with me say so. I never approved of anybody stealing anything but I merely said it ought to be excusable if it was the only way to get anything over there. They’re taking us for everything we’ve got and more besides. I know I blew off a couple times when I shouldn’t have but I’m not too collected either. I’ve been pretty cranky I guess & grouchy for quite awhile. I’ll probably get worse. I never did have too pleasant a disposition and it isn’t improving. You take what I say too literally or something. I didn’t [say] anything was wrong with you. Buchman was the kid I said had an inf. comp. There are lots of people probably half of us who do. So what? I never meant it to be taken that way. I’ve told you plenty of times to get rid of that idea other people were better than you. Now maybe inside you really don’t feel that way, but you’ve always talked as if you did. My feelings toward you aren’t changed and you ought to know that. That’s all I can say. Whether or not you want to believe it I guess is up to you. I said if you were my wife you wouldn’t handle the pay check. I didn’t mean that I didn’t want you to do it. I meant no woman would ever handle it. I wasn’t thinking the way you took it. So far as you’re concerned you can have it all but what little I need. I see through what you said in…… [The remainder of this letter is missing. Ed.]

He Was Conscious Today




Camp Maxey, Texas

20 October 1944


SUBJECT: Report of Day’s Activities of EM.


To           : Commanding General, Forist Family, 1010 Beech Street, Lansing 12, Michigan.

  1. Reference is made to Cpl Arlington A. Forist, 36416037, a member of this command.
  2. Cpl Forist has had a rough week and is a little tired tonight. He took a shower after finishing up his letter home last night and then got to bed at about 10:45. Incidentally the luminous dial on his new watch works very well after dark. The rest of the company was out on bivouac last night and came in at about 6:30 this morning but the Cpl was a little sleepy from a couple nights on the train so he slept on through breakfast and might still be sleeping for all we know if Pvt John A Kinley 36856182 also a member of this command had not awakened him at about 7:20. So the Cpl got up and dragged on his clothes and after doing a little half-hearted sweeping he took off for his usual goldbricking job at the personnel section. He did his usual morning reports and after interviewing a few men got to work on a lot of stuff that had to be done. I guess he must be a little lazy or something because his work is never really all done for some reason. An inspector was in and as usual he got Cpl Forist’s records to check but he didn’t find anything seriously wrong. At noon he quit for dinner. He ate some potatoes, corn, bread, butter, and an apple. After eating he went over to the PX for a bottle of milk with a pie which seems to be quite a habit for him lately. He was conscious [conscientious?] today so he went back to work at 12:30. MY.MY. He finished the job he was on and then got tied up with a mess of MOS changes again. He worked on the stuff until nearly 5:00 when he quit to go eat supper. He had some potatoes, sliced tomatoes, bread, butter and jam. Since his three day pass the first of this week he has been known to turn up his nose a bit at the GI chow our good mess sergeant puts forth. After eating he shaved and washed up and dressed to go to a class in administration that is being held each Tues and Fri night at 9th Hq 4th Army. He grumbled about something more to take up this evenings. It is this person’s belief that Cpl Forist is unhappy in the service. He missed some work tonight though. The battalion is moving back up where it used to be when he went on furlough so he didn’t have to go up and help clean up the barracks. The fact that they are moving indicates that Cp. Forist can unpack his bag and figure on a little more time in Camp Maxey at least until Nov 20. In fact the furlough deal has been extended to include the men who came back by the 30th of June so if they extend it a week or so more Cpl Forist may take off on furlough. Of course he is a bit pessimistic about it right now knowing the Army but there is a possibility that he might be able to keep that promise he is alleged to have made to the folks back home that he would be home for Xmas. He has been whistling White Xmas and I’ll Be Home For Xmas all afternoon much to some people’s dismay but he is sometimes happy in his ignorance. After dressing he went out and pitched a few curve balls with Buchman until time to go to class. It might be noted that his curve was breaking for the first time in about 5 years tonight. Maybe he should be pitching instead of punching. He rode up to the class which lasted about an hour. They started it off with a test to see if he had read outside of class on his lesson. Unfortunately he had not but he seemed to do the best of the clerks from the 1268th because he missed only one question out of 10. After the class was over he came back to the personnel office and typed up an inclosure for his morning report tomorrow morning. He was the only one to come back. The other members of the section proceeded to go to a cinema. When he finished his work he started to write a letter to his folks and I believe he is still at it at 10:00 p.m. He got no mail from home yet today and I imagine he doesn’t expect to get any until at least Saturday. He loudly acclaims the fact that he is about ready for bed now. He’ll probably sleep thru reveille tomorrow morning if somebody doesn’t wake him up.
  3. Therefore in view of the above stated day of the subject soldier, it is felt by this headquarters that in lieu of a discharge at the present time he should be granted a 15 day furlough starting on or about 21 Dec 44 with sufficient WD AGO Form 7’s in his possession so that he could leave this station by noon of Saturday 16 Dec 44 and proceed by the best available means to Lansing Michigan.

4. Request acknowledgment of receipt by indorsement hereon.

For the Commanding Officer:


CORPORAL, 36416037



Bet you thought some of this was serious didn’t you?

So long for tonight,



Western Union Again


[Date stamped: 1944 OCT 14 AM 12 57]






Just Me

Thurs. 12 Oct. ‘44

About 7:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m back again. I’m sitting in the supply room writing this while the boys about me busily work. Last night after I finished writing I shaved, showered and got to bed. I was up at the usual time again this morning. Oh was it cold to crawl out of that nice warm blanket and dress. It wasn’t much warmer outside at reveille either. After reveille I straightened up my junk around my bed, and went to breakfast – eggs (I think that’s what it was supposed to be), bread, butter, milk and an apple. After eating I finished up and then we went over and swept and mopped the office out. Then I did my report. It was a pretty good one today with all the changes we had. Then I up and left one change off so that has to go on in the morning. Then I cleaned up a few jobs and spent the morning on my payroll until I quit for dinner. I had macaroni, creamed cauliflower, corn, bread & butter. After dinner I adjourned for my usual milk at the P.X. Then back to work on my payroll until I got it finished. I had to take time out for an hour or so this morning while they had a dental survey. I had to check the Service Records to see if the partial plates were all entered. My teeth are in Class IV yet which means they are O.K. Tonight I quit at about 5:00 I guess and came back to supper – potatoes, salad, bread, butter & rice pudding. After supper I shined my buttons and took care of some stuff. Then I went over to the P.X. and sat around talking with the 1st/Sgt awhile and then brought some candy back to my boys working here in the supply room. I hope I can read this over your shoulder. My pass is OK’d and I intend to take off tomorrow night unless something happens. I won’t quite make it home for my birthday but it’s close enough to call it that. I’m hoping what you are sending gets here by tomorrow. I got your 2 cards & Mon. letter this morning. This afternoon I got 2 pkgs from Sunfield. One was a box of about 5 big apples that Gramp raised. Boy there [they] are really big and good tasting too. The other pkg was a little box of candy, 2 prs of socks, some shaving cream, blades & tooth powder and a couple handkerchiefs. So I owe them a letter now too. I owe you a couple but I hope I can be there to answer them so I think I’ll skip it for tonight. This isn’t much of a letter but I’m going to stop and get my stuff ready to take along. I’m not dragging very much this time. Just me. So for tonight,


How do you do,



Scraping The Bottom Of The Barrel



Camp Maxey, Texas

29 September 1944

SUBJECT: Gossip and Stuff.

To           : The Forist Family, 1010 Beech Street, Lansing 12, Michigan.


In compliance with letter your Headquarters dated Tuesday 26 September 1944, the following report is hereby submitted:

Hi everybody. Just thought I’d start this out like an official letter just for the heck of it and see what you would say. Time 7:20 p m. Place the personnel office as usual it seems. I came over and did a little work and now I’m going to write a few letters. I have been doing pretty well with my correspondence lately. I’ve been averaging about 1 letter a night besides the one to you folks. After I finished that one last night I went back to the barracks and shaved and got to bed at about 10:30 I guess. I was really sleepy and slept on through until the lights came on this morning at 6:15. I got up and dressed and laid back down until time to fall out for reveille. It rained quite a bit yesterday and last night and it has been really muddy around here again today. After reveille I ate breakfast—french toast, butter, syrup, corn flakes, milk and apples. Then I went back and fixed up my bed and swept and mopped the floor. I came to work at about the usual time and got my report out in a hurry this morning as there were no changes yesterday. Then we worked correlating the service records with the medical records to get all the shots recorded and when the mail man went after his mail we went up to the finance office and transcribed our payrolls for September. We didn’t get back until about 10:30 and by then the inspectors were in my records so there was very little that I could do the rest of the morning. They finished with the inspection about dinner time and gave us a little talk about the errors they found. All in all they said our records were by far the best they have run into in a long time. That made us all feel pretty good about the situation. The man who checked the service records said mine were the best of the 4 companies which was what we expected but it was a nice thing to hear anyway. All in all our work has been pretty doggone good. Now all we have to do is to iron out the few things they found wrong and get set for the I G inspections which comes 23 October. That’s the real one that shows how good they are. We have a bale of forms to prepare by the first of next week so there will be work for me here Sunday if I have the ambition to do it. The 1st Sgt got gigged a little on his duty roster which made me feel good. He needs a little gigging to make him see he isn’t always right. I quit at about noon for dinner –potatoes, beets, tomatoes, relish, bread, butter, and lemonade. After eating I got my usual milk for dessert. If it would stay about this temperature all the time I might gain a little weight again. This afternoon I came back and got to work typing furloughs. I had about 16 to do and then after I get them all done they tell me some of them may be held back until their teeth are fixed up to POM standards. Whenever I seem to get ahead of things a little something seems to come up to gum me up. Maybe I should be slow all the time. I quit for supper at about the usual time—macaroni, string beans, salad, bread, butter, and jello. After eating I came back here and got the records ready for a man who is transferring out tomorrow and then here I am. It seems as if I am Working all the time yet there is always that much more to be done. Today I got Gram’s long letter and your Tuesday letter. It went down to the 1267th by mistake but I got it this afternoon. Glad you got my letter on a Tues. for a change. I’d like to get some of that chili sauce. Yes the summer has gone fast but No it isn’t a short time since I was home. I’m CQ next weekend Oct 7 & 8 too. Time has gone fast since I was on last time Jul 28. Judging by the men we have here they must have really scraped the bottom of the barrel in the past few months. The one’s who have come in since last fall are all out of place except the young kids. The one’s outside aren’t worth much physically I’m thinking. But then I’m probably wrong. The cooler weather is slowing down the mosquitoes a little here. There is still the LS on the old records. The new ones just tell what is wrong with a person. I should answer Ferd’s letter pretty soon. I still owe about a half dozen letters to people. I guess I could get along without butter if I could get home. Some mornings I feel pretty tired or sleepy or something. Someday I’ll be back on a real schedule and then I should feel more on the ball. It’s funny in a way because I wasn’t getting too much sleep when I was going to school what with working at the store and doing my work yet I usually seemed wide enough awake to get along all right. I know back at Arkansas I quite often found myself falling asleep in a lecture which is something I never did at MSC. I guess this whole thing has just got us all tired and it will take a few months of real relaxation to get everybody all set to go in a normal way again. I can’t give much of a good word from here when there doesn’t seem to be any. They have the crating crew working full time now and the stuff starts going into grease and cosmolene pretty soon. They got a big load of clothes and stuff yesterday and there is more on the way. They are going to take our duffle bags when they get them and fill them up with new stuff all the way through and then just issue them to us when the time comes. That way all of us will have new clothes. I got a new set of fatigues today to replace the set I turned in to get the class X suntans last summer. I just had a little trouble with the ribbon on this writer and my hands are pretty black now. I guess I have answered your letter and covered the day so I will be signing off. I have to go back and clean up and fix up my laundry to go out in the morning and also straighten up my foot locker a little. So for tonight I’ll be seeing you.




Now Look Here Lady

Mon. 18 Sep. ‘44

8:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m in the barracks tonight. The company is just pulling out for night operations up by the Red River. I’m on an empty bed near mine. No sense in unpiling mine for tonight. I have a nice little radio here that I borrowed from one of my boys so I’m set to spend an evening “at home” (Yeah I’m laughing at that one too.) I’ve got some pretty good music on it now. Last night I got to bed at 10:00 but squadrons of mosquitoes came roaring in and didn’t help me any. We went on the winter schedule this morning. That makes reveille at 6:45 so we slept ‘til 6:15. I got up, dressed, fell out for reveille, came in, fixed my bed, swept, mopped and went to breakfast – cake, syrup, butter, rice cereal, milk and a pear. After breakfast I went to work at about 7:45. I did my reports and some odd jobs and then got back to remaking form 20’s. I’m beginning to go along a little faster now but not fast enough. At 12:00 we quit for dinner – beef loaf, potatoes, peas & carrots, salad, bread & butter. After dinner I had ½ hour or so before going back to work at 1:00. I typed an emergency furlough & a company fund report & then went back to my job until nearly 5:00 when we quit. For supper I had potatoes, beans, salad, bread, butter, jelly & iced cocoa. I loafed around awhile and then went back to the office and worked up until a little while ago. I got your Fri. letter today. Now look here lady. I guess I’ll have to come home and put you over my knee. If I’d known you would feel as you do I’d have kept quiet awhile until I was sure. I’ve merely been passing along all the good rumors. Now you better snap out of it. Actually I find I’m not worried about it myself so don’t let yourself feel so. I’m here & can see about what will happen. Everything I’ve seen so far adds up to the same thing and believe me it could be plenty worse and I’m really thankful for that. There’s one place I don’t want to see & that’s the South Pacific and I’m willing to bet a plenty now that we aren’t headed that way. One rumor of a couple weeks standing came out today. We are now in the XXXVI Corps instead of the XXIII so I suppose the patches come off again. I don’t know if the XXXVI has one or not. So far I’ve worn 7 & you have at least one of each [sketches of 7 patches]. I don’t know if it’s still part of the 4th Army or not. That leaves one rumor – that we go from Combat to Construction Engrs & I think that’s coming pretty soon. Now to answer your letter. Dad’s getting to be quite a typist. Incidentally typing is good to use for V-mail. You won’t have too many days without mail if I should take off for somewhere. I’ll go a lot longer without it than you as I’ll be on the move. I realize it isn’t such a good thing but a few million others have had to do it and they went over to duck bullets. That’s the big thing. I’ll never believe this outfit is meant to fight. Physically it’s incapable of it. Not when we get morons of mental age 7 yrs. & we got one yesterday. It isn’t so much. If I’m 1000 miles from home & can’t get there I could as well be 3000. My chances would be the same. You haven’t too much to worry about. We’ll be off on a little trip chiefly to gain a few points toward a discharge, a couple service ribbons, and a little education. I’m wondering how fast I can pick up French or German. There’ll really be some things to write about and censorship will gradually be lifted as time goes on. That daily letter will be there as long as it’s possible. There might be a space of 2 or 3 weeks but once they get started they’ll keep coming. I’ll always be near my typewriter and can dash off a note or two every day. You know once we get these records in shape this develops into a gold brick’s job. On the field it’s a cinch. I ain’t very doggone near here in Texas 1200 miles away or 2500 miles away at Palo Alto. What do you mean “I was”? Hey, hey, let’s not be using any past tenses here. Let’s let the worm live, huh? We have A2 with a priority for 100% new clothes. We had to lay out our underwear, socks & all our woolens today for serviceability inspection. One pr. of pants & a shirt of mine were declared unserviceable so I’ll get new ones. I got a set last week so that makes two. I’d like to have gotten a blouse but I guess they didn’t notice where it was ripped that time. Priorities often drop off though. The 102nd Div. got to POE & was turned back. I don’t intend to lose my stripes. Right now I’m keeping my eyes open for a chance to grab another but it is definitely out I guess. The CO didn’t break those boys. Ratings are still frozen. I can get away with quite a bit and I know what I can & can’t do. My CO is a lot different from my 1st one. I don’t say much except yes & no to him unless I can put myself to advantage by sounding as if I’m really on the ball. Right now my morale is surprisingly high. I feel pretty good about things. For one, I’m not hit by most of the stuff the boys on the line get. And also I have a slant on what’s going on. The boys have grasped all these rumors & passed them on but they don’t believe it. They think it’s all a big joke. Someday they’ll wake up. A few believe it & some of the rats are trying to desert the ship. I’d rather stay with this outfit than go with some other one in 5 or 6 months. I’ve a good job and nothing to worry about. As I see it we are bound to get it sooner or later so the sooner the quicker we get back and some other poor sucker takes over. It’s a vicious circle but there won’t be many troops in the U.S. by next year. I thought we were due for rain Thurs. night but it didn’t come. The Irish man is O.K. but no particular friend. Say, the Tigers were in 1st place this morning. What do you know? Dunkle’s children are quite problems. Maybe you’ll go up next weekend. I guess my pass is probably out now. The way I see it Mom is this: They are going to keep men in Europe quite awhile and rotate them. We are getting wool clothes & overshoes, no cottons so it almost has to be Europe. The war in the Pacific can last quite awhile so I’d much rather cool my heels in Europe than in the jungles. I think every man will have to go over before he gets out so now is about the best time. We are to be packed & loaded (I hear tonight) by Oct. 12 which means any day after that we leave here. That gives us maybe ‘til Jan 1 here in the States. By then it’s bound to be over in Europe so we go build it up. Remember what I told you when I was home. That’s what I mean by it could be plenty worse. It really may not be so bad at all as compared to what some have had. Well I’ve dwelled on this way too much but don’t let it worry you too much please. ‘Cause then I’ll be worrying because you are. It’s not too serious after all. Well I’ll call this it for tonight and get to bed early for a change. So at 9:40 so long.




A Nice Rifle & Bayonet

Friday Sep 15, 1944

9:55 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another note again. Last night after I finished writing I ate – potatoes, peas & carrots, salad, bread, butter & a peach. Then I got some ice cream at the P.X. & some cookies to take along. I changed to fatigues, made up my pack and got issued a nice rifle & bayonet. They had orders to issue every man his authorized weapon so I got mine. I guess I’ve been lucky to be without it for 5 months. At about 6:30 we took our equipment over & loaded it into a ¾ ton truck. At 7:20 we took off. We went through the center of Paris & through Sulphur Springs. The Bn. was spread over a large area but we were about 8 miles I guess from Sulphur Springs. We got to the bivouac area at about 10:00. I found a spot, shook out my roll & fixed my bed. I had my shelter half and double thickness of blanket under me and a double thickness over me. I used my field jacket for a pillow. I was surprised for I slept very well. I did make the mistake of leaving my rifle out. It was wet from dew this morning but it was well oiled & didn’t seem to rust. We got up at 6:30, ate – eggs, potatoes, bread, butter, milk & an apple – I rolled my bed and we went to work. I did my report & then worked on pay books off and on until noon. We couldn’t do too much out there. For dinner we had K-rations. They come in a wax box – 6 biscuits, a little can of cheese, powdered lemon for drink, sugar, stick of gum & dextrose tablets. I guess it’s all right when you’re hungry. After eating we loaded our stuff & waited around to come in. We never pulled out until about 3:00 and it was nearly 6:00 when we got in. I ate – string beans, salad, bread & butter & went to work. I hung up my clothes, refixed my pack & stuff, washed my mess gear, cleaned my bayonet and rifle, went to the P.X. for soap & shaving cream, arranged my foot locker, got my laundry ready to go out tomorrow and finally here I am. I still have to shower & shave. I got your Tues. letter today. So for tonight I’ll sign off.




The News From France is Really Good

Thurs. 24 Aug. ‘44

7:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

C.Q. reporting. I’m on duty again. Seems as if I don’t have many evenings off any more but I guess I have nothing to complain about as the rest of the boys are out working yet. It is much cooler now outside as we had a real rain storm tonight for awhile. Last night after I finished your letter I got to bed. I was up at 6:00 this morning.

Its 9:00 now and I better get at this. Our lights go down every once in awhile and I’m liable to find myself here in the dark. I dressed and fell out for reveille this morning for a change as there are so few of us in camp. After that I swept, got my stuff in order and ate – shredded wheat, milk, cakes, syrup, butter & jelly. After eating I slept awhile and then went to work. I did my report, typed a courts martial charge sheet, and did some other jobs to fill the forenoon until 11:15. For dinner I had potatoes, beans, spinach, bread & butter. After eating I shaved & washed and then came back to work. I worked recording the infiltration course & a few other things most of the time. Since I was C.Q. I left a little early in order to eat. At about 4:15 the wind began to blow and the dust got so bad you couldn’t see over 30 ft. I’d say. Then it began to rain, thunder & lightning. It came down plenty for the first time since April or May like that. Water was standing in lakes all over but by 5:00 the sun was out & it had soaked in. I went back and ate early at about 4:45 – potatoes, cold toms, salad, bread & cake. Then at about 5:30 I came over here. I got a pair of class A pants in place of the X’s they lost at the ldry. So I gained on that exchange. I was good hearted & agreed to type the laundry roster for the supply clerk so I started on it. But at about 6:30 all the officers gathered for a class in here so I quit typing. I figured it would be too noisy. I moved around being inconspicuous as possible, answered the phone & went for telegrams & finally started this. The meeting broke up & I went after some ice cream & finished the laundry roster so here I am. It’s not my job but the kid is snowed under with work so I did it for him as long as I had to be here anyway. He’s one of the boys I was in town with last night – Marshall H. Buchman of Fort Wayne, Ind. He has an aunt who lives on W. Ottowa St. in Lansing. He’s pretty sensible – another ASTU man – Univ. of Ill. So that’s today roughly. These lights get dim & come back off & on. I hope they don’t go out completely. I imagine the boys out in the field got a little damp for awhile. They say it’s a regular picnic but that rain I imagine dampened their spirits a little. They are on the Red River in Okla. near Hugo I guess. They’ll be in tomorrow night. Ah, thunder & the wind is picking up. Bet we get more rain yet tonight. I got your long Mon. letter today so now to answer it. Ah, just had a call from St. George Utah for one of my boys. I guess you ought to be able to burn for yourself in your own back yard so long as it doesn’t disturb anyone. I guess I must have been off the ball when I dated that Wed. letter. You see each morning I prepare a morning report dated the day before & sometimes I think of a wrong day or date. Tomorrow morning Fri. the 25 I’ll make one dated the 24th. You’ll notice I initialed my error with the Personnel Officer’s initials. That is S.O.P. all errors will be initialed. I can make his initials better than he can. I’d like to get home but when I think it over it would be pretty grueling. The only way I could make it would be to get a 3 day pass from Mon. plus a weekend pass. Then I’d get in Mon. morning at the usual time & leave Tues. afternoon. That’s quite a bit of steady travel. I may do it but I’m not sure yet if I could even get it fixed that way. Maybe I’ll get a little closer and then I’d get more out of it but I’m probably kidding myself on that. Kinley has been here nearly as long as I. He came 5 days after I did. He’s a good kid in a lot of ways but Ferdie & Leonard are still the best 2. I’m beginning to like this kid Buchman better as I’m getting to know him. Kinley’s pop is a big shot contractor or something in Detroit. I expect induction will fall way off pretty soon & demobilization will start (I hope). I didn’t run the infiltration course on paper, it was on my belly. I had intended to just give myself credit for it without doing it but I decided not to. I left out the melon last night as I had eaten ice cream. The melon is split lengthwise into ¼ or 1/6 parts [sketch of watermelon] for 25 cents each. They make lots of profit. They have outdoor tables fixed where you can sit & eat it. That’s something not found up north I guess. We may wear those 23rd corps patches if our group will authorize them. I have the 2 you sewed on in my locker. This watch will need a cleaning & the band is terribly dirty & corroded in spots from perspiration. It will have to be cleaned someday. Forget Sept. 1st. We’ll be here long after that at our present rate of motion. There is nothing definite being done at all. Well that’s your letter. It’s raining again now. The news from France is really good. Another month at that rate & we can all go home. Well for tonight at 9:40 I’ll call it an end and be seein’ you next time.


Aufseider zehen

(probably spelled wrong)