Be Home Tonight



CA 171 10   TOUR=WH CHICAGO ILL 21   156P

1946 FEB 21 PM 3 05









[And so ends the story from Grandpa’s Desk. It’s been a pleasure. Ed.]

Christmas Card

[Christmas card with the following greeting:

Christmas Greetings

From One Who Cares


At Christmas and always,

There’s Someone who shares

Your dreams and your wishes –

Somebody who Cares –

And here is a greeting

With best wishes, too.

That Christmas will find

All your dreams coming



6 Dec. ‘44

This one is for all 4 of you, Mom, Dad, Gram and Annabelle. This is the kind of card I sent to most of the people. They aren’t much in the way of a card but after all it’s the thought that counts with me.





That’s About All I Can Say

Sat. 25 Nov. ‘44

4:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Just quit work so I’ll write until supper time. I think I’ll go in to town tonight as it’s my last chance. Last night after I wrote to you I wrote short letters to Dick H. and Rudy Helle. Then I dubbed my boots, and got to bed at about 9:00. I was up at the usual time this morning, dressed, out for reveille, turned in my blankets to be cleaned, and then went to breakfast – eggs, toast, butter & milk. After eating I shaved, fixed up my stuff and went to work. I got my report out, entered a lot of stuff and spent the rest of the time helping pack stuff. At noon I quit for dinner – potatoes, beets, salad, bread, jello and fruit salad. After eating I got in a few games before going to work again. Chow time.

Sun. 26 Nov. ’44 – 12:15 noon. Back again. It’s a work day today so I’ll write until time to go back. After dinner yesterday I worked until about 4:30 helping with packing. Then I quit for supper and wrote on this until we ate – potatoes, salad, bread, butter and pudding. After eating I cleaned up, changed my clothes and at about 6:00 went in to town. Buck was still working so I took a package in and mailed it out for him. Then I walked around a little, got some ice cream and waited at the U.S.O. until he came in a little after 8:30. We looked over the situation and finally went to a show. It was “In the Meantime Darling,” a comedy with Jean Crane. It was a pretty good picture plus a newsreel, cartoon and a March of Time. It was about 10:45 by the time we got out. We caught a bus and got about ½ way when the brakes caught fire or something happened. We stopped and they had to stop an empty bus in order to get us back. By the time I got to bed it was about midnight. I was really sleeping when the lights came on at 6:15 this morning. We got up, dressed and fell out for reveille. We were the only company out there. At the usual time we ate breakfast –cakes, butter, bran flakes, milk, and grapefruit. After breakfast I went back to bed and slept until 8:15 before I went to work. I did my report, fixed up my boys who are being transferred at the last minute to get us down to authorized strength and got my records all arranged. At about 11:45 we quit and I ate – potatoes (sweet), salad, dressing, bread, butter, peanut butter, cookies & ice cream. Now here I am. The company is let off now and then can even get passes which is quite unusual at this stage. I unfortunately have to work. Just how long I don’t know yet. We have to have all our stuff packed tonight so I’ll do that as soon as I get through. I can see myself now, rifle on one shoulder, duffle bag on the other, overcoat on my arm & pack on my back. It may balance up pretty well. I understand I’m going to travel in style. I’m supposed to be in a stateroom with the 1st/Sgt. & platoon sgt., which may be a pretty good deal. I intend to do a lot of writing. During that space of time I ought to be able to write a short letter to everyone who writes to me. Then I’ll be all caught up & they’ll all have my address. From then on it’s up to them. This will probably be the last letter you’ll get until I arrive as we can’t mail them off the train. This is my last uncensored letter. I understand yours to me won’t be but of that I’m not positive. My letters will be much less interesting from now on I imagine but we’ll see. It quit raining yesterday and hasn’t started yet again but it’s pretty cloudy. Our stuff will be outside again tomorrow so it better not rain. Well its 12:45 so I’ll sign off for now.

Back at 4:45 p.m. I went back to work at 1:00 and we worked until 2:30 making a final check on everything. Then I came back and started to pack. We have definite instructions on how everything goes. I washed out some stuff that was dirty as its hard telling when we might be able to on the other end. We have to carry all our necessary items for the trip – sox, underwear, hankies, toilet articles, rain coat, etc. in our pack. The rest of our stuff goes in the duffle bag and will be loaded in a baggage car. That’s good as it saves me having to carry it around here at least. I have all my stuff packed now or fixed so I can toss it in in a couple minutes. The sun is out now and it looks like a clear day tomorrow (I hope). I dressed and ate at 4:30 – potato salad, tomatoes, bread, cheese & pickles. Now here I am. So that’s about all I can say. You’ll get a letter from me probably about a week from Mon. or Tues. So I guess that’s about all I can say. I’ll be seein’ you. So long for awhile,


U no Who?

Mrs. Forist’s Little Boy

Fri. 24 Nov. ‘44

6:40 p.m.


Dear folks,

What a day. Mrs. Forist’s little boy is very, very disgusted with the United States Army & the state of Texas. He isn’t complaining too much about Texas though for obvious reasons.

Last night when I finished your letter I came back and got to bed. We were woke at 6:00 this morning due to the inspection and had reveille at about 6:20. After reveille I hurried over and did my morning report before going to breakfast – potatoes, toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and grapefruit. After eating I took some stuff over to the office & came back & tossed the rest of my junk in my bag and pack and took it outside. At about 8:00 we shouldered all our stuff and carried it across to an open field. There we put our blankets on the ground, laid out everything we had and covered that with our shelter half. It was dry and except for dust & straw on the blankets wasn’t bad. But as I suspected it was too good to last. Of course “C” Co. was the last to be inspected. I got my stuff out by about 8:30 and shortly afterward it began to rain a little. I made a sort of tent over my stuff and we waited and then waited a little longer. Finally at some time after 11:00 they got to us. By then little puddles were standing all over the shelter half & it also began to really rain. We had to uncover our stuff to have it checked. As soon as each item was checked off we put it in our bag to keep it as dry as we could so besides getting wet it all got nicely pressed too. My stuff was all O.K. except I had one too many of those little huck towels. I got my stuff in my bag as soon as possible and put my blankets in my pack, wrapped my rifle in my shelter half & took off for the barracks. I did manage to keep my rifle fairly clean but everything else was a mess. I got back at about 12:00 and shook out my stuff. I hung up my blankets & shelter half, pack & duffle bag as best I could. I hung up all the wettest stuff, & put the rest in my footlocker. My towels, underwear, etc. are all streaked & spotted with mud & my OD’s are pressless. That pack we have is quite a thing. It’s called a cargo pack & that’s what it is. It’s practically a barracks bag to go on your back but it takes 2 blankets O.K. I like it a lot better than the old haversack & pack carrier of the infantry. As you can guess by the time I got all the stuff wiped up & hung up to dry I was a bit disgruntled. I wasn’t too dry either from the knees to the ankles. To top it off, all the cooks & A.P.’s were out with us so no food. There wasn’t anything left at the P.X. either so at 1:00 I went to work. I worked with Kumins a little and since my stuff is all set I typed up the officer’s ration charges for the sgt. By then it was 3:00 so I came back for the meal which was ready. It was about time. –Roast veal, potatoes, parsnips, salad, bread, butter and pineapple. After eating I never went back to work. Kumins may not have liked it but I was all set so far as I could tell so I went to work. I shipped my rifle all the way, bolt, rear sight, everything but the trigger group and gave it a good cleaning. I really oiled it too as this damp weather can rust a rifle in no time. Also it may be a little wet in transit from here to there. I tore down my bayonet and cleaned it. Then I scrubbed my rifle sling & put it back on to dry. I got a brush & brushed the mud off my shelter half, blankets, duffel bag & pack. Then I repacked & took care of the dry stuff & got things in order again. I dubbed one pair of shoes & scrubbed another pair which I’ll dub when they dry. Now here I am. I guess maybe I’ve complained enough for one day. It’s still pouring & Camp Maxey is one vast morass of mud. The boy from Germany tells me Europe is like this all winter. All my mail today was a card from Sunfield so I think you followed my instructions. You’ll get one more letter from me here – my weekend one (if I can get time enough in the rush to write). That’s all I can say. I guess I’ve covered things pretty well so I better quit & dub my boots. So for tonight at 7:15 I’ll say so long,




A Happy Thanksgiving To Ye!

Thurs. 23 Nov. ‘44

8:40 p.m.


Dear folks,

A happy Thanksgiving to ye! I’m back once more in the day room. Last night after I finished writing to you I showered and got to bed before 10:00 I guess. I was up at the same good old time 6:15, dressed and out for reveille. After reveille I had to initial my clothing form. I fixed up my bed and went to breakfast – very poor – scrambled eggs, toast, butter, & milk. After eating I straightened up my stuff a little, shaved, and got to work. I did my report, checked the records of 3 more new men and packed away some of my stuff until noon. We didn’t eat until 12:30 today. They really put up a pretty nice meal for us. They had the tables all arranged in a sort of horseshoe and commandeered some sheets from someplace to use as tablecloths. The boys had the afternoon off so everybody sort of took it quiet & easy. The meal was pretty good for G.I. cooks – I had turkey (white meat), dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sliced tomatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuits, butter, pumpkin pie, cake & ice cream & an orange and oh yes some nuts. Altogether I thought it was pretty good. The boys had the rest of the day off but not us. I got back to work at about 1:30 and finished my packing operations, caught up all the loose ends and at about 4:00 came back to do some typing for the 1st/Sgt. I worked until 4:30 and ate – corn, peas, potatoes, bread & butter. Then I went back and finished the job. We are getting our final inspection of clothing and equipment in the morning so I went to work. I dumped my bag and repacked but I still can’t get it all in it seems. Of course a lot of the stuff will be outside when we really pack it for good. We are limited to 3 sets of cotton underwear, 3 prs. of socks in excess of what is issued & 1 extra handkerchief. I still have some extra hankies but I gave or threw away socks & underwear enough to get me under the limit. I’m not taking anything I don’t need as the less I have to fool with or drag around the better. I don’t think I’m over on anything anymore. When I finished with that I rinsed out a pair of socks, oiled up my rifle and bayonet a little, and put on my fatigues which will be “the” uniform from now on. I had to sew stripes on the shirt which took me quite awhile. Then when I had everything pretty much under control I wrapped up a book and took down to the P.X. and mailed it.

Back after a few games most of which I lost. The book I mailed is a copy of Gregg’s Shorthand which I found over in the office. It used to belong to one of the boys who left a long time ago I believe. No one claimed it so I took it. It’s not of much value but might be worthwhile some day. It may not get there too soon but only cost 4 cents so don’t worry about it. When I mailed that I came back & heah ah is. No mail since Wed. (yesterday) so I take it you followed my advice. I miscalculated as you can see but it’s still O.K. You may get one or possibly 2 more letters from me here and then there’ll be a break of I don’t know just how long. Now I better answer your Sat.-Sun. letter — Gosh, don’t let those ribs take any more of a beating than they have. It gets pretty chilly here now and it’s a lot colder up there I know too. We had a little frost around on the walk & steps the other day for the first time I believe. I sure hope Pop didn’t feel like that on Monday. I’m sending a few things along with this letter. This is a new stamp. There are 2, this & one commemorating Corregedor I believe, which I’d like to have put with my collection. Here’s my promotion order too and my driver’s license. We aren’t supposed to have any addresses on us according to what I hear & I don’t want to lose them so just hold them for me.

Well that’s about all I can say for tonight so I’ll be signing off and see you next time. So for now, so long and love,


Boiled Eggs & Beer

Mon. 20 Nov. ‘44

5:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well back again. We are having a big blow out again tonight so supper will be a little later than usual. I’ll write on this until time to go and eat. Last night as soon as I finished my short letter to you I got to bed at about 9:30. I didn’t go to sleep too soon as the lights were on until quite late. I was up at the usual time this morning, dressed, back in bed a few minutes, out for reveille, and then to breakfast – scrambled eggs, toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and an apple. There’s supper so I’ll see you later.

Back at 10:45 from a show so I’ll wind this up and get to bed. After eating breakfast I fixed up my junk and slept until time to go to work. I got my reports out and then went to work finishing up the pay roll and checking the records of the new men we got in Sat. That took quite a bit of time. At noon I quit, took my field jacket over to the tailor shop and then went to dinner – potatoes, tomatoes, bread, butter, peanut butter and rolls. After dinner we adjourned to the P.X. for our dessert and then I got back to work. The new men were over and I processed them, fixed up all their forms and allotments and got them set. That took the better part of the afternoon. I picked up my field jacket with its stripes on and quit at 5:00. Kumins said we’d better work tonight so I wrote until supper – potatoe [sic], salad, bread, butter & pickles. I left the boiled eggs & beer for the ones who enjoy it. After eating I went over to the office & typed a list on new dog tags and since no one else had come was about to leave when Kumins came. I had everything done that he figured we would have to do so I stuck around until 8:00 and did a supplemental payroll. Then Buck & I took off for the show “Frenchman’s Creek” with Joan Fontaine & Basil Rathbone. It was in color and the photography was really good. Now here I am. I got your Thurs. letter with the picture and one from Lillis this morning and your Fri. letter this afternoon. So that about winds up today. Sunday looks like a good day. Anyway for tonight I’ll sign off and get to bed,


Love to you’uns


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.