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.”




Back In The Saddle Again

Sunday Sept. 12, 1943

1:35 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am in old Fayetteville and in a few hours I’ll be back in the saddle again. I’m writing this at the U.S.O. downtown. I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday morning. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by the way I left but it seemed like the best way to do it to me. I’d been afraid of it all week and I decided the quicker I got it over the better. I think you’ll understand what I mean. I didn’t want to get rid of anybody but leaving is something I can’t do a vey good job at. See. The train came in about 10 minutes after you left and we pulled out at about 6, so there wouldn’t have been much more time anyway. We got seats but separated. I tried to sleep but couldn’t seem to get to sleep. When it got daylight I watched the country go by. There wasn’t anything to look forward to at the end of this ride like there was going up. We got into Chicago at about 9:30 and took a cab over to the Union Station. We wandered around the station for awhile and finally got in line for our train which left at 11:25. I couldn’t find any pennants in the station. There may be some though because it’s a huge place and easy to get lost in. We got on the train at about 11. Mark had a lunch too so we had a snack. I ate 2 sandwiches and a candy bar and some olives & a pickle that he had. Then we settled back for another long ride and we both got some sleep. Illinois is pretty flat and mostly corn country except for the occasional towns and several large refineries (Texaco & Standard). We got into St. Louis at about 5:15. We walked around inside the station some and went outside for a few minutes but the boys were beginning to accumulate so we got in line for the train and got on at about 6. It was supposed to pull out at 6:30 but it was well past 7 when we left. The Pennsylvania from New York was ½ hour late and we waited for it. A lot of our boys were on it so it’s good we waited although some fellows missed the train and still got in O.K. Now I find I could have gotten home a lot sooner. Some fellows took  the 12:45 bus last Sat. to Mohnet Mo. There they got the train to St. Louis and were in Chicago at 8 Sunday morning. If I had been on the ball I could have gotten home by 2:30 Sunday afternoon. It’s too late to worry about it now but I wish I had done that now. If I come in Dec. I’m going to try to get more speed some way. Of course I have to be in Chicago by 8 a.m. in order to have it make much difference. Next time they may not let us off on Sat. noon. Oh well only 12 weeks to go. At least there is something to look forward to. For the first 6 weeks I can look back at what I was doing 1, 2, or 3 weeks ago today. Then the last 6 weeks I can look forward to what I will be doing between Dec. 5-12. It’s a long time to wait for 5 days of real life. I was just beginning to get back into the old swing of things when I left. You probably noticed that. The ride from St. Louis down here seemed endless. I guess I tried to sleep in every position possible in a seat but I didn’t get much.

Back in the dorm at 5:25. I got a little sleep now and then. The night dragged on until at 6:30 this morning we pulled into Fayetteville. I finished my sandwiches last night on the way out of St. Louis. Boy I was glad to get off the train but I can’t say I was glad to get back to Fayetteville. Every once in awhile today I’ve had a sort of disgusted, discouraged or homesick or something feeling. It’s the first I’ve noticed it lately. I sent you a telegram as soon as I got here which you should have gotten by about 10. It was short. I could have said a couple more words for the same money I guess but I didn’t know it then. You see what I’m thinking of when I say “Be seeing you.” After that I walked back here. Boy were those pants dirty. I undressed and took a good shower. I ruined those white shorts. I went to kick them off and I stepped on one leg and pulled the other. As a result the seat parted in a couple of places. After washing I put on clean underwear and pants and the same shirt. At about 8 Freese, I & Bill Anderson meandered down to the campus grill and got a snack for breakfast. We got back here about 9. Bill wanted to play tennis so we went out at about 9:15 and played until 10:30. We lost 3 sets of doubles 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. We really were lousy. Then I took another shower, unpacked my bag, rearranged my foot locker, hung up my clothes, shined my shoes, shaved and in general got settled again. By then it was nearly 12. I found the letter from Mrs. C. It was postmarked Sept. 8 which was Wed. I didn’t find your letter tho. All the ones that were here were postmarked since the 7th. Yours would be the 2nd. None of us can find any dated that far back so maybe they are still over at Hdqs. or someplace. I hope I find it O.K. but lots of other guys are looking for mail that they know people have written. I’ll let you know when or if I locate it. At about 12 we 3 headed downtown. We got sandwiches for dinner. Then we walked on down to the U.S.O. where I started this. We stayed there until about 1:30 when we went to a show which lasted until about 4. It was a newsreel, comedy & the main picture was “Jungle Princess” an old one with Dorothy Lamour. It wasn’t too bad but the story was pretty weak. After the show we walked back to the Union. I had a cheese sandwich & a shake. Then we came back here and I went to writing on this some more. Just now Freese & Ferdinand Giorza, one of my ex-roommates went out and we took up their film taking pictures of each other so maybe I’ll have some more to send you if they are any good. Now you are up with me today at 6:30. I wonder how it is back there – if you folks are O.K. or if you are in bed. I hope Pop is on his feet and also that you didn’t dive into that wash too fast. I have a feeling it’s sort of quiet around there. I didn’t make a lot of noise yet everything seemed pretty bright around there. All of us are saying the same thing. We had a swell time but why do we have to come back. I was justing [?] beginning to fit into my old groove too. I’m lucky to be coming back here instead of some places but I still wish I were you know where. I think a lot but I’m not much good at saying or writing things like that so I’ll just say you probably know how I feel about things and stuff. You were worried that I wouldn’t be at home when I got home but you can forget that as you ought to have been able to see. Well so much for that for now except to let you know I appreciated everything. I may not have showed it but I wanted it all to seem like it used to be when I didn’t go around thanking you for everything. You know me. So all I can say it’s the only 5 days that have really counted out of the last 8 months & 10 days. It’s 6:35 now. Guy Lombardo is on on the Fitch program. It was a little chilly here this morning but it was plenty hot by mid day. After being home this place has no attraction for me and the campus smells. I could stay in and write letters to people but right now I’m not in the mood to write to anyone except you folks who understand me and my ways. I think I’ll take off and go to a show. For some reason I feel like getting away from the dorm. This will be our only free Sunday night all term probably so I guess I’ll take advantage of it. So I’ll sign off for now. I still have my furlough in my pocket. I hate to part with it but I guess I better go turn it in. See you later. Signing off at 6:45 p.m.

Back at 10:05. Lights are out so I’ll have to cut this off. It won’t be long now before we’ll be back in the saddle again. I have a lot of good ideas & intentions for making my work easier but maybe they won’t work. At about 6:45 the 3 of us went to the show down here. It was “So Proudly We Hail” the one that was at the Gladmer last week. It wasn’t bad but it was pretty realistic. Now after going down to the drugstore with Freese to leave his films I’m back for bed. I can use some sleep. So its’ my ball and 12 to go. I’ll be seeing you. Lots of love and thanks for everything.




Creamed Cabbage

Thursday Sept. 2, 1943

8:20 p.m.


Dear folks,

It won’t be long now. Just 2 more days. In 48 hours I’ll be waiting for the train to start for St. Louis (I hope). I studied a little military last night and did my Chem. before going back to bed at 10:30. I was up at 5:15. After reveille I shaved and then slept until breakfast. I had toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and a peach. After eating I swept and made my bed and at 7 we went to Chem. We spent the hour reviewing laws and theories for Sat. exam. At 8 we went to military. I may get my lowest grade in mil. because I didn’t do too well on our test. I know I missed two which would give me a 92 and I was unsure of a few more. I probably stayed above 85 though. I missed questions on aerial photography which  I think they covered while we were at Chaffee. At 9 we went to Physics lab and did a fairly easy experiment on springs. I got my lab test back and got 24. There were 30 questions. I got 25 right, 2 wrong, and left 3 blank. Our grade is the number right minus ½ the number wrong so I got 25-1=24. That was about high for the class – the average was 15. At 11 came chow – spaghetti, salad, creamed cabbage, bread, butter, milk, and pudding. At 12 we went to study. I spent the two hours going through my Geography notes. I expected an exam. At 2 when we went to class we had just a short quiz because our regular teacher was gone. As usual I missed 1 out of 20 for 95 so I’m not worried about that. We had study from 3 to 3:30 and then went back to the dorm. I got on the end of a line and in time I signed Arlington A. Forist on a beautiful printed page with big black letters on the top saying FURLOUGH. I hope it’s in the bag now. At 4 we fell out and formed and then had some announcements – no classes Sat. and at 8 Sat. morning we get paid. Oh if there were only a morning train out of this berg. The big thing is we’ll miss our Chem. and Physics exams on Sat. There is the chance we may get the Physics tomorrow but if we do it will be too bad. I was supposed to report for sick call in 2 or 3 days so I’ll go tomorrow. My boil is practically gone and the soreness is gone so I guess the salve was O.K. Between 4 and 4:30 we had formal retreat and parade. Everything went off swell. After that we got a whole set of changes. We all moved from our rooms to different ones. They grouped us according to whether we are leaving, taking term I over or going into II. I’m going into II and I had to move down to the second floor. I’m in a small room with 3 other fellows now. It’s pretty small but I guess we’ll make a go of it. I came in and got my mail – your Sat.-Sun., Mon. & Tues. letters. I read that until supper – potatoes, cauliflower, salad, biscuit, butter, milk and baked apple but not like yours. Then I came back and got my stuff together and moved downstairs and got partially settled between 6 and 7. Some bright boy has borrowed my field jacket and a shirt since yesterday and left another shirt in its place.

Back at 10. I hope you can read this where it’s washed out. As I said somebody left a new shirt in place of mine but forgot to leave a field jacket. I can get the shirt exchanged for one my size but the jacket is another proposition. I searched everywhere I could think and could find no trace of it. At the advice of the cadet 1st/sgt. I put a notice on the bulletin board but I know that won’t make any difference as it didn’t “just happen.” It was there yesterday morning. Today I just put my arms around all my clothes and carried them down here. I noticed one hanger fell out loose and when I got down here I saw it was the one my jacket had been on. It’s a dirty trick and it made me mad. I reported it to our cadet Capt. and he said he’d see that something was done. My name is on the jacket, also it has a patch on the sleeve and the shoulder loop has been ripped and sewed. All I got to say is I better get it back or I’m out about 5 or maybe 10 bucks for another one. Just now when I came in I saw another fellow had a note on the board. He’s minus a shirt too. There are about 40 guys leaving and that’s probably where the stuff went. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. We have to hang out our clothes. Yesterday it was there, today it wasn’t. I’ll very likely never see it again so I better go on with this letter. At 7 we went over to study. I spent about 10 minutes on Algebra & 30 on Trig. for tomorrow’s tests. I didn’t do Physics so I better not get a test. The rest of the time until 9 I spent writing on this. At 9 we went over to some more of the G.I. movies. They were on different subjects and were pretty good. We just got back from them and I’m writing this. Lights will go out pretty quick so I’ll finish this off. You won’t get this until Monday probably so I won’t answer your letters tonight. Anything I write now will get there after I do so I’ll talk in person instead of writing. I’ll probably write a little tomorrow & Sat. but it will get to you a couple of days after I get there so there’s not much value in writing it. It’s getting pretty close to lights out so I’m going to have to sign off. I want to take a shower yet before I go to bed. I’ll watch you read this when you get it Monday unless you get it Sat. I doubt if you will though.


Anyway good night & Love



I’ll see how the mail man Rushes and how you look when the mail arrives. Be seeing you.

A Beautiful Big Red Hickie

Mon. Aug. 30, 1943

5:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Whew! No let’s just sit down and see what this is all about. I’ve been writing pretty fast lately and I guess I haven’t been saying enough to make everything clear. I cut my sentences too short and didn’t put everything across I see. Anyway I really don’t think things are as bad as they seemed to you. As for the furlough I signed or applied for that several days before last Wed. There was nothing signed for me by the other fellow. On our applications we stated where we wanted to go. Mine was 1010 Beech, his was just Lansing. Any that they thought was quite a distance they called down to check the time. We both had the same town so we figured it wasn’t necessary for us both to go. Mark didn’t sign anything for me or for himself. There was nothing to sign. Mine said 1010 Beech Lansing and when it was 19 hrs. the Lt. signed it and that was that. Mark told him he was going to meet his folks and go on to St. Louis. The Lt. wanted to know how long it took by R. R. and when Mark explained that there was no train to St. Louis the Lt. said O.K. and accepted Lansing as the distance. Now I didn’t bother to explain all this before but I don’t think there is anything dishonest about it. I’m not connected in any way with where he’s going and besides he explained the situation to the Lt. and it was O.K. with him. Nobody signed for me for a furlough. I had applied several days before. The Lt. knows where he is going so it isn’t anything dishonest. He didn’t lie about it. If someone asks for his furlough in St. Louis that’s his worry not mine. I’m not connected in any way and I don’t see where you got the idea I was. If it hadn’t been O.K. I would have been called in anyway. All they wanted to know was the time to Lansing. I understand how you mean things and I hope you’ll see its O.K. I should have explained things a little better but I’ve been dashing my letters off in a hurry and just saying the bare facts without going into detail. I hope this straightens that out a little.

Now about the train – Dad’s right. There is a train into Chicago at 7 p.m. but I get into St. Louis at 8:10 a.m. if I’m on time. My train leaves at 8:58 and gets into Chicago at 2:05. It’s the Alton streamliner. There are two other trains before the one Dad mentioned. So why should I stay around 4 hrs. in St. Louis when I can leave sooner. Of course if our train is late that’s something else. Anyway I won’t take a bus from Chicago unless it’s faster than the train. If connections connect and we hit Chicago at 2:05 I might catch a bus by 4. If so I could probably be home by midnight. Money doesn’t mean anything on this. Time is more important. Now I’m trying to do the best I can and I can’t see anything wrong with this. You see Dad’s timetable doesn’t show all the trains from St. Louis to Chicago. Yes it does too. The Frisco book shows connections on page 22 but I guess Pop overlooked it. The one Pop checked gets into Chicago at 5:50 p.m. but 3 hours is 3 hours if I can pick it up. Another thing if I bought a round trip to Lansing according to what I’ve heard about train trips I might get screwed up good. The money isn’t worrying me so forget that part. I have $35 and I may get paid Sat. I can make out the chart O.K. but Dad overlooked the page in the Frisco table giving connections at St. Louis. If he had seen that he would know what I mean. Train time from there here is less probably because there’s no lay over in Chicago. Yet if it leaves there at 4 its 27 hrs. because it gets here at 6:30 which is 7:30 your time. I’ll have to wait over 5 hrs. for the train if I catch the Alton and during that time I could be well on my way home by bus. It’s only about 225 miles. Once more let me say the other fellow didn’t do any signing up for me at all. Now I’m not peeved at anything but I hope you see how things are and that it all isn’t as you thought. Don’t jump too quick at conclusions from now on please As far as finding out about my furlough, they told us last week we were all getting them except those who were told otherwise so I’m getting one O.K. I’m not responsible in any way for what he asked for and I don’t see how you get the idea I am. I certainly am not getting a dishonest furlough nor so far as I know is he since he explained everything to Lt. Thompson. Now this is all in answer to your Sat. Sp. Del. letter. I hope I’ve made things clear and that I haven’t said too much this time instead of not enough. Anyway everything is above board on the furloughs and I’m not taking the bus unless it saves time. So that’s your Sat. Aug. 28 letter.

Now that that’s O.K. (I hope) I’ll get on with the usual lineup. I finished your letter and at 7 we went over to study hall. It was locked up so we came back to the dorm. I managed to get through my English and to go over my Alg. & Trig. before lights out at 9:30. It’s pretty noisy in the dorm to try to do much. I was up at 5:15 this morning and out for reveille at 5:30. I slept after that until breakfast. I had toast, butter, corn flakes, 2 bottles of milk and sliced up cantaloupe. I seldom eat eggs or potatoes any more. I take the extra bottle of milk instead. After breakfast I made my bed, swept and put on my shorts for P.T. We did some of those tests we did when we first came. First we ran the 100 yd. with a man on our back. Freese ran it in 21 sec. with me. I made it in 24 sec. with him but he weights [sp] 8# more than I. In June I did it in 29 so I must be improving. Next we did a 4 count Burpee. In 20 seconds I did 11 which was 2 more than before. Last came the 300 yd. dash. I didn’t have what it took I guess. I came in 6th out of 6. I started to sprint at the end but Freese pulled away so I just trotted in in 45 sec. 1 less than the other time. One kid did it in 35 sec. We finished with that and were through be [by] 8. I took a shower and cleaned my shoes and dressed while listening to Breakfast Club. Then I cleaned out my grip a little until we went to class at 9. It was Physics and we finished up that test. My way was right for that problem. I asked him if it would make any difference. He showed me my average and I shut up. I had a 92 before that test. After that it was 95 so I decided to be quiet. 95 is a lot better than I ever expected in Physics Drill. That’s an A I believe. My averages are Algebra 100 (unofficial) and official – Chem. – 97, Trig. 98, Geog. 98, Phys. 95, Hist. & English unknown as yet. We did some problems and at 10 we went to English. We argued out some articles and then did some words like we’ll have on our test. He better get some easier ones or it will be bad. At 11 we went to dinner – stew, green beans, salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. After dinner I sewed a patch on one of my O.D. shirts before we went to class at 12. In Algebra she buzzed thru a mess of stuff. At 1 in Trig. we did some problems. At 2 we had History which was pretty dead. At 3 we went to study and I did a little Algebra. At 4 we went back to the dorm. I sewed a patch on another shirt before mail call. I got your Thurs., Fri., and Sat. letters, a card & letter from Lillis and my copy of the M.S.C. Alumni Recorder. I read my mail before going to supper – spaghetti, squash, sliced toms, beans, bread, butter, milk, and cake. After supper I got on to this letter and wrote until 6:30 when we had our monthly so called physical. I have a beautiful big red hickie or whatever you want to call it on my left leg. I was afraid they’d notice it and sure enough he did. He asked me if it was sore and I said “some” so he said you report for sick call tomorrow. I think it’s the beginning of a boil although I’m not sure. I’ve been having quite a few outbursts or eruptions lately. I had a beautiful one (by the feel it must have been) on my right cheek (not my face) but it has just about disappeared. So I guess I’ll have to go over there. I intend to go to Chem. Class and then I’ll miss just military. Personally I see no sense of even going as it will come up and go down by itself but I guess I have to obey an order. I don’t want to miss classes. It feels like a boil. I don’t know what he thought it was. After that at 7:25 or so we came over to study. I finished off my Chem. and here I am. It’s 20 to 9 now. I have 7 chap. Of Physics to digest for an exam Sat. so I’m going to stay tonight and read some on it. I answered your Sat. letter. Now to your Thurs. one while the time lasts. Well I guess I’ll have to “RUSH” all my letters. Babe is having her troubles eh? Ah. A week with no reveille, no whistles, no “keep your eyes up,” “cut down your arm swing,” fall in, etc. I don’t know if I’ll need woolens or not. Not if I can help it. They’re too woolie for inside work. Real food will seem good and I ain’t kiddin! Peanut butter; umh! I just saw Johnny. He’s shipping out Sat. to Camp Barkley Tex. Oh unlucky boy. He’s lost on this deal. He gave up a job in L.A. similar to mine in Frisco. My furlough begins at 1 sec. after midnight Sat. Sept. 4 and ends at midnight Sun. Sept. 12. Midnight is 2400 in army time. I said I hoped I wasn’t a dream. It would feel funny to wake up and find I’m not. I’m not so sure I won’t go outside the house with clothes on. I haven’t decided for sure yet but I’d sure like to get some real clothes on for a change. I can do it inside legally. Fri. Aug. 27 – It’s not cold here by a long sight. I have the only racket with strings although Freese has patched his so he can use it. I’m wearing suntans the same as the rest on my furlough. I though of bringing O.D.’s but gave up the idea. There’ll be no wasted milk while I’m home I think. I guess that covers your 3 letters. I hope I’ve cleared things up a little. It’s 9:15 now and I’ve got to put in an hour or so on Physics so I’ll have to sign off for tonight. Take it easy,




The Fruits of Intelligence

Saturday Aug. 21, 1943

9:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

I’ll start this tonight and finish it tomorrow. It’s been quite a day and so far as I know I’m now 1A-L whatever that is. I got to bed about 10:45 last night after doing a little chem. after finishing your letter. I was up at 5:15. After reveille I made my bed, swept and dusted my shoes before eating. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, corn flakes, milk & grapefruit. After eating I got ready for class. I guess I really didn’t have to go and now I wish I hadn’t because that chem. test was really rugged and I’ll be lucky to get an 85. I study on a basis of the type of stuff they used to ask at M.S.C. and then they crossed me up by asking for a lot of stuff that is really unimportant and shouldn’t be asked. Better should I have stayed in the dorm. One consolation – I got last week’s test back with 100 so that helps some anyway. At 8 I came back here and took a shower, shaved, cleaned my teeth and very foolishly put on a clean uniform. I guess I didn’t get it too dirty tho. At about 8:45 we got ready and started off in G.I. trucks. The trip to Chaffee, about 70 miles, lasted until 11:30. It is a nice ride up through the Boston Mts. (hills) and I’d like to make it as a civilian someday. The road is nice and the views are really wonderful We stopped in one little jerk water town & I got an ice ream cone but boy what a ramshackle place and you ought to see the houses people actually live in. We went thru Dogpatch and also VanBuren. It’s a nice little city with signs all over advertising Bob Burn’s home. I didn’t see Uncle Fred anyplace though. We hit camp at about 11:30 and boy it felt funny to be in an army camp again. It’s the first real large camp I’ve been in since McCoy and it made me realize how lucky I am & have been. Oh its nice to have nights off and P.X.’s and shows but when I saw those poor suckers plodding around with packs, rolls, helmets & rifles I said to myself Boy you are lucky. It seemed funny to see everybody in helmets & fatigues again. It is mostly armored forces down there. I saw several amphibian tanks go buzzing down the highway. The first thing we did was march to chow. We were in the hospital area and fellows literally by the hundreds were walking around in slippers & bathrobes. They all pricked up their ears when we marched by singing like we do here. I bet they don’t hear that often. Chow there really made us all appreciate what we get here. I doubt if any of those fellows will kick for quite awhile. I had potatoes, Brussels sprouts, salad, 1 slice of bread and butter. I don’t know what you’ll think about it but there wasn’t any milk or water to drink and I was really dry so I drank some iced tea not because I liked it particularly but because it was cold & wet. I guess maybe it was O.K. because I used to drink it once in a great while at home. Oh yes, I had a sliver of ice cream too. After eating we went back and sat around for awhile and then went through alphabetically. It took me about 30-45 minutes. It was like Kalamazoo only faster and less thorough. First he took my pulse which was 80, then my blood pressure – 122 which is O.K. Then he tested my eyes. I couldn’t see too well today. My right eye was 20/800 and my left 20/40 corrected to 20/20. Then they checked my hearing & teeth. Next came a urinalysis and I was measured around my chest, my height and weighed. I’m down to 146 ½ lbs. stripped which is 3 less than at Kalamazoo. Then they checked me for rupture etc. Then we went in to talk to an officer who asked a lot of friendly questions. I found he was a neuropsychiatrist and was trying to test our reactions. That finished it up and I went on to the major. I didn’t have a chance for a discharge although my eye may warrant it. The test wasn’t very thorough and it may be better than 20/800 but that’s beside the point. 5 men blind in one eye didn’t get them. On our paper from here were several statements. One was whether they wished us to stay in service. They wished me to stay in. The major looked at that, put a big red circle around it, put a big circle around my 150 I.Q., saw I had been a student before coming to the army, put some checks on the back and said that’s all. That finished that. We have heard that we are classified to 1-AL, which while not L.S. still means limited duty. It’s really a joke. Several fellows got C.D.D.s for flat feet, bad backs and eyes but nearly all were ones which were not desired to be dept here at school. If I was flunking here, if I had a moron’s I.Q. and if I had been a welder instead of a student I’m willing to bet I’d have a C.D.D. right now. Not one of us who has a high I.Q. and is passing had a chance. That’s the fruits of intelligence I guess so it looks as if I’m in now for the duration plus. I was through at 2. The Lt. put me in charge of the group so I stayed around until the other fellow came back. Then I went over to the P.X. It was the first one I’ve been in in a good many months. It’s now about 10 to 11 and lights out so I’ll quit and finish the story tomorrow.

Back at 7:15 Sunday night. As I was saying I had a couple shakes at the P.X. and after looking around for awhile I came back to the hospital at 3:30. There were still some fellows getting blood tests and stuff so we waited and waited. At about 5 they sent us to supper but the line was so long we went over to the P.X. I had a couple malteds for supper and also got a box of stationery and a couple cards. I should have gotten shaving cream too but I forgot it. I got back at about 5:30 and before 6 o’clock we got aboard the trucks and started back. For all I gained I could just as well have stayed in Fayetteville. As it was I lost part of my weekend time off. Camp Chaffee is quite a large place, built just like Custer, McCoy and all the rest. There doesn’t seem to be a tree in sight hardly. It’s down on the plains and it’s really hot. It seemed sort of familiar and like old times but I wouldn’t want to stay there. We didn’t get back here until about 8:30. We had the top off all the way back so I got a chance to see the scenery. Up thru the mountains it’s really very pretty. There are no natural lakes in Arkansas so the occasional ones we saw are man-made. It was dark when we got back and too late to go to the show. I partially undressed and then wrote until 11. There wasn’t any mail call yesterday because the mail clerk was with us so I didn’t get any letters. They boys got by inspection O.K. and they covered 3 chap. of Physics in lecture. We take 10 weeks to cover 7 chapters & then they do 3 on the day I’m not there. Am I worried? No. That was yesterday. I may have forgotten to mention some things so if you think of anything you can ask in your letter or when I get home. I didn’t hear anything about breakfast this morning. I woke up at 8 and finally got up at 10. There wasn’t anything to do so I went back and slept until dinner at 12. I got up, dressed, and had potatoes, veal loaf, cheese, beets, salad, peas & carrots, bread, butter, and watermelon. After eating I waited around until about 1:30 and then went to the show. It was “First Comes Courage” with Merle Oberon & Brian Aherne. It was about Norway & followed the usual pattern. It was pretty good. There also was a newsreel, a sports picture, one about movie stars & a cartoon. After the show I went down to the depot to see about train schedules but the place was closed. So I came back to the Union and had a couple shakes and then went back to the dorm. At 5 I went to supper – beans, tomatoes, biscuits, butter, milk & jello. After supper I loafed around until study at 7 and here I am. I have Chem. test in the morning & math in the afternoon. It’s not given by our instructors to cover our work so its hard telling what it will cover so I decided not to worry about it. That covers a very uneventful weekend so now I’ll get to your back letters, Sat. & Sun. Aug. 14 & 15. I can see all right why you were upset about the garden and I don’t like it but I guess there’s not much I can do about it. $5 isn’t a fraction of what you lost. You two sure put a lot of hard work on it when you were up there. The place for that guy is in the army. He’s no more farmer than I am but that’s the way things go I guess. Well Hugh must be a sgt. now. I haven’t heard from him in over 2 months. He sure gets home a lot. Mon. Aug. 16 – That stove must have been some job all right. I intend to come the fastest way. Anderson says we may have to wait quite awhile in Chicago so if it’s faster we may catch a bus. We’ll find out this week if we can. He changed his furlough to Lansing instead of St. Louis because Lansing is within the limits. It takes a long time by train to go to St. Louis. Now we can all forget the discharge. Tues. Aug. 17 – I sent my wash so I hope you got it Wed. Gee if its down near 45 degrees I better bring my O.D.s. Oh well I expect to discard the uniform for awhile anyway. Are there many M.P.’s around there? The grapes are the sour blue ones. The cottage cheese we get occasionally is too sour also. My watch runs most of the time but it needs cleaning. I think I’ll retire it when I get home. The other fellow didn’t get a discharge either. He was blind in one eye and his blood pressure was 154 so I guess I really have no room for complaint. I cracked my left arm. The wrist I sprained is my right one. Well that sort of catches up the back letters. I’ll probably get Wed., Thurs., & Fri. tomorrow. It’s now 8:30 and I guess I’ve covered the situation. Two weeks from now I should be somewhere between Chicago and Lansing. I’m going to hate to spend time sleeping but I reckon I’ll be tired after spending one night on the train. Well I guess this will be all for tonight. Maybe I’ll dash off a letter or two yet tonight. I’d like to get my correspondence up to date if possible before my furlough. Well so long and good night.




[drawing of Michigan with bullseye & arrow through Lansing]

Replowing Physics

Tuesday Aug. 17, 1943

9 p.m.


Dear folks,

Just a short one tonight as I have to dig up or replow a little Physics for a test tomorrow. There will be 6 problems but it covers 3 chap. and that leaves lots of room for stumping me. I left study hall at about 8:50 last night and went over to the theater. We had 4 short movies lasting about an hour. One was on the Pacific & Japs, one was a John Nesbit “Passing Parade” about Napoleon, one was about a bunch of Australians in Timor and the 4th was about diving. They were all O.K. After that I went back to the dorm and got to bed at about 10. I was up at 5:15 and dressed for reveille. When I came in I shaved and cleaned my teeth. Then I tore up my bed to air and lay down until breakfast. I had toast, butter, Rice Krispies, milk, and an orange. Then I came back and swept and at 7 we went to Chem. Boy was I sleepy. I nearly went to sleep 3 or 4 times during his lecture on sulfur. At 8 we went to military and studied the prismatic compass. At 9 we went to Phys. Lecture. At 10 we had study and I spent it on Geog. At 11 we went to chow – potatoes, cauliflower, salad, bread, butter & watermelon. After eating I lay down & snoozed for awhile until we went to study at 12. Grades go in again Fri. so I suspected a Geog. test & studied my notes most of the 2 hours. I spent the last part on Algebra. I was right because we had a quiz in Geog. I missed one I believe out of 20 which is 95 and isn’t bad. At 3 we went back to study until 3:30. I kept on my Algebra for tomorrow’s test. At 3:30 we went back to the dorm and at 4 fell out for about an hour of company drill. Today is the first cool day we’ve had in weeks. It was 66 degrees this morning and only about 80 degrees this afternoon and lo & behold for the first time we can drill without ties. That really is the army for you. We quit a little before 5 and left shortly for chow. I got no mail. I had scalloped potatoes, carrots, dressing, salad, muffins, butter, milk & jello for supper. I came back & cleaned up the Algebra situation and at 6 went over to the union to get a tablet and a choc. sundae. I got back about 6:30 and at 7 we came to study. I conducted a little tutoring in Algebra, went thru my Trig. and started on Physics before 9. Now I’m in late study hall. I’ll give my Physics a quick brush off and head for bed. I’ve been so doggone sleepy all day that it isn’t funny. I hope it’s cool like this in the morning. Last Monday’s mile & a half encouraged me and I think if I feel in the spirit that I’ll take off and see what I can do. I’ll probably get a sideache this time or something to slow me up. Anyway that covers the picture pretty well for today. Nothing new on the furloughs. Grades go in Sat. & will probably tell whether we stay or go and whether we go into II or stay in I. I don’t have any worries although I could wish for better grades than I have I imagine. In all my subjects as a whole I’m doing O.K. because I find more & more I’m being hunted up about Algebra first, then trig. and now even Physics. There is one chemist here who knows his stuff and I’ve learned a lot from him. Well I’ll call this it for tonight. Rumor still says we go to Chaffee. Sat. If we all go there’ll be about 60 and that’s too many for anybody to get discharges. Well goodnight.




The Sick, Lame & Lazy

Saturday Aug. 14, 1943

6:50 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am back and able to write tonight. I hope I didn’t scare you and cause you to worry but the muscles in my wrist and hand last night were really knotted up and stiff. They are still sore but feel a whole lot better and by Monday it will be O.K. again. I was up at the usual time yesterday morning and dressed and out for reveille. After reveille I made my bed and swept before breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, milk, and Rice Krispies and grapes. After breakfast I changed to my fatigues and Freese & I went out a little early and played tennis until 7. Then we had calisthenics for 20 minutes followed by touch feetball. That’s where I smashed up my hand. I really still don’t see how it could happen. A fellow threw me the ball but instead of ahead of me it went behind me. I jumped but by reaching backward I was off balance and when the ball hit my hand it just bent it over backwards. It hurt some but I didn’t think it was too bad. Of course we had our cross country run at 8. I did the first 5/8’s or so in quick time. Then I slowed down and came in in 11:28. Then I took a shower and redressed for class at 9. At 9 we went to Physics and did some problems on the board. At 10 we went to English and spent the hour discussing a story. At 11 we went to chow but I can’t remember what we had. I stretched out until 12 when we went to Algebra. We had a little quiz and I got a 10 (perfect) on the one we got back. At 1 we went to Trig. and did problems. At 2 we had History. For Mon. our assignments are tests in Trig & history, a story to read for English, probs. for Algebra & a test Wed. and of course study Physics. At 3 we went to study. My hand had been getting stiffer feeling all day so I dashed off that note so you’d get a letter and know what was what. I didn’t know but what it might get worse so maybe I couldn’t write and I wanted you prepared. As it turned out it wasn’t that bad and I hope I didn’t worry you but [by] making that letter so short and cut off so to speak but I could hardly hang on to the pencil. I finished it during study and mailed it when I went to chow. At 4 we came back and I took it easy until mail call. I got a letter from Bart. No ratings out there yet. He expects to be reclassified to 1-A by Aug. 15. From what he says I guess nobody out there is getting a discharge which is what I expected. At 5:15 I went to chow but I can’t remember what I had. After eating I generally took it easy or loafed until we went to study at 7. I took my chem. book along and spent the 2 hrs. on chem. studying for today’s test. At 9 I came back and went to bed at 9:30. I didn’t sleep too well for some reason. Maybe it was because my wrist ached quite a bit. I was up at 5:15 and dressed for reveille. I made my bed and swept before breakfast. My hand was plenty lame but felt a little better. For breakfast I had toast, butter, Rice Krispies, milk, and grapefruit. After eating I signed up for sick call. Then at 7 I went to Chem. I didn’t have to since I was on sick call but I could write and I didn’t want to miss the test. The test was pretty rugged and there were a few questions that I didn’t know the answers to but I used my head and reasoned them out. So far as I know I got them all right. It makes one feel good to be able to reason something out which he hasn’t memorized. At 8 I came back here and went over with the sick, lame & lazy to sick call. The Doc felt my wrist over and decided it was just a sprain so he gave me some stuff to rub on it and had me keep it under a heat lamp for ½ hour. I missed Military and part of Physics lecture. I got back here at 9:15 and signed in. Then I took my books and went to what was left of Physics class. At 10 I went to study and did my chem. probs. for next Sat. At 11 we went to chow – potatoes, salad, beets, bread, butter, milk and bananas & cream. After eating I came back and dusted my bed and the window. Then I shaved and cleaned my teeth. After that I shined my shoes and took a shower. Then I swept. I still had time before inspection so I sorted and packed my dirty laundry. By then it was 1:30 so I dressed and waited for inspection. It took about 45 minutes and our room is always last. Then we fell out downstairs for the results & mail call. The inspection was O.K. I opened the laundry and then read your letter. The clothes are all present, accounted for and swell looking. How’d you ever get the shorts so clean? The candy and peanuts are always appreciated you know. I wondered what could be in the bottom and I was glad to find my shoes. He did a swell job. I have them on now. After reading your letter and sorting my clean laundry I finished tying up the dirty stuff. You’ll find about 5 prs. of socks, 5 hankies, 3 sets of underwear, 3 towels, 1 wash rag, 1 t-shirt, 3 sun tan shirts and 2 prs. of pants so you’ll have a full size wash this time. Both shirts are G.I. but you’ve never washed either one before I think. At least you’ve never washed the new one I know. When I got it tied up I put away my clean stuff and Freese and I started for town. I mailed the package and it was 54 cents this time. Then we had a limeade and went on down to the U.S.O. I found some picture cards there to send to folks and we played some records and when a table was free we played ping pong. My wrist bothered a little but I won the first 3 games and lost the last 4. We headed back then and got back at about 5:30 for chow. The temperature downtown was 100 degrees. For supper I had potato salad, cabbage, salad, biscuits, butter, and jello. After eating we came back here and here I am. When I came back I got pretty mad. Two of our roommates borrowed our rackets & played tennis. Mine came back with ½ dozen snapped strings. They were getting loose I knew and it was a cheap racket but still it seemed like they must have played a rugged game. I said a few words, maybe too many and then shut up. A few minutes [later] the guy came in with a new racket just like the old one so I have another new one. That was sort of an expensive game for him and maybe I should quietly have accepted it but I guess I ain’t built that way or something. That about covers the situation. It’s 8 now and the Hit Parade is on. It’s just dusk and its noticeable now that the days are shortening especially when we go out for reveille. Right now you’d probably say I have chicken pocks [sp] or somepin’ because my chest is all splotched with heat rash but I guess that’s all it is. I have always sweated a lot but never so much as this summer. There is a possibility that we may be here the whole 18 months supposing we pass from term to term on thru advanced because the new men are coming in and they are all advanced engineers. I am not crazy about the idea but then I could be in a lot worse places than Arkansas I guess. If I do move  out of here for advanced, that is if I stay that long, the chances are I’ll get someplace nearer home or at least on better routes of travel but then I might be sent to Cal. or Utah or some place like that so I’ll be thankful for Arkansas. No new dope on furloughs except a flat statement that there will be no passes so we can leave early. One of the Lewies has gone to see the Bus. Co. about chartering buses to St. Louis & Kansas City. If I take the bus to St. Louis, I’d have to get a round trip there to Lansing. Then when I get back to St. Louis I’ll have to buy a ticket to Fayetteville. I don’t know a heck of a lot about arranging that stuff. We went into the bus station today but I don’t intend to go all the way by bus so I didn’t get any information. I didn’t go to the depot because I know pretty well the story. It leaves here at 8 p.m. and you hit Chicago at 2:30 the next afternoon. Mark Andersen, one of my roommates, is going to Lansing too so I think we’ll stick together on the way. He lives in St. Louis Mich. but his folks are going to meet him in Lansing. Of course maybe at the last minute they’ll change it and we can catch the train earlier and take off. With the uncertainty of things as they are though I really don’t recommend Pop’s coming down. I don’t know for positive just how it will turn out and I’d hate to have a last minute change throw us off and I don’t want to lose any time if I can help it. Now to your Wed. letter. I have been wearing my fatigues for P.T. Now we hear we get exams during the last meeting of each class. No kidding you never saw so many rumors of one kind or another in your life as float around here. Latest latrine-o-gram says we L.S.’ers go to Chaffee next Sat. or Mon. I’m not sure which but I’m not counting on it. And I’m not in the least expecting a discharge. Forget about Fri. We won’t even get out on Sat. Sept 4 as it stands until midnight. I doubt if Pop would have to cross town in Chicago. Most of the trains come into the same station. I’ve been thinking about it too. It’s as hot as I say all right as he will find if he comes down. Of course it’s late summer now and ought to cool off pretty soon. He can come on the campus all he wants but don’t let him start asking because he’d never find me that way. I live in Davis Hall which is on the corner of Maple St. & Hill St. I think. Anyway its on the northwest corner of the campus. You can’t miss the campus. Just turn right from the depot and follow your nose up the hill. When he gets in town he can call 9668 between 6 and 7 p.m. or 4 to 5 p.m. but let me know about what day to expect him. This is of course if he comes but I really am not in favor of him coming down with things as uncertain as they are. Maybe we can come back together or if that doesn’t work either he can slip down some weekend next term and we can have nearly 2 days together. I know it’s a disappointment to him & me too but I guess nobody know what to expect from the army. I have decided after 7 ½ months that prediction is impossible. That mile & a half causes plenty of side aches every time. We have fried chicken often but it ain’t like the chicken Mom use to turn out. I am tired of the same old stuff all the time. I’d like a light refreshing meal for a change. I see I’m down to 148 ½ pounds now. The latrine is swell tile and I’m not the only one who occasionally uses it for study. I couldn’t send my suntans last Sunday because I didn’t have any paper. The train just whistled so it’s 50 minutes late tonight. I got a kick where you said the State Repr. Son’s father. That’s like saying Mrs. Forists son’s mother. I got a letter from Fred about a month ago that I should answer. I wonder if he is still at Bay View. As an Engineer I’ll be a flop maybe but let them find that out. You know I said the other night that the longer we are here the longer we’ll be in the army. Today there is a bulletin on the board saying many competent men have turned down A.S.T.P. due to the talk that we will be in from 3 to 5 years after the war. The memo came from 8th Service Command Hq. in Dallas and said that ASTP graduates will absolutely be kept in service no longer that anyone else, all of which still is very indefinite. I guess we were sabotaging the program by spreading such malicious rumors. I personally can’t see any of us getting out 6 mos. afterwards but I hope that will be it. How can you 2 handle that range? Well that answers your letter I guess. I didn’t go to a show tonight because one was not very good sounding & the other I had already seen. Its 9:05 now and Benny Goodman is now coming on. Tomorrow I should study History and some other stuff but I don’t know how much I’ll get done. When the week end rolls around I feel pretty lazy about studying. I lack that old spirit I used to have once upon a time. I intended to have this letter cover 2 days but its long enough now so I’ll cut it off and write a separate one tomorrow. So for Sat. night I’ll say so long and sign off.


Love to all


E.H.S. ‘42

M.S.C. ‘46

PomPom Pull Away

Friday Aug. 13, 1943

3:20 p.m.


Dear folks,

This will be short and hard to read. I am in study hall now. I sprained my wrist and hand in P.T. this morning. It wasn’t much at first but the muscles have been getting stiffer and my hand and wrist ache a lot. I’m going on sick call in the morning unless it’s a lot better. I did it trying to catch a football. Someway it hit just right and bent my wrist backward like you did once playing pompom pull away. I put some liniment of one of the fellows on it noon but I guess I didn’t use enough. I hate to miss my Chem. test in the morning but since sick call is at 8:15 maybe I’ll go to class at 7 for the test if I can write O.K. Now don’t worry too much, as it’s just a bad strain. I don’t think there is anything broken or I’d know it before now. If my letters drop off a day or so don’t get scared as maybe my hand will be bandaged so I can’t write. It’s not swollen much but it sure hurts. I’m not going to try to write a regular letter but I did want you to get this much. Nothing new on furloughs yet today. This is scarcely a letter and I doubt if you can read it but anyway you know the story in brief. Please don’t worry too much as I am O.K. except for this.


For this time,



About All I Care To See Of Fayetteville

Thursday Aug. 12, 1943

9:25 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am sweating again in late study. I got to bed at 9:30 or so last night after taking a shower. I was up sleepily at 5:15 and dressed for reveille. When I came back in I shaved and cleaned my teeth. Then I put on a clean uniform and made my bed before breakfast. My laundry this week will have 2 new prs. of pants & 1 new shirt. I sure hope this one pr. of my own pants doesn’t shrink. For breakfast I had potatoes, an egg, toast, butter, shredded wheat, milk and an orange. After eating I swept and at 7 we took off for Chem. class. We had our lecture and Sat. we get our weekly test. At 8 we went to Military and worked some more on maps. At 9 we went to Physics Lab and did an experiment on pulleys. It was easy for a change. At 11 we went to dinner; stew, potatoes, cauliflower, greens (mustard I think and I don’t like ‘em), salad, bread, butter and watermelon. After eating I took it easy until 12 when we went to study. I read a little Geog. but not much from 12 to 2. A big green bug about 2 ½ inches long just lit on my arm so I had to quit and knock him off. With the windows open, the light attracts everything. When an instructor covers 160 pages a day I give up. I can’t keep up with reading that much. Something has to go slack and it’s going to be Geography and History. No kidding he covered during the last of Tues. class & today 160 some odd pages in the book. At 2 when we went to class he gave us a nice little quiz also. As far as I can tell I missed 3 out of 20 or 85% which is pretty good considering I wasn’t ready for it. If I can pull a B in Geography I’ll be happy but more surprised. At 3 I went back to the dorm and got a hair trim instead of going to study. At 4 we had free campus today instead of drilling so Freese and I went over to the Union to play ping pong but the place was closed. We had a limeade and came back. At 5:15 I went to supper after reading your Mon. & Tues. letters which I got today. That’s real service too. I had spaghetti, peas, salad, bread, butter, milk and chocolate pie. After eating we went back to the Union and played ping pong until about 6:30. I have never played much but I caught on quick and won about 4 games out of 10. In a week or so I’ll be beating him pretty often. We came back and at 7 went to study. I read my English and since 9 I’ve studied my Algebra and Trig. That brings me up to now. I could read some history but I suspect I won’t get to it. I have 3 letters of yours that I better get at now. Sat-Sun. Aug. 7-8 – I’m scarcely anything when it comes to singing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. You may like the stove better once you get acquainted with its peculiarities and differences. I haven’t heard from Sunfield in quite awhile. I haven’t heard from Hugh since I’ve been here. I wonder if he may have been sent over. Mon. Aug. 9 – Now this furlough deal is really getting complex and I don’t know how it will turn out I’m sure. Of course there is the possibility that I won’t get any but forgetting that for the time being here are the new developments. The Lt. flatly stated to one of the kids that our furloughs start at midnight, Sat. Sept. 4 and run to midnight Sunday Sept. 12 or 8 days. He says unless he receives official orders he will not give any passes to us so we can leave before midnight. This may be changed but if it is not it means this – since only 1 train goes north here a day we miss the one on Sat. night and have to wait until 8 p.m. Sunday night for the next one. That loses 20 hrs. Then we have but one train from the north a day so we have to come in at 6 a.m. on that Sun. or lose another 18 hours. That’s 1 ½ days there plus 2 on the train only leaves 4 ½ at home. Now all this is assuming I go by train. Now this afternoon a paper was put on the bulletin board asking all men interested in having a bus chartered to go as far as St. Louis to sign up. If all this other stuff is true and it very probably is (judging by everything else the Col’s done so far) I decided that was probably my best bet so I signed the list as “interested” along with about 70 other guys. If the bus leaves right after midnight we’ll be in St. Louis before Sunday noon at least and in Chicago by train from St. Louis by 6 p.m. probably. Then just how long it takes to get to Lansing is another story but I should be there by midnight. Of course they haven’t made anything definite yet but there has been enough response so we’ll soon have a time schedule and prices published I imagine. If they refuse to let us go until midnight that is my best setup. I’ll be here 8 months and when I get a chance I want to leave but fast. But all of this puts a crimp in our plans. If I wait for Pop and have him come it means I lose a day at home with everybody. That is a big question. I know he’s been planning on it for a long time and I hate to disappoint him but it’s out of my control. I think I might better get off as fast as I can. Now please tell me what you think and what to do as there is still time. Of course it may all change overnight but it seems to be gradually solidifying now. If Pop got in on Thurs. or Friday we still couldn’t be together except for 1 hour each night. I can’t leave the campus until Sat. afternoon so he’d be sort of alone until I did get loose. Then we’d have until Sunday night here but there would be nothing much for us to do that would take that long and to come down to the point, I want to spend all the time I can someplace beside Fayetteville. He and I could catch an early Sunday bus but 38 hrs. is too long too. By having a chartered bus making no stops we expect we can make pretty good time to St. Louis & then catch the 1st train to Chicago. Now if as you say Pop came back with me we could get in at 6 and spend the day together here and he could go back on Monday night say at 8. I imagine I’ll be back under restrictions starting at midnight but we’d have 18 hours to wander around together here. Maybe under uncertain conditions like there are it would be better. Then if somebody gets good hearted & lets us go early and catch the Sat. train I’ll wish I hadn’t discouraged Pop. I believe tho that a bus will outspeed this cattle train that runs thru here. It stops at every crossroad to look for automobiles. The way I figure I’ll either send or bring my laundry that last week. Then the stuff I send the week before on about Aug. 28 just keep and don’t send as I wouldn’t be here when it came and also that way I’ll have a clean uniform or two at home without dragging any along. C. The theme on Al came mostly from my thesis with the help of my Chem. book here. I’ve seen about all I care to see of Fayetteville. I doubt if discharges will come fast after the war and you forget the longer we stay in school the longer we are apt to be in the army because the more we’re worth and the more we’ve cost. A shirt gets dirty in no time on a train but one blue one might last Dad. Dad says he would get here at 7:10 a.m. but I think he’ll find its 6 instead but I’m not positive of the exact time. It will cost me about $23 I imagine for round trip by train. If I go by this bus I don’t know how it will run. Time and not money is the object with me. The Grand Trunk only goes to Chicago. There are a lot of lines from there to St. Louis. Then you get the Frisco line to here. We could work it fine but there won’t be 2 or 3 days that we can be together before my furlough starts and once it starts I begrudge them that 20 hrs. I could be at home. Don’t worry about that wash as it wasn’t any uniforms and I have lots of socks & stuff. That covers your Tues. letters too I guess. Now I really am not sure what is best to do and I hate to have Pop disappointed because he’s been planning on this and it was my idea but I think you know how I feel. Another 20 hours at home is just that much better the way I look at it. If it changes so we catch that Sat. night train then it would be different but after 8 months another 20 hrs. at home is important to me. Now please be honest and tell me what you think. Now if tomorrow the whole thing changes again then I can figure out something else but that’s the way things stand tonight. So at 10:22 I’ll say good night and