Personally I’ll Take Ping Pong

Thurs. April 13, 1944

9:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m off again. So far I don’t know when, where or what for but I’m leaving before very long. The first Sgt. called about 15 of us in tonight and told us we are leaving. He said he didn’t know where we are going, when, if we are going to all go to the same place or anything. All he had was a list of our names and instructions to ask us if we preferred gov’t or private transportation. Sam & I are the only 2 Arkansas men in our company who are leaving. Most fellows asked for gov’t transportation. He & I took a chance & took private. I did it in hopes of a delay in route. Sometimes fellows get a delay of 7 or 8 days en-route. That’s all we can find out so far. He told us our clearance papers were coming through tonight so we may not be here long. You better hold up the mail until I’m arrived. Last night I shaved and got to bed as soon as I finished writing. We had the same old lineup this morning – up at 5:30, dressed, made bed & cleaned the barracks. Then reveille and breakfast – French toast, syrup, butter, bran flakes, milk & an orange. After breakfast we policed up and then fell out. After our morning parade we spent the whole morning on rifle firing positions, trigger squeeze, rifle calisthenics and assuming positions. My muscles are pretty well stretched by now. We came in at 11:30 for dinner. I had Swiss steak, potatoes, gravy, string beans, salad, bread, butter, and fruit salad. I got your Mon. letter this noon. At 12:30 we fell out again. Our 1st hour was on sight setting. Then we had an hour of unarmed combat on how to tie up a person. Then an hour of grenade throwing and an hour of physical hardening (they call it). At 4:30 we came in and changed to O.D.’s for retreat. After retreat we got the word from the Sgt. about our departure. For supper I had stew, salad, lima beans, butter, crackers & cake. After eating I cleaned my bayonet. Then I went over to L. Co. to see what they knew. A large number of men is leaving this Regt. Helle is going but Ferd & Freese aren’t. Nobody knows what it’s all about but a lot of guesses & rumors are afloat. At first I was happy to get out of this outfit but the more I think about it the more I’m wondering. I’ll know before long if it’s better or worse. I hope it’s better but with a large group like this going, it would appear to be just getting rid of the over strength in this division. My guess is we’ll go to some other division but I hope I’m wrong. We’ll probably know more before long. In case you don’t get any letters for a few days after this one don’t get excited. I might not be able to write for a while. I hope we are going north but I imagine we’ll stay in beautiful (?) Texas. I wish I could give you something definite because I know you’ll feel sort of uncertain but it’s all I know myself now. I hope we leave before we fire next Mon. I’d like to miss it if I could. When I got back from L. Comp. I cleaned my rifle. Then Sam & I walked down to the 395th to see some fellows we knew & see what they knew about things. They didn’t know about it so maybe it’s just from the 393rd. We talked awhile & then ate some ice cream & came back. That’s today. We’ve tried to add up 2 & 2 and see if we could figure out something but haven’t gotten far. We represent just about every branch, all kinds of training and all terms A.S.T.P. so there’s nothing to go by. My guess is we’re over strength here and are being sent to fill up some other division. Well that’s that so I’ll get to your letters –

Sat. –Sun. – April 8-9 – There are lots like Joe Lewis in this army. Send me the pictures from that roll when you get them. I’ve forgotten what some of them were. I’ve got some that Freese took Sunday if I’m here long enough to get them. Brown is crazy to enlist now. He might as well wait. There are no good deals left anymore. All they need are replacements so it’s just too bad for the guy coming in now. We are practically in the same position. Julius was deferred until Aug. 15. Property is high now but it will drop after the war. I’ve enough for a substantial down payment if you ever want it. You know where it is. Free time has about disappeared. I wish they’d send me someplace, put me on a job with something to do & none of this training & leave me there for the duration. I guess that’s too much to expect. We had had it pretty easy here for the infantry. It may get rougher at the next place. I’m prepared to meet most any situation from now on. Maybe Pop is letting the teeth get the better of him. He’s sort of a baby about stuff like that. You practically had to force him to wear glasses too. I haven’t waded any streams yet. Freese & I work on each other on this throwing stuff so we take it pretty easy on each other. The old men went some to weapons companies & hdqs. and about 2000 went to a P.O.E. when we came so I heard. I’m not very practical sometimes when I should be. They had Easter services here. Would you rather I’d go once in awhile. I don’t imagine it would hurt me any. I’m just a bit lazy. You 2 sure spend some rough Sundays. It never got to rain here Easter but it looked like it quite a lot during the day. Mon. – April 10 – There’ll be quite a space where that tree used to be. I’m way behind with my letters but I may as well wait now until I get a new address. I hope it’s minus an APO. It would be nice if you could find a good buy in a place but I imagine it’s pretty hard now. You two looked pretty perky while I was home & I felt pretty good too as you know. Still a person doesn’t feel secure or whatever the word is I’m trying to use when home on furlough. You sort of keep yourself from falling back into the good old groove because you know it will be so much harder to leave. Oh yes we have some great games if you like them. Personally I’ll take ping pong to bayonet or grenade. Believe it or not, a person is better off  in a heavy woods during lightning than outside. Never go to a lone tree but a heavy woods forms a grounded roof & acts the same as lightning rods. That’s a fact although many people don’t believe it. There were plenty of blisters. Some of the air corps feet can’t take it very well. I’m keeping the cocoa. It may come in pretty handy. Mrs. C. doesn’t write so I don’t either. Well that’s your letters and all the new I know. Its 10:15 and I want to shower yet so I’ll sign off. I hope we get some sort of a break out of this. So long for tonight.



Your wandering wondering


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