Reconnoitering The Situation

Tues. July 4, 1944

3:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m back on my old bunk again writing. When I finished writing to you downtown I and a kid I came in from Texarkana with got a breakfast. I had rice krispies, toast, butter, grapefruit juice and a piece of custard pie. Then he decided to stay in town to write and I headed for camp. After I got here I wish I could have spent the rest of the 15 hours or so at home. I got here at about 12:45 I guess. I got off the bus where we lived and nobody in sight. The barracks were padlocked and empty. I heard a rumor before I left that we were moving so I reconnoitered the situation. I discovered the motor pool was still where it had been so I went over and hunted up one of the kids. Our outfit had moved back up here just a block from where we were in the first place. He was coming up so I rode along. I walked in the barracks and see about 4 familiar faces. Oh things have really happened while I was gone. I understand they moved twice. First into the field and then here although I haven’t confirmed that. Our strength is now 206 men in the company. That’s just 44 men too many. They sure went overboard sending us men. There are stripes all over the place. I guess the place I left was pretty hard to fill. The 1st/Sgt. said they had 2 men working. I didn’t show myself over there as I didn’t want to be put to work. I still haven’t surrendered my furlough although it isn’t doing me anymore good. My class A pass will cover me now. There are a mess of the boys out on furlough now. If they keep our full quota of 15% out all the time I’ll be due for another one in Oct. but I doubt if they’ll ever let us send out 30 men even tho’ that is only 15%. Sounds good anyway doesn’t it. It’s good I came back to camp early. First of all, I had to hunt up my stuff. I managed to corner my foot locker and barracks bags in the supply room. Then I hunted up a place to live. I’m upstairs now with Hqs. Platoon. I got a bed and carried all my stuff up. Then I unpacked and rearranged and sorted everything and got my junk in order. That took awhile you can imagine. I got my laundry sorted out and got 2 sets of suntans ready for the cleaners. Then I took a good long shower and put on clean clothes. The skin is really rolling off my back now. When I got dressed I collected my mail. I did pretty well. Besides your 2 letters I had letters from Elmo, Lillis, Julius, & Hugh and cards from Marie and Leonard Freese. That’s 2 in 10 days from Hugh. This one is dated May 31. Freese sent me a card from Vancouver Wash. He got his furlough finally but it wasn’t the good kind if you know what I mean. It’s the first he’s seen his folks in the 16 months or so he’s been in. Julius got right after that letter and answered in a hurry. He only got 4 weeks boot training instead of the 8 most of them get. I wrote to him on Thurs. wasn’t it and he answered Sat. I quote part of his letter – “I got your typed letter and also the one your mother wrote. I like her letters – and they sound just like her as if she were talking to me. You know some people write letters that just don’t seem to sound like them and I sometimes think that I am that way.” unquote. So you see your boy likes your letters because you are down to earth and “as you are” in your writing. So now you have 2 boys to write to. Freeze said he was freezing out there. Elmo had 2 letters – one June 11 & one June 25. His boy was home from a Sun. (the 18th I guess) until Thurs. so that was while I was home too. He took the car back with him but he said he figures he won’t need it over 30 days so I guess he expects to shove off for somewhere. Marie just sent a card. I owe her answers to 2 cards & a letter now so I guess I’ll have to get at it. I’ll be plenty busy tomorrow. I’ve got just 4 times the work I did have to do before. I took my suntans to the P.X. after I read my mail and then I came back and I’ve been sitting here writing. The first thing Lt. Staerk did was tell me to get that patch off. It hasn’t been authorized he says. So I let him cut it off for me. They’ve already had 2 wks. of basic & go on bivouac once a week now – Wed. nights. I don’t expect I can make it though. I haven’t looked but I’ll probably be C.Q. tomorrow night anyway. I guess I picked the best time for a furlough all right. I missed a lot of work here although I’ll probably have catching up to do and besides I had the best time for a furlough I think all way around. I felt pretty good until I saw things around here. Then it knocked my spirits for awhile but after I thought it over I decided it wasn’t going to be too bad. But I’d sure like to be back where I was June 17, with the same things ahead of me. Well that’s what’s what up to 4:40 p.m. so I guess I’ll sign off for a time. Tomorrow it’s the old grind again. The payroll is really going to be a beaut with over 200 men. Oh me.

Back at 9:40. They are trying to feed about 400 men in one mess hall so I got disgusted with the chow line and skipped supper. I looked for Sam & Rudy but didn’t find them. Their outfit is across the street yet but they got a lot of new men too and I wasn’t able to find the boys. So I put my stationery under my arm and headed for Ferd’s co. He was in tonight so we sat around and talked awhile. Something backfired and he hasn’t got his furlough yet and doesn’t know when he will get it now. He made Pfc. but that’s as far as he’ll be able to get over there I guess. At about 6:30 we left. We played a game of ping pong and then caught the bus and went to a show in the other part of camp. It was “Ghost Catchers” with Olson & Johnson. It was a crazy sort of thing but a relief from war pictures and stuff like that. I just got back and turned in my furlough. I hated to part with it. Things have changed plenty around here in those 2 weeks. They aren’t playing any more. They have a new kind of morning report also I see so that’s something more. The old one wasn’t complicated enough. Well that’s today. I probably answered your Thurs. & Fri. letters pretty well when I was home but I’ll look through quickly and see what needs mentioning. Thurs. June 15 – You bet Julius likes you. How’s Pop doing with the flag now? Judging by the past 2 weeks you don’t have to wait for people to go to bed to have the house quiet down. It’s always quiet. I like my job but I have a hunch it’s going to be a slight headache for awhile until things get straightened up a bit. Right now this outfit is full of 4-F’s (or about the same). Hugh likes to get letters I guess. I’ll have to get at it and write a few this week.

Fri. June 16 – They just turned the lights out on me so I’m out doors writing under the front porch light or whatever you want to call it. Add another patch to the list. I expect this one will be authorized later on and we can wear it.

Well I didn’t answer much but we discussed most of everything at home. So that’s it for this time. 10:15 and time I headed for bed as I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since Sat. night. It was swell while it lasted but it’s like everything I guess. Anyway it was a doggone good 2 weeks. So for tonight I’ll sign off.




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