Archive | September, 2011

Today was payday and I drew $43.60

30 Sep

September 30, 1943

Camp Irwin, Texas

Dear Mom,

We had our hike last night and it was 27 miles instead of 15. I don’t guess I have to tell you I was pretty tired by the time we got back in to camp. We haven’t had any rain for several days and it’s getting pretty dusty. That’s the worst thing about sleeping on the ground and when it rains we have a pretty big mess, too. These desert rains are really something.

Today was payday and I drew $43.60 and I collected about $6 I had lent out so I’m o.k. financially. We get to come in to Camp Irwin two or three times a week and I am in tonight. I got to take a shower and get a few Coca-colas. It was the first shower I’ve had since last Friday. They bring soft drinks out to our camp sometimes.

There is a British outfit out on the range with us and they have been in combat. They are pretty good on the guns and it’s real interesting to talk to them.

Thanks for the stamps. I don’t get much chance to buy them here because when we go into town the post office is closed. Tell Aunt Emma thanks for the package.

Love to all, Tom


Another card for Pop

30 Sep

I’m getting pretty tired of camping

28 Sep

September 28, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Hello Zoot Suit,

From what I hear you’ve taken up wearing my drapes. I thought you said you wouldn’t ever start wearing them. Well I knew you would break down and start wearing them sometime.

We’ve got to spend about two months out here on the desert sleeping in pup tents so I guess you know, I’m getting pretty tired of camping. I have a good sleeping bag and I keep plenty warm at night even though it does get pretty cold. When the war is over you and I ought to get one of these jeeps and travel all over the U.S. and camp around. We’ll both be pretty good at camping (or bivouacing as we call it in the army) and it would be a lot of fun.

I guess I’ll close for this time. Take it easy on the drapes.

So long, Tom (Duke of the Desert)

Another postcard for Pop

28 Sep

Sentinels of the desert, giant cactus (sahuaro)

L.A. is full of zoot suiters

27 Sep

September 27, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Dear Pop,

Here’s another card for your collection. We’re putting in pretty full days here and we don’t have lights. I never expected Bill would start wearing my drapes. If you want to see plenty of zoot suits you ought to see Los Angeles. L.A. is full of those Mexican zoot suiters and they’re mean as everything.

Love, Tom

A portion of "the floor of fame," Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California

Lucky enough to get a pass

27 Sep

USO letterhead

September 27, 1943

Barstow, California

Dear Mom,

I was lucky enough to get a pass and I’m in town this afternoon and tonight til 11:30. Barstow is 50 miles from where we are staying and they bring us here on trucks.

I haven’t seen rain at all until last night, but last night it looked like it made up for all that time in one big storm and it really rained. Of course we were in pup tents trying to sleep on the ground and I was expecting to float away anytime. I guess the rainy season is starting now and we’ll have a lot of it for a couple of months.

I haven’t heard from you all since last Sunday when I got Charlotte’s letter except for dad’s cards. I hope I get some mail soon because I sure do miss getting the letters from home.

We are having a pretty tough time out there on the desert and it’s harder now with the rain but it’s not as hot as it was when we were out there the first time. We have set up permanent gun positions and I guess we will go out and fire most of the days.

I’ll write again first chance I get. Write me a lot.

Love to all, Tommy

Firing the guns for the last two days

26 Sep

September 26, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Pop,

I haven’t written a letter lately because I haven’t got any stamps and I can’t get hold of any out here. Fred Haefer and the other two boys you mentioned are not in this battalion and I didn’t know they were out here. I guess they must be in another battalion. We have been firing the guns for the last two days. I guess that’s what we’ll do most of our time out here. Put my address like it is on this card.

Love, Tom

Camp Irwin postcard