Archive | December, 2011

Thanks a million to all of you

30 Dec

December 29, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Mom

I got the package from you all today. Thanks a million to all of you. The gloves and writing paper certainly are nice. Tell pop thanks for the tobacco and Bill for the cigarettes. Cake and candy come in good anytime.

I still don’t know anymore about where I’ll be in January but we are going to the desert soon for sure. There’s a chance that I’ll get my furlough sooner but as it stands now I get it according to schedule. The battery had to turn in a report as to how many flat cars it would take to ship too, and that may mean we’ll be pulling out for somewhere soon.

Have you all gotten the box of dates I sent yet? I just now got Helen’s box. Gee whiz it had everything in it: shower slippers, lots of tobacco (one of those John Middleton blend sets), a pipe, set of toilet articles, and a candy box. She sure is good to me. I believe I got the best girl in the world. I hope I can always keep her, she’s the first girl I was ever really in love with.

Love to all, Tom


I had a very nice Christmas (thanks for the lift Constance Moore!)

27 Dec

December 27, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Happy New Year

Dear Mom

Considering I wasn’t at home. I had a very nice Christmas. I really enjoyed myself.

I’ll start out and tell you all about it: well, Daryl Keller, Ray Gaspar and I left Friday evening for Los Angeles, we got there about 9 p.m. and couldn’t find any place to sleep. We wandered around L.A. in U.S.O. clubs and all around. Everybody was in that Christmas Eve spirit and it was a lot of fun just to walk around. We went to a hotel lobby and went to sleep in the chairs but pretty soon a guy came around, woke us up and asked us if we wanted a free bed, we said sure so he led us down the street and into a building where they had a lot of cots and we slept there. It was a Jewish organization, but they were awfully nice. We had a free breakfast too.

About 8 a.m. Saturday morning I left Ray and Darl to go out to Aunt Bess’. I got a street car out to Universal Studios, or rather I meant to go to North Hollywood and I got off there by mistake so I was lost. I was walking up past a little hotel and I asked an old man where Lockheed Aircraft was and he told me where it was then asked my where I was from. I told him and he said he had been to Roanoke a lot and then said he was going up the road and he would take me part the way.

He owned the hotel and took me in and showed me all around. I met his family and then he got the car out and took me up as far as he was going (that’s California hospitality for you.) I finally got over to Aunt Bess’ and spent the day over there. Audrey had a lot of her friends over and I had a real nice time. Edgar who is stationed down in San Diego got to go home for Christmas. I slept over their Christmas night and I had planned to meet Darl and Ray at Hollywood and Vine so I left Aunt Bess’ early Sunday morning.

We rambled around Hollywood sight seeing and having a good time in general. Sunday afternoon we decided to go to Beverly Hills so we started hitchhiking. Well we were standing along the side of the road and (this is the best part of our trip) here comes a big Chrysler New Yorker with a beautiful girl in it. She stopped and picked us up. We got in and were talking to her about the weather, Hollywood, and stuff like that. Ray asked her if she had ever been to Beverly Hills before and had she ever seen them making movies. Well I thought I had seen her before and I was trying to figure out where. And when we drove up at the Beverly Hills Hotel I decided to ask her who she was so I did, she just said “Oh, I’m Constance Moore.” I guess you know we were three pretty surprised soldiers to find out we had been riding all that way with a movie star.

In the tennis court at the hotel we watched Katherine Hepburn play tennis for a while. We walked around Beverly Hills for a while and saw some of the stars’ home. After that we started back to Camp. Now you see why I said I had a pretty nice Christmas.

Guess I’ll close for now. I hope this Christmas will be the last one I have to spend away from home.

Love to all, Tommy

Here it is Christmas Day

25 Dec

December 25, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Mom

Here it is Christmas Day and I am over at Aunt Bess’. I got off from Friday night til Monday morning, so I have right much time and I’m enjoying Christmas more than I would have at camp.

They talk like we may be going out to the desert about the middle of January. I don’t know much about it but I don’t imagine  we will stay very long.

I’ll write again as soon as I get back to camp. I am having a nice Christmas after all, and I hope  you all are too. I’ve been thinking what you would be doing today. I miss being there a lot but maybe I’ll be there for next Christmas.

Love to all, Tom

P.S. Aunt Bess says for you to be sure and come out.

Waiting for my furlough won’t be so hard I guess

25 Dec

December 20, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Pop

I got two cards from you today. I hope mom can come out. The best way to come would be by Chicago I imagine. You can catch a straight through train from Chicago to Los Angeles and it stops in Riverside. That is the Challenger.

How is the railroad raise coming? Will this strike affect you any? I hope the raise does come through cause I know it will help a lot.

Waiting for my furlough won’t be so hard I guess. It’s a pretty easy life here at Camp Haan and as long as I stay here instead of going through Port of Embarkation and maybe overseas, it’s ok with me.

Love to all, Tom

The first bunch left for their furloughs this morning

25 Dec

December 18, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Mom

I got a letter from you today. I want to spend Christmas with Aunt Bess if I can and I may be able to get about a three day pass.

The first bunch left for their furloughs this morning. There are sixteen groups to go and I am in the sixteenth. The way it stands now that puts my furlough next August. One of the boys that left this morning is in my gun section and he is going to be in Roanoke. I gave him your address and he is going to come by if he gets a chance.  I thought you all might like to talk to him and I want you to send my camera tripod and that cable release back by him.

If you wanted to come out here the best place to come would be Riverside and you could probably be able to stay in Camp Haan at the guest house. I would be able to see you more and I could probably be able to get off and we could go over to see Aunt Bess. Los Angeles is only about 50 miles from here.

I got Aunt Emma’s box and it was real nice. I have found where I can get all the film I want so never mind getting me any.

Love to all, Tommy

Greetings from Riverside

24 Dec

Riverside - the county seat of Riverside County has a population of about 30,000. Here is a progressive city of wondrous charm.

December 16, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Pop,

I won’t get over to see Aunt Bess this weekend because I won’t get a pass. I would like to go back as soon as I can tho. I am helping direct a play here at camp too. I like that kind of stuff.

Love, Tom

I hope we will be home for good by next Christmas

24 Dec

December 15, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Dear Mom

I haven’t felt much Christmas spirit this year and I don’t guess I will. I hope I can get to spend Christmas with Aunt Bess tho, that would help some. I hope we will be home for good by next Christmas though. I like it right much out here and everything but still there ain’t no place like home. I hope it won’t last so much longer.

I hope our raise does go through, it will help pay off my debts. Bernard wants to buy that suit of mine and I didn’t pay but $14 for it so I will sell it for $10. He wants to give me what I paid for it but if he will give you the ten dollars that I owe you he can have the suit. Do you think that will be ok?

Love to all, Tom

P.S. I sent you all a little Christmas present from me to all of you. I hope you enjoy it.