Archive | February, 2012

You can hear the infantry cussing when we pass through in the trucks

17 Feb

February 16, 1944


Dear Mom

We are finishing up the first phase of our maneuvers today. It has lasted two weeks and we’ve really had some hard times. It turned cold as everything the other day and rained on top of that, we really got stuck in some mud then. There are about 20 trucks and five jeeps in the battery and all but one truck was stuck. It took two days to get them all out. Still, these maneuvers are not as bad as the field problems we had out on the desert.

My furlough has been moved up some because three of the men in our section went AWOL and two went to the air corps, but I don’t know when I’ll get it, probably about June. I would kinda like to have my one year service ribbon to wear home and maybe I will but I still want to get home as soon as I can.

I found out the other day that there is one other boy in ‘C’ battery that is born the same day as me and we are the youngest men in the battery. I used to think we were having it tough in the A.A. but the infantry sure does a lot of walking down here. You can hear them cussing when we pass through in the trucks. We are working with the infantry and the field artillery down here. The infantry goes in front, then the field artillery, and we set our guns around them to protect them from aircraft. It’s right interesting and good training.

Guess I’ll close for this time. We are getting a rest period before we start the next phase and if I get a pass I’m gonna try to call, but I don’t know whether I’ll get to a town or not.

Love to all, Tom


The chocolate cake will come in good out here

17 Feb

February 13, 1944


Dear Mom

Today is Sunday but it doesn’t seem much like it. We had a rest period yesterday but we went back on maneuvers this morning. It seems kind of strange to contrast this Sunday with some I used to have. It has turned very cold and that is making it very hard for us.

I got your letter yesterday and Bill’s. Tell dad if he can get me some more flashlight batteries I sure can use them. The Coast Artillery pins are for the kids. And mom, whatever you do, don’t insult the Coast Artillery by calling its insignia the Coast Guard insignia.

I’m near a town named Deridder. I guess it’s about 20 miles from Leesville. We will be in Texas sometime during the maneuvers to do some firing.

The chocolate cake will come in good out here and I can’t think of anything better I’d like for my birthday. Oh yes, if I could get some of those heavy boot socks like dad used to have they would be good.

I had a letter from Helen yesterday too. We’re getting along ok. She sure is a sweet girl.

Love to all, Tommy

We are moving all over the place

17 Feb

February 7, 1944


Dear Pop,

I am on maneuvers and we are moving all over the place. That raise I get will come in good for a furlough. You get it for me. Use my regular address when you write. I can’t put it on a card.


I am in the Fourth Army

6 Feb

February 5, 1944

Shreveport, Louisiana

Dear Mom,

I got the letter you wrote to Camp Polk and the one to Shreveport both today. I am not attached to Camp Polk, that was only the de-training point. We moved out of our original camp this morning and we start on maneuvers tomorrow. We are about 60 miles from Camp Polk. We will be on maneuvers for several months. I like it a lot here in Louisiana; it’s warm and where we are now is not muddy or anything.

I’m sending some pictures of some of the fellows here that I’d like to keep. I can’t keep my drivers license and social security card too because I can’t carry any identification on maneuvers except my dog tags. We are simulating real combat and I have to tear up my letters and everything. I am in the Fourth Army instead of the Third like I said before.

It feels good to be closer to home. Guess I’ll close for now.

Love to all, Tom

We will start on our maneuvers next Sunday

1 Feb

January 31, 1944

Shreveport, Louisiana

Dear Mom

I like it here ok. We will start on our maneuvers next Sunday. I was on a pass this last weekend. I stayed in this little town about two miles from where we are camping, Leesville. I tried to call you all but I never got the calls through. I waited about six hours but I had to come back so I canceled them.

I sent a roll of film home and I wish you would get them developed for me. There’s some pictures of Audrey and her baby and some of the fellows around here. Tell pop that I met that Smith boy that used to work in Mr. Barnett’s section, at the Storehouse, in Leesville. He is in a 40 millimeter anti-aircraft outfit same as I am. I know a lot of boys in the army in this vicinity and I expect I’ll run across some more of them during the maneuvers.

The weather is warm down here and it doesn’t get cold like it did in California during the night. I’m not near any towns so I ought to save up some more money. I have around $60 and tomorrow is payday so I’m doing alright. I wish I could have talked to you all on the phone but I’ll try again whenever I get a chance.

Love to all, Tom

P.S. Excuse the dirt on the second page but our mascot, a collie pup, was running around and stepped on it where I had it laying beside me.