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I like it here except for sleeping on the ground

30 May
April 19, 1944
Shreveport, Louisiana

Hi William

Just be patient, I’ve got a lot of camping equipment for you but I haven’t gotten all I want to get yet. I have been turning in the stuff for new stuff and it takes a little time cause if I turn it all in at once they’d get suspicious. Here’s what I have: a canteen outfit, cup canteen and cover; an infantry field pack, a pup tent (brand new); and a few other little things. Let me know if you need a mess kit and I’ll get one of those too. I don’t know whether you’ll want to use the infantry pack or not but it is good to carry your bedding in. We’re still camped here in the same place and it might be some time before we pull out.

I get my furlough in about two months, it’ll probably come about the last of June. I hope we don’t move before then unless its closer home. I like it here except for sleeping on the ground and I’m getting used to that.

Guess I’ll close for this time.

Tom

Deep in the heart of Texas

23 May
March 21, 1944
Texas

Hello Bill

I’m deep in the heart of Texas now I guess. We’re about 50 miles west of Leesville. This maneuver is about over but I think we will start another one.  I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to mail this pup tent I have for you home but I will as soon as I get a chance.

There were two other men who went after prisoners at the same time as we did. They both got drunk and got in jail and they had to send two more men after them. That’s really something.

I sure did enjoy my time at home and I hope I’ll get my furlough soon, cause I’m more anxious than ever to get back.

Guess I’ll have to close for now. Write me soon.

So long, Tom

P.S. I sent another envelope full of match covers from St. Louis. Did you get them?

I’m deep in the heart of Texas

23 Jan

January 23, 1944

Texas (in route)

Hi Jitterbug!

I’m deep in the heart of Texas now and we’ve been traveling three days. We’re at a place named Childress now; they let us get off and roam around a bit. Here’s a couple of  match covers I picked up along the line tho.

We’ve been having a lot of fun on this train you know, talking to girls and everything. I was talking to a couple back in Childress. But there ain’t as many pretty girls in Texas as there were back in California. One place where we stopped back in California was right beside an orange grove. I guess you know, we’re still eating those oranges.

You remember Earnest Fawcett and Charlie Dilbin and Hugh Ferguson? All of them are writing me. Fawcett’s in Kentucky, Dilbin and Paris Island, and old Ferguson in New York City. I believe all of them will get home before I do and all of them went in after I did. I ought to get a furlough after maneuvers are over though. I hope so anyhow. I’m glad mom got to talk to Reg Powell. I sure will be glad when I get a chance to come home.

So long, Tom

the Sergeant has as much trouble getting me up as mom used to

17 Jan

January 17, 1944

Camp Haan, California

Hello Squirt!

I am kinda taking turns about writing you all. I write to one of you and that letter will be for everyone. We’ve been pretty busy the last few days getting our train ready. It’ll be ready to roll tomorrow but I think we’ll leave about the last of this week.

I got a letter from mom yesterday. I’m glad to hear the pass they got won’t bother the pass request for 1944. I’m awfully sorry they didn’t get to come out because I’m sure they would have liked to see California. I kinda hate to leave this wonderful weather myself. The last few days have been warm enough to go swimming and wearing the winter uniform is pretty uncomfortable. The nights are cold though, and it’s pretty cold getting up in the morning. The Sergeant has about as much trouble getting me up as mom used to.

We’ll probably only be on maneuvers about 5 or 6 weeks. It’s gonna be pretty tough in those swamps but I’d rather be there than in Oregon.

Love to all, Tom

I never expected you to be dancing with Lucille Boone

13 Jan

January 7, 1944

Camp Haan, California

Hi Bub!

Guess it’s about time I was writing you. I have had two letters from you and haven’t answered either one of them. I’ve got some match covers but I’m at the Service Club so I’ll send them the next time I write. You must be doing ok with the girls, I never expected you to be dancing with Lucille Boone.

We have a lot of those Douglas A20’s over at March Field only we call it the Havoc. They teach us all the planes by the name instead of the number. I know most all the American planes and most of the important German, Jap, and British planes.

I enclosed a picture of me with a Thompson sub-machine gun. It’s taken in front of one of the huts like I sleep in. I got my experts medal the other day and also my marksmans medal for the rifle.

I sure will be glad when I get to see you again, I’ll bet you’ve grown a lot and I’d like to see you dancing too.

Guess I’ll close for now.

So long, Tom

It ought to be a lot of fun

26 Nov

November 25, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Hello Bill

How you coming along? I got your letter and I would have answered sooner but we keep pretty busy out here on the desert. We’re out all day and I usually go right to bed after supper I’m so tired. We have to fire on Monday and Tuesday and then we’ll start back to Haan. We’re going on a problem on the way back. Another outfit is on its 5 day problem and we’re going to attack them and try to take over their gun positions. It ought to be a lot of fun.

You say you want to take a night hike when I get home, well all I got to say is heck with you, by golly! I got enough hiking without you wanting me to go hiking.

Helen sent me a copy of the Jefferson News and it sure was fun looking at it. Makes me kind of homesick though, reading about everything going on around school. I sure would like to be back there.

So long for now, Tom

I’ll be satisfied to finish out the war

23 Nov

November 17, 1943

Camp Haan, California

Hi “Jive Cat”

I’m on guard tonight and it’s raining like the dickens. The real rainy season is beginning here now and it rains all the time. It’s still warm here. It gets colder on the desert than it does here at Haan. I like the climate here a lot.

We’ll be going back to the desert Monday and I’m not sure how long we’ll be there. I’m hoping to get our furloughs pretty soon after that. After I get home and back again I’ll be satisfied to finish out the war. Our training will be up then and we might be stationed somewhere in the U.S. or we might be shipped across. They use anti-aircraft a lot to guard airfields and things like that and it’s hard to tell what we’ll do.

So long for now, Tom