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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

We are going into the Third Army

14 Jan

January 9, 1944

Camp Haan, California

Dear Mom

They told us yesterday that we would be leaving Camp Haan about a week from today. We are going to Lousiana for maneuvers which will take about one or two months. I kinda hate to leave here but it will be a lot closer to home. It looks like everytime I try to see you all something happens.

We are getting out of the A.A.A.T.C. (anti aircraft training center) which has been making a lot of stiff rules for us, and I am glad of that. We still do the same thing, of course but we are going into the Third Army. It may mean that I’ll get my furlough earlier because their ruling is probably different.

Maneuvers will probably be pretty tough but I’ll be glad to get them over with. We are the first outfit to be taken to Louisiana from Camp Haan for maneuvers, most of them go to Oregon. Anyhow I’m glad to see us moving east and we’ll probably move further east after because the order says we won’t come back to Camp Haan.

I guess I’ll close now, I want to go to church. I am in Los Angeles and I want to visit one of the large churches. The pastor of the Methodist Church at home sent me a copy of the Upper Room and a very nice letter.

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

We don’t work so hard now

12 Jan

January 4, 1944

Camp Haan, California

Dear Pop

I’m sorry you fell down Mr. Flora’s steps but I would have liked to seen it. I hope you are ok now though.

I think it’ll be safe if mom comes out the 17th or 18th like they planned. We are going out on the desert the 17th maybe and planning to stay 5 days so it might be best if they could start a couple days later.

We don’t work so hard now. We get up at 6:30, go to work at 8, have about an hour and a half for lunch and then we’re on duty til about 3:30, after that we have alethetics til retreat 6:00 then we’re off. We usually have classes during the day and artillery drill. We have a 5 mile hike once a week.

Camp Haan is about 6 miles from Riverside and about 53 miles to Los Angeles. It cost $2.00 on the bus.

Love to all, Tom

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.