Tag Archives: anti-aircraft guns

Camp Stewart has WACs too!

15 Oct

June 15, 1944

Camp Stewart, Georgia

Dear Mom

We’re moving again, out of these tents into the main part of Stewart into barracks. I’m glad of that. It will be a lot nicer and Stewart has a lot of Service Clubs, movies, and everything like that. WACs too.

I broke my watch today, or rather it stopped. I think the main spring is broken. I won’t send it home until I find out whether I can get it fixed in camp or not, at Polk we had a place to get watches fixed and pretty cheap too. I don’t know whether they one here or not. We’re moving into the main camp Saturday.

We’re having a four week schedule that’s going to be pretty hard. It’ll be five day problems, firing and all that. After that we’ll probably start getting ready to go overseas. I won’t get a furlough until after this four weeks is over, but after that I expect I’ll get one. It’ll probably be in August.

All the news looks good now. I hope it won’t last much longer cause I sure am getting tired of this life. There ain’t no place like home, and when I get back I think I’ll stay around pretty close. We’ll guess I’ll close for this time.

Love to all, Tom

Starting on the last phase of maneuvers

26 May
March 30, 1944
Shreveport, Louisiana

Dear Mom

We are starting on the last phase of maneuvers tomorrow. It will be over the 4th of April and I expect we’ll be shipping out pretty soon after. I don’t know where we’ll go but I don’t think we’ll stay in Louisiana any longer because the maneuvers are over for good down here.

We have come back into Louisiana now. We worked back about a hundred miles into Texas and now we’re back close to Alexandria. It’s a little cool here now. It rained all night, night before last, and then turned out cool.

Earl’s letter was ver interesting. I guess he must still be in Sicily, and I see from his address that he is in the same kind of outfit that I am in, only his are probably 90 millimeter guns.

I’m glad that I’ll be able to go back to work for the N&W when I get back. I expect there’ll be a lot of men without a job after the war and a lot of confusion when they start coming back. It would be hard to get started unless I could get that job back.

Guess I’ll close for this time.

Love to all, Tom

Just like that old country church up at Bernard’s

14 May

February 21, 1944

Shreveport, Louisiana

Dear Mom

I haven’t gotten your box yet but it ought to get here today or tomorrow. I got an awfully nice box from Helen yesterday. It had a cake in it. The cold spell we are having left and it’s hot as everything today. I don’t mind the maneuvers at all as long as it stays warm, in fact it’s a lot better than living in a camp. We don’t have any reveille or training schedule, we just set our gun down and dig it in then lay around til we move again. Last night we sat down beside a church and they wouldn’t let us dig in so we had it easy. It was good to hear the service going on inside the church, just like that old country church up at Bernard’s. But then it doesn’t seem right to hear a church service going on and having an anti-aircraft gun setting out in the lot.

Love to all, Tom

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

17 Feb

February 16, 1944

Louisiana

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

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

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

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day

24 Nov

November 24, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Dearest Mom

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. We’re going to have a turkey dinner but still we go out and fire all day tomorrow so we don’t get any holiday. I’ve been working since 6:30 this morning and it’s 10:20 p.m. now and I just got off. We fired all day then moved gun positions, then I was working barracks bags this evening. I sure do wish I could be home tomorrow with the football game and everything. I guess I got a lot of things to be thankful for anyhow. I only pray that it won’t be so long before I’m home for good though.

Don’t worry, I’ll have enough money for my furlough. I’ve got $60 now and I’ll be paid again before our furlough. I hope we do get that raise dad was talking about, it’ll help out a lot.

We are living in Camp Irwin in big tents and we have stoves in them. It gets awfully cold here at night, a lot more than back at Haan.

Guess I’ll close for tonight, mom. I’ll be thinking about you all sitting around the table tomorrow.

Love to all, Tommy