Tag Archives: personal

I sweat more than I ever did on the desert

17 Oct
June 18, 1944
Camp Stewart, Georgia

Dear Mom

We moved into the camp yesterday and we have really nice barracks. The only trouble is it’s awfully crowded here. To get a drink anywhere you’ve got to stand in a long line and everything like that. It’s hot as everything too. I sweat more than I ever did on the desert.

We go out on a field problem tomorrow and for the next few weeks we’ve got a lot of stuff like that to do. I don’t think I will get my furlough in July so it won’t bother your trip to Indianapolis.

You know, I don’t know whether Helen is home or still in Tennessee. I’ve only had one letter from her since I came back from my furlough and she didn’t say when she was coming in the letter, so I don’t know. If I didn’t think so much of Helen I’d quit her; she’s the hardest girl to get along with I ever saw.

Love to all,



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

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

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

And now a word from our sponsors . . .

4 Jan

1943 was an exciting year for 18 year old Pfc. Tom Ferguson. He was drafted into the army and shipped out almost immediately after graduation. Sent to Camp Haan, California, dad was trained in anti-aircraft artillery and the army way of life. He saw a handful of movie stars and toured around Los Angeles and Hollywood. But he also learned a long hard lesson in the strength of homesickness.

I am always moved and humbled by dad’s upbeat tone and obvious concern that his parents not worry about him. When I read these letters, I imagine grandma and granddaddy reading them in the breakfast nook in their kitchen and looking for reassurances that their son was truly alright. I can’t imagine what sending a son off to war must be like. I’m grateful an entire generation had the courage and will to do just that.

1944 sees Pfc. Tom Ferguson on the move. There’s maneuvers in and around Shreveport, Louisiana and training in Camp Stewart, Georgia. D-Day comes and goes. He and Helen call it quits on good terms. Dad fills out a form Last Will and Testament the army gives him leaving everything to his parents and heads across the ocean to England and then over to France during one of the  worst and coldest winters in European history.

Best of luck and Godspeed allies!

-your grateful daughter Shelley

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

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.