27 September, 2010

27 September, 1943 (2nd letter)

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 27, 1943     1800

Dearest Wilma -

I have a little time right now so I thought I’d start a letter. If I mail this in the morning you’ll hear from me Wednesday.

Today was kind of mixed up. In the first place one of the teeth I had filled the other day, kicked up. I went over to the clinic & had an x-ray which showed trouble deep in the tooth. So bingo they started drilling and nearly took my head off. They’re draining the tooth and I’ll need more work on it. I never did get up to the hospital. Late in the a.m. I was scheduled for a sex lecture and I got back in time for it. (It was gruesome.)

Around noon I got the letter from you, dear, that I should have received Saturday. I wish I had received it then because I might have asked you a few questions. Gee dear – practically on the eve of coming home to see me you go out with a fellow whose company you enjoy so much? Now you know I understand about your going out, but do you have to have such a good time dear? He must like you in more than just a friendly way to arrange to meet you at the train. Who is he? I told you I was jealous, I guess, and I certainly was when I read your letter. Well I had to tell you, darling, and I know you’ll tell me he’s just an old friend – as you’ve already implied, but remember – if I wrote something like going out for an evening, you’d think too, dear – wouldn’t you?

I’m waiting around to call you soon – so don’t go out, huh?

This p.m. an interesting thing turned up. It seems that the army is always presenting problems to me and leaves me with the decision to be made. An officer who used to be in our outfit – left it for the diplomatic service in Wash. That was about 10 weeks ago. His father was an Army officer & he, Bob, was born in Mexico, his mother being a native of Ecuador. He speaks French, Spanish and a couple of other languages fluently. Today he returned to Camp Edwards, called & left word for me to be around the area at 1500, that he had something very important to ask me. So I waited dear, and this is what he had to say: there’s a separate branch of the intelligence service, formed recently, to do highly technical saboteuring & demolition work in the theaters of war – European, N. African & Middle Eastern. The men travel in groups & for several groups there is one general director headquarters – in close collaboration with the Chief of Staff of the theater. For each headquarters – a medical officer is necessary, one with a knowledge of French and German. Without asking – while in Washington – he actually got permission to contact me – from the Surgeon General’s office, because he knew we were alerted. As it stands, I could get out of the 438th by just agreeing to go with this new group – but it has to be purely voluntary on my part. Talk about adventure, dear, boy! They train them to fly, jump from parachutes etc. A course is given in Wash. (about 1 mo.) and again when you arrive in the theater of choice. If I didn’t know you darling, and if I didn’t feel the way I do, if I didn’t love you, in other words – I think I’d sign up. I could tell my folks I was begin transferred. But darling – I want to come back to you and in ---

See, I told you I’d feel better after talking with you. I’ll miss not calling you dear whenever I want to.  I wish I was like Myrus –

Your statement about crying, dear – made me think. Were you happy or sad? Or was it both? I don’t cry too easily but I’ll bet there’ll be times when I’ll feel like it, Sweetheart – you’ve changed me in such a short time. How did you do it? And if I care for you so much now – aren’t you afraid how much I’ll love you when I really can?

Late p.m. I drove down to Falmouth with Charlie. We both bought combination trench coat, overcoat, wind-breaker – fully equipped with hood & neck protection. I really didn’t need it what with a regular overcoat, trench coat & oil skin – but it looked nice. It’s a new army regulation coat and when I put it on with all accouterments – I look like the male counterpart of Tess of the Storm Country – and as I always say, next week “East Lynne”.

I’m looking forward to your letter, darling, and also to calling you tomorrow. I’ll do my best to get a decision for the Holidays. Excuse me, dear, won’t you – for what I wrote about Herb – I didn’t mean to be so sharp. So long for now darling and

All my love

27 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 27, 1943     0720

Darling -

Je vous Ă¢ime beaucoup, but beyond that I’m in no dilemma, dear. By the time noted above, you should know that sick-call is now on. They’re streaming in in droves, the tent is crowded and someone is always asking questions – but by gum, dear – I’m bound to get this out in the a.m. mail so that you can get this tomorrow instead of Wednesday.

The moment your train pulled out I began to miss you terribly dear. I got home about 7:20, dear, and had a nice chat. They (the folks) thought you were swell, liked you immediately and admired your friendliness. Darling – from that quarter you have nothing to worry about.

A short time after I got home your mother called. She had got to worrying about you, your train etc. &  your father finally insisted that she call and get her mind satisfied. I did my best to do that for her and I believe she felt better.

I left for camp about 2045 and drove easily and by myself. I didn’t find the ride long or tedious. I felt happy in my thoughts about us, dear, wonderfully happy, and believe me, despite things I’ve told you about other girls – I have never felt so content, so stimulated, so proud. I’ll always feel that way about you – and more so.

Darling I really shouldn’t attempt to write a serious letter when I can’t be alone and quiet – but there’s some things I want to write over and over again.

This a.m. I’ll be pretty busy checking up on some of our boys at the hospital – question of their discharge before we leave. But whatever I do – my step will be springy and my spirit light, dear – because I’m very happy.

I’ll have to quit now, dear – or this won’t get out. I’ll call you – perhaps tonite, certainly Tuesday – about 1900 probably. Take care, dear – and I hope to see you soon. Regards to the girls – and

All my love

23 September, 2010

23 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 23, 1943     2130

Wilma dear,

It seemed strange letting the day go by without writing even a few lines. If the occasion arises ever when I don’t write as often as possible, always remember dear that it will be due to circumstances beyond my control. I hope that won’t happen often, because I know you like to receive letters as well as write them.
I received a letter from you today and it was very sweet of you to write some of the things you did, about Oct 9th etc. I know you mean it or you wouldn’t write it. Yes – I too wish I could spend some time around Westover and then in Boston, but right now wishes seem so futile. I shall miss you more than I hoped possible a couple of months ago, paradoxical as that may sound. But having got to know you this past summer will be a source of constant pleasant thoughts without which I would have hated to go away. The war cannot end too quickly for me, dear – but I am not sorry I’m part of it, because when it is all over I shall be proud of having been a part of it, and perhaps you will be too.

As I think of days and nights to come, of long intervals between times of hearing from you perhaps – let us say due to mail delays, of periods of wondering what you’re doing, of how you’re spending your time after school is over, of how bored and restless you may become – when I think of all these things, as I can’t help but think, I am amazed at the workings of a mind which makes one think that even at a great distance he may be able to hold someone’s interest, command someone’s thoughts and affection and maybe even further all these. The mind, and I speak generally, is truly a wonderful machine, a fascinator, an enticer – and I sincerely hope – not a deluder.

I’m really at it, dear. I sat down to jot down a short note just so you would receive some mail on Saturday as a sort of surprise, and here I am running away with myself. I dropped into the Medical tent for a final check-up before retiring and found the lantern burning and no one here. I believe this is the first time I’ve written you in quiet, and see the result dear. Contemporary philosophy has few well-known men, and I’m really not trying to crack the ranks, dear.

About Saturday – I shall try to see you as soon as I can, dear. I believe I’ll stop in at home (I pass right by), stay awhile and perhaps go to town to fix my watch and have my electric razor fixed again. It’s not working. Anyway I’ll call you as soon as I get in.

I guess I’ll go to bed dear and again excuse my wanderings. I sometimes feel better when I say or write things as they come out of my head. You’ll get used to it. I hope.

Good nite for now, dear – until Saturday.

All my love –

[Note from Fourth Child:  Sent to home address, not college address.]

22 September, 2010

22 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 22, 1943      1034

Wilma dear,

I’m starting fairly early this morning but I don’t know how far I’ll get. Today is just like last Wednesday, a drip of a day, but we’re fairly well covered here and I don’t mind too much. It’s a good day to write letters, but I’m kind of lazy about it. When I get thru writing to you dear, and a card to my folks – that’s about all I care to do. I owe Johnnie Johnson (former adjutant), & Col Pereira letters, as well as a friend of mine in Alameda, Calif, and a doctor at Pearl Harbor. I guess I’ll wait till I’m confined more before I write.

Yesterday evening, after being fortunate in getting the necessary parts – as I wrote you, a mechanic fixed my wheel. Everything is fine now and the other wheels are O.K. also – so raise the price again, dear – will you, please? Boy! I’m getting my ‘pleases’ in there. The mechanic got thru about 7 p.m. and for some reason or other I felt like talking with you, dear, and I was keenly disappointed when I found you weren’t in. My first message was that no one was in. Then whoever answered dug up Judie; I believe it was she who wore the head shawl. Anyway she told me where you were and why and seemed very solicitous about my contacting you. Thank her for me. And that’s how I arranged to call you at 2000 – and it was worth waiting for –

Your letter, dear, just came in and I’ve read it. It’s a great help for a gloomy day and I was indeed looking forward to it. You say you come right out with what you feel in your letters. Yes, you do – but that’s one of the things I like about you. Then you write that you’re tempted to say more but don’t because you feel I may think you sentimental. Now dear you know I’d never think that; you know I’m very sentimental myself; you didn’t think so at first, I know, but you should now – because one way or another I think I too have made myself clear. I think I’ve been very clear and direct and you must know by now how I feel about you. What you mean by ‘fearing a misunderstanding’ I don’t understand myself. Why should I misunderstand you, dear, and about what? I guess we’ll have to talk that over. As for your having to read between the lines, as it were, in my letters – if you do, it’s because I’ve always been less expressive than most people, and certainly less so than some fellows you’ve mentioned. But dearest – you know what I mean and what is more, you’ll continue to know; furthermore I’m sincere.

Dear I hope you’re taking care of your cold, getting plenty of sleep and getting plenty of rest. I hope this reaches you before you take off for home – and I do miss you very much. Here’s to the week-end and you, dear. Until then,

All my love

20 September, 2010

20 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 20, 1943     1030

Dearest Girl,

I didn’t think I could get around to writing you so early in the day, but there seems to be a break in the continuity of commotion just now and I’m taking full advantage of it.

But to start at the beginning, dear, let me tell you first what a perfectly pleasant week-end I had. As a matter of fact I believe I told you, but it seemed even more perfect in retrospect and I want you to know that. It was all too short, unfortunately, but I suppose we must be thankful for what we get and not complain.

Your suggestion as to our return trip, dear, was very good. It was only 23 miles to Palmer and it seemed that we arrived there in about no time. The road was good, too. We arrived here at 0020 which was very good time, totaling 3 ¾ hours together with all stops; not bad. That afforded us a reasonably good night’s sleep, although I must admit I could have slept a little later than 0545 this morning. Tonight, anyway, I’ll be in bed by 2000.

Back in camp this morning, dear, there’s nothing particularly new in the line of rumors, which in itself is somewhat unusual for this battalion. After sick call this a.m., I examined a few officers for overseas status and then brought my results up to the Triple A TC surgeon’s office (antiaircraft artillery training center). I believe I won’t go to see the dentist today, dear, since as a result of an impartial poll – the odor of onion was still quite detectable on my breath. I’ll go tomorrow without fail. Incidentally it was noble of you to take a couple of bites of onion, dear, and don’t think I wasn’t appreciative of it. True love was never put to a more trying test, and you came thru with flying colors.

Your girl friends dear were or should I say are swell and I don’t blame you for being so fond of them.

As I was saying – (Several things turned up, dear, and this is the first opportunity to start anew. I told you I couldn’t write until the p.m.!) Both Shirley and Betty seem to be excellent companions – and you were right, Lester and Betty are certainly in love. I hope they’ll be happy.

And how about us, dear? I know this – that I was perfectly happy and content every moment I was with you this week-end – just as I have wherever or whenever I’ve been with you. And I don’t think you have to trouble to call it this word or that; it speaks for itself dear – and I think you know what it means. You do, don’t you?

I could leave a space right here so you could think over what I just wrote – but you can wait until the end of the letter if you like dear.

By the way – do you like my personalized stationery? Not to be outdone by you – I thought I’d beat you to it. No hard feeling, huh?

Gosh, dear, I’ve got to stop now and get a couple of more things done. Besides I want to play with my new Scout knife – just like all the boy scouts have. Ooh boy! They’re really a necessity and I just managed to get one. It came today – from N.Y.

Dear that’s all for now except that if I didn’t seem very appreciative of the socks you so thoughtfully made for me – it was not due to lack of appreciativeness (or appreciation), you know that. They’re dandy – or peachy as some people say – and I’ll certainly enjoy wearing them.

So long dear and I’ll write again –
Regards to the girls.

16 September, 2010

16 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 16 - 43         0815

Dear –

This is just to have you get some mail Friday a.m. In view of the fact that I intend calling you this evening I shall not go into detail about my activities as of yesterday.

My! My! That was quite a business-like introductory paragraph, wasn’t it? All right, I’ll be more personal. By the way, dear, I didn’t hear from you yesterday – so I hope to today. Yesterday was a bad day here, as I’ve already implied. Charlie went to Wellfleet and I had to do the physicals alone. I was punch-drunk by 2 p.m.

This a.m. I have a crowd waiting for me at Bldg 1145 – up the road a piece – you know I wanted to jot down a few lines to let you know dear that I was thinking of you.

Everything at the present time looks to be all set for Saturday noon – so watch out. Hope you have reservations – so we can drive right to them and clean up a bit. Will find out tonight, I guess. I’m writing faster and faster and if I didn’t take the time to write these last couple of lines, just think, dear – I might have been on my way – but not me. I hate to waste paper – so I looks outside & tells them to wait (historical present is always more dramatic the Greeks always said) and anyway here I am when I should be there – and, so, dear, without further ado I think I’ll say adieu for now – if you’ll only excuse me – huh?

Really, dear – I can’t wait until Saturday and – well never mind for now. Here’s the bottom of the page and I must be off.

So long dear and

15 September, 2010

15 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 15, 1943      0715

Wilma dear –

To put it mildly, Noah and his party were in a drizzle compared to what the heavens are giving us this morning down here on the Cape. The Stygian cave was a ball-room compared to the light in our medical tent and all in all it is the wettest, messiest day we’ve had on the field since Christ was a Corporal.
If this letter stays dry dear, I’ll be surprised, but I’ll try to get a few lines out this a.m. before I go to work. I’ve heard from you very regularly this week, dear – once the week got started. It’s really been wonderful to look forward to a certain letter & then to get it. Your account of the early days of a college semester brings back many fond memories to me, dear, and it makes me realize that when this is all over and things develop as I hope they do – that we’ll have so many many enjoyable things to talk about. There’s still a thousand things or incidents for each of us to tell the other about ourselves. Do you agree? Of course, dear, it may take me alone 6-8 years to tell you some of the things about myself, but we could take that in stride, dear, couldn’t we? Or even call a truce, I suppose.

Whatever got me on that track? I’d better hurry it I want to get this out. Yesterday was just another day & as is usual – in the evening we went to the movies. I was surprised. We take in every show, regardless, & last nite Skelton in “I Dood It” was the picture. Well his program & he always made me sick; also his previous pictures. Last night’s was surprisingly funny in parts and altogether it made a light, if pointless, comedy.

Your Latin teacher sounds interesting, even though the amount of Latin you learn seems questionable. But I found when I was at school that it wasn’t the course that counted, but the person giving it. If you can pick up an education by broad discussion, spontaneous reading, and unregimented thought – I think you get a background that lasts.

Dear – I’ve rambled a bit but there’s a good bit going on in the tent this a.m. in the line of distraction. I’ve got to run along now – but let me say again the week is very slow for me. Oh – thanks for the invitation of the 25th. Naturally dear – I want to be counted in if you’re going. That’s all, dear, for now. So long

And + + + Love

P.S. The + = plus & not a kiss which I
believe should never be represented
except in the material.

14 September, 2010

14 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 14, 1943     0905

Wilma dear –

I’m sitting around the tent stove this morning, smoking and relaxing – today being a much more restful day than yesterday. I didn’t hear from you yesterday, dear, but no doubt I will today. (Here comes my coke and Herald.) That’s routine by the way when the ambulance returns from the hospital each morning.

Last evening, after officers’ school – a couple of us went to a GI movie on the post and saw ‘My Kingdom for a Cook’, with Charles Coburn and a couple of others. It was a fair comedy, nothing more. We got out at 2200 and I went to bed shortly afterward.
This morning I’ve got a few administrative things to take care of and in the p.m. we’re going to do some final physicals. News came in that our machine gunners had another allotment of ammunition (60,000 rounds) and that we would have to go to Wellfleet again – Wednesday. I was quite disconcerted at this but on further investigation (I sometimes do S2 work) I find that 1) only part of the battalion will go 2) there probably will be another battalion out there with its M.D. who will cover us – and 3) even if that is not so, we would only be gone for 2 days. Well naturally, dear – I felt better. Now all I have to do is get someone to cover me for the week-end and I’ll be all set.

On sick-call today I questioned a couple of boys who came from Springfield & who drive home occasionally. I figured they knew as short a way as any. Well I only held the line up for 15-20 minutes but I managed to learn that the best way to go from here is thru Providence, thence to Putnam, Conn. --> Sturbridge etc.  According to one of the boys it’s only about 125 miles that way. By Boston – it would be nearer 150 –

By now dear you must be having regular classes, with 10 minute breaks, a quick smoke, books under your arms, sweater & skirt and everything that goes to make college life what it is. Boy how I envy you! Enjoy a little of it for me, will you dear?

I still plan to call you 7:30 p.m. Thursday. If there’s a delay it will be due to congested lines. I’ll start about 7:20. Right now, dear, I have to go inspect kitchens and make a few other attempts at earning my pay. So until later on dear – I’ll say solong for now. I’ll be seeing you soon I hope.

My love

13 September, 2010

13 September, 1943

This post card was written early in the morning, followed by a letter later in the morning. The front of the postcard was edited to remove last names...  Click on an image to make it larger.

11 September, 2010

11 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 11, 1943 1010

Wilma dear -

Last nite I was very very blue. I’d have given a lot to see you or even talk with you. I was half tempted to call you about 8 o’clock or so but I wasn’t sure whether you’d be in or not.

We got in from Wellfleet about 2300 Thursday nite and starting with Friday a.m. – it’s been a three ring circus here. I guess we’re pretty hot as they say in the army, and there’s a lot of things to get done before we move out of here. I’ve got a fair idea of where we’re going – but I can’t write about it. I’ll tell you when I see you next, dear. 
Here it is Saturday a.m. and I don’t care whether I go off this noon or not. I got a card from Stan stating he has a date with Shirley after work tonite & that they’d be glad to have me join them. Some how I don’t feel like doing that. Your absence would be all the more apparent to me. I guess I’ll just hang around. One of the boys is coming in to Boston and I may stag it around with him. He’s from Omaha & has never been to Boston. No, he’s not Jewish, dear.

The last letter I received from you stated you wouldn’t be home until the 25th. I hope you change your mind.

I certainly will call your folks when I get in. I’ll tell you a secret, – I had half a mind to do so anyway. All traces of my cold are gone now, dear and it’s a shame I can’t do anything about it this week-end – if you know what I mean – If we can ever get this war over with in due time, I’ll have a lot of catching up to do.

I’m glad about Sinatra, dear, really I am. He’s tough competition and I sometimes become afraid. Your reassurance makes me feel like singing right now, but there’s no one to sing to. I’ll just practice anyway.

By now you must be all matriculated, or some such thing. I wish I could be up there with you. Maybe I’ll get a chance to visit.

Well – I’ve got to go back & give a few more inoculations. I’m in the cab of a 2½ ton truck right now. (I always like to get some Romantic spot when I write you, dear.) Hope to hear from you later this morning and I plan to mail this soon so that forsooth this may reach you Monday a.m. Until I write again, so long, dear, and remember – I’m thinking of you.


08 September, 2010

08 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Wellfleet, Mass
Sept 8, 1943 8:15 p.m.

Wilma dear,

It was swell talking with you a while ago. I knew of course Monday that I would call you Wednesday evening but I never like to say I’ll do something only to find myself unable to do it. I’m never sure when I can break away and get to a phone.

I got your letter about 6 p.m. and it helped cheer me up. As I told you on the phone, I was sort of gloomy most of the day although I had received two letters earlier. One was from Col. Pereira in El Paso, the other from a Capt. Johnson, now at a Camp in California, formerly adjutant of our outfit, and a swell guy. Incidentally, Col. Pereira has already been to Juarez and says that nice thick steaks sell for one dollar. Boy! That’s were we should go Saturday nights. Also, – tequila flows like water.

I’m sorry I sounded so final in my first letter this week, dear. As you now know, that was the farthest thing from my mind. I like the way you have the weeks figured out. In my own mind I did the same, but of course I didn’t know your plans. As for coming up to Holyoke, I’d love it but I’ll have to talk it over with you in more detail when I see you, dear. Certain it is that I want to see you as much as I can before I leave. Dammit I was anxious to go over a short while ago and now I feel differently. What will the distance do to us I wonder? I’m a little bit afraid, dear. I just hope it won’t be too long.

As for your being mushy – no. I’m glad you’re pleased at the thought that I think of you often. Lord knows I do; and it was a nice thing to say – that you are tempted to write more often. Your address, dear, I know, and I guess you’ll find I’ll write you at the slightest provocation, if you’ll excuse the word. There’ll be a pause, no doubt, between my leaving the Point of Embarkation and arrival at our destination, but I’ll make up for it. When we get to a P.O.E. we are allowed to write, but no letter goes out until it is certain that the convoy has arrived. That will be the time dear when you’ll have to be patient. What a Hell of a thing a war is and why should we have to live thru one? Maybe our lives will be all the richer for it, who knows?

The light is getting my eyes again, dear, so I’ll stop soon. I won’t seal this though because I may have a chance to write a few lines in the a.m. There’s no chance, of course, of this going out tonite. By the way, if my letters sometimes get to you with smooches – you’ll understand won’t you dear? Conditions aren’t the best for neat writing. Goodnight for now, dear

Thursday a.m. 6:30

Good morning dear –

The fog is clearing fast and I believe we’ll be able to fire. I think I told you that we had to go in Wed. night regardless. Well as usual there was a change – and we ought to be going back Friday.

I got into bed right after finishing writing you and it was pleasant falling asleep with my thoughts on the same subject, so to speak.

Sick call has started already and the usual number is here. I thought I’d finish this up now and run it down with the ambulance to So. Wellfleet. Mail leaves there at 7:30 a.m.

So I’ll stop now, dear – hoping to hear from you today and if not – hoping you’re thinking of me anyway. So long dear and


07 September, 2010

07 September, 1943

          438th AAA AW BN
          Wellfleet, Mass
          Sept 7, 1943 1915
Dear Girl -

I got your very sweet letter this p.m. and enjoyed it very much. It was considerate and thoughtful, and I like that.

It’s a little after 7 in the evening and darkness is settling fast down here on the beach. I’m in the Medical tent, one of the boys has just lighted the lamp, our banjoist is strumming hill-billy songs – and all in all I’m in a rather sentimental mood myself. I’ve been thinking all day about the past two months and how a seemingly gloomy summer turned out to be a very enjoyable one for me; I’ve been thinking how each week I’ve looked forward to the coming week-end with great zest and expectation; and today I couldn’t help but feel that the coming week-end would be a rather empty one with you not in Boston. But your leaving town doesn’t mean my losing contact with you, dear, and that’s a consolation.

06 September, 2010

06 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Sept 6, 1943 0720
Wilma dear -

It seems as if I can always manage to jot down a few words Monday mornings. This a.m. we’ve been delayed because of another convoy which started out ahead of us. So again I’ll attempt to write as much as I can before we pull out.

To say that I feel fine, dear, would be to handle the truth carelessly; however I think before this day is over I’ll feel much better – because this is the 3rd day of my so-called illness and that ought to spell ‘finish’.

I got back to camp uneventfully, albeit very tired. I’m afraid I acted that way most of the week-end dear. It’s really unusual for me to feel that way and I’m sure you won’t see me like that again for at least 2-3 years. By the way – the apples & the pear helped considerably in sustaining my energy. I didn’t finish the last of it until I was near Stoughton. My plan at first was to eat the two apples and then the pear. Then I was going to eat the pear first, followed by the 2 apples. (All this deliberation used up 4 miles.) Finally the only logical and sensible solution became obvious, i.e. an apple, a pear and an apple. What would you have done?

Charlie and wife got back to the Cape via (pronounced vee-a) Route 28. He wandered about most of the day, and in the late p.m. they took a buggy ride around town and found it enjoyable.

Dear, they’re about to start out immediately – I won’t even have a chance to mail this from here. Will write later in the day. Will you wait?

Later in the day, but
not much 0815

Hello again –

This convoy has proceeded about the distance from your garage to Mandalay Road. Every soldier and his buddy who can drive a truck – seems to be out driving today. No wonder there’s no gas. Every road from Camp is blocked – so we’re just sitting – or setting as New Englanders are wont to say – and waiting.

I should be in a bad mood this morning. For 14 months my detachment hasn’t had one AWOL – but I have one now. One of my twins goofed off to Patterson, N.J. and hasn’t been seen since Saturday p.m. It spoils our good record, and since he’s a fellow who has acted up from time to time – I’m going to have him court-martialed. I’m usually not very vindictive, but if he isn’t punished – someone else will take off.

But I’m not in a bad mood despite the above – and it must be because I’m writing to you (Mushy). Of course all my boys suspect whom I’m writing early these mornings, just as they know who writes me – because when my mail is delivered to me, I’m told before-hand where the letter is from, the handwriting, address etc. Here we go again – write later –


Well, dear – that was a long pause and we had a little excitement since I wrote you earlier. A civilian car struck one of our trucks at Yarmouthport. A sailor and his girl were badly ‘banged’ up. After administering some first aid at the roadside – we drove them by ambulance to the Cape Cod Hosp. at Hyannis. It was all I could do to keep from doing a little of the sewing up – but of course a civilian M.D. had to do it – a Dr. Vail who knows W.G. Phippen quite well. We had a nice chat, anyway. It was noon when I left the hospital – so I took my driver and 2 aid men downtown and we are – killing another 45 minutes.

Out here it’s foggy and windy – but I believe we’ll do night flying anyway.

This certainly must rate as a disconnected letter, dear – but – you understand. It should convey to you, though, how many different times of the day I think of you. By the way, you haven’t developed a cold, have you? I trust not. After all, I wouldn’t want you to upset my theory.

I’m sending 3 sick boys into camp right now & the letter with them – so this should go out this evening or early in the a.m. If you do get this in time – take with it my best and sincerest wishes for a very pleasant semester at school. That’s all for now, solong, and


01 September, 2010

01 September, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Near the Hyannis Airport
Wed. Sept. 1, 1943 6:05 p.m.
Great Balls of Fire, Wilma!

I don’t know what I can write that will be coherent, dear – but I’ll try. What a past 2 days! I honestly didn’t think I would write tonite, but I was so pleasantly surprised by your thoughtful letter, I had to make an attempt. If I can make myself stable for a minute dear, I really do appreciate your writing me as often as you do. Perhaps I should tell you more directly, but I think you must gather that I do like to hear from you and the oftener the better.
Now all seriousness aside, my one, I wish you were here tonite. (I better direct this along another line.) All right, a fresh start: I’ll explain myself. You remember I wrote you about an experiment we were going to do; well – I did it. From Monday morning on we (the men and I) have been marching, digging and getting fatigued. We moved out of our area at 2300 (11pm) Tues. nite & proceeded here. We then dug in our medical tent and got thru at 3 a.m. We then took 10 mgs of Benzedrine and then I went to visit some of the batteries in the field (a battery is like a company of men) to see the reactions of some of the men who took the same dose. At 6:30 a.m. I returned to the C.P. (Command Post) and felt fine. At 9 a.m. we took another dose, made further visits for reactions. The interesting thing was that I was reacting too. A third – and final dose was taken at 3 p.m. Well, to put it mildly, I began to feel higher than a kite in the Alps. The lack of sleep didn’t bother me at all and right now I’m as sassy as a wood-chuck.

I’ll have to read the above over to see if it’s at all chronological. It’s an effort to concentrate and yet amazing how alert I feel despite physical labor & no sleep. I’m not even yawning. (Remember?) The sensation is best described as “swimming” and has nothing at all to do with water. “Swimming” – as when a fellow falls for a girl, for example; “swimming” – as in giddy, “swimming” – any old way, but always “swimming”.

Talk about rambling, – dear your letters are all fresh and spontaneous to me and I like them that way – probably because that’s the style I unconsciously use.

To prove my point, I’ll jump to another subject. I was sorry to hear about Stan and I hope you found him better when you called. He must be ‘run down’ – to use the vernacular; he’s been staying out late nights, and I guess he should rest more. I’ll have to give him a little professional advice.

Yes I did see “Night Must Fall” – a couple of years ago. It was a very well done picture as I recall it, and Bea with the two “G’s” must have talent to play the part she did. Send her my best wishes, by the way.

Tomorrow a couple of generals will visit us, and Friday, too. We move back Friday and Saturday, God-willing, I’ll head for Boston and –

Dammit (that’s legal) – I’m sobering up dear. I started out to write an entirely congruous letter, and I’ll bet it’s only incongruous. By the way – if you want to use meagre – well use it, see? Never mind Webster. Coin your own words, for that matter. That’s good fun. I often do it, and it’s nice and confusing.

You made no mention of hearing from me, dear – and I assume that’s because you weren’t home very much. I find myself, too, writing rather often, but unlike you – I like to write – to certain people. Steady now, boy! Steady now!

The thought of your leaving Boston, Wilma – is unpleasant. I’ve gotten to know you and like you a great deal, dear – these past weeks. Sic transit gloria mundi – what a pundit I am – or do I know what I’m saying? Truth of the matter is that I’ll miss you and will certainly look forward to seeing you as often as I can while I’m still around. And did I answer you the other nite when you asked whether going away meant getting out of touch? I hope not, and with the slightest encouragement (more – will be welcome) I shall certainly try to let you know where I go and what I think.

And so saying, the cow fell in the bucket, beside his chieftain lying. Kiss my blues away, if it wouldn’t be nice having you near me tonite! Seems like I ended in the same vein as when I started – which just goes to show that if you buy from the maker, you save the middle-man’s profit.

Bear with me, dear – part of it is due to the Benzedrine – but I feel the same way about things without it, I guess.

I hope you have a pleasant week and for a short while more – good night & so-long, dear. I’ll call you when I reach Boston –