29 October, 2010

29 October, 1943

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"Buy More War Bonds" Postcard

28 October, 2010

28 October, 1943

No letter today.    Just this:


At Camp Edwards, the military erected 1,400 buildings including a 1,700-bed hospital and at its peak accommodated 70,000 soldiers awaiting transfer to Europe.

According to James C. O'Connell in Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort:

“The shores of Cape Cod were in the war zone, vulnerable to bombardment by German U-boats, especially during 1942 and 1943. Several American cargo ships were attacked and sunk virtually within sight of the Cape.”  Also on Cape Cod was “a Navy base a Woods Hold, anti-aircraft training center at Scorton Neck Beach in Sandwich, training facilities at Camp Wellfleet, and amphibious commando training units at Camp Can-Do-It in Cotuit and Waquoit. The Hyannis Airport was used to train Naval Air Corps cadets and became an Army Air Corps antisubmarine base. The General James E. Longstreet served as a target ship in Cape Cod Bay.”

Here are some photos:
Aerial Photo of Camp Edwards from the late 1930's

Rapidly constructed barracks and supporting buildings, 1941

A Typical Company Barracks

A Typical Company Mess Hall

[Note from FOURTHCHILD: Thanks to the following site for these photos:

27 October, 2010

27 October, 1943

570th AAA AW BN (SP)
Camp Edwards, Mass.
October 27, 1943  1930
Dearest Sweetheart –

It was swell talking with you a short while ago. Just not having called you one night made me miss you terribly. It’s an awful feeling – . I’m sorry darling, that you didn’t get my first letter until Wednesday a.m.; and I tried so hard to get it out in the first mail. I didn’t realize, by the way, that I make the week-ends seem confused. Anyway you have it straight now, dear.

This afternoon, as I’ve already told you, Medwin called. He had been trying to contact me since Monday. I can understand his difficulty. He talked very nicely. I told him there was a good chance of my going up to So. Hadley – and you know what he said, darling? He said he could understand why I would be going up, since you were up there and worth going up to see. As if I didn’t know that myself!

Since he knows how to drive, I’m glad to have him come along anyway, and it ought to make the ride seem shorter than if I were going alone. I was planning to cut off at Palmer, however, and head for Three Rivers, etc. and directly into S. Hadley, rather than thru Holyoke. It’s considerably shorter that way. On the other hand – maybe I can meet you in Holyoke at the Hotel – and we can have that much more time together. No –, dear – I think it will be better if I pick you up. I can let him off at So. Hadley. He’ll be able to get over to Holyoke without too much trouble. I’d rather call for you at the School. I’m looking forward to it keenly, darling, and this time we won’t have to bother about fixing anyone up. We’ll be alone and that will be swell.

Today, Sweetheart, I had a busy day. This poor outfit has really needed an MD – and the boys, as well as the officers came in in droves. One of the Majors came in with a complaint that needed a certain type of ointment. He had had several and none had helped. I remembered a particular ointment that I had at the 438th dispensary and sent for some and gave it to him. Well, this evening he stopped me and said he wasn’t going to let me go back to the 438th because I was a good doctor etc. etc. and that was the first ointment that every helped his itch and burning. Of course, he’s got nothing to do with my staying, but he was complimentary anyway.

In a little while darling I’m going over to the Coonamessett Club and meet a few of the boys. I’ll have one or two for you too, dear, and then come back and get some rest. All right? I’ll stop now, dear, and write you a few lines in the a.m. It’s hard to write in the a.m. now because the Dispensary here is a madhouse from the moment I enter. Until tomorrow morning, Sweetheart – so long.

Thursday     0730
Good Morning, Sweetheart –

I’m on my way to breakfast now. We went to the Coon Club – as expected. I now have a slightly used knife for our collection. Remind me to give it to you, dear. I can’t wait for Sat. to come – and I’ll have the car checked tomorrow so there won’t be any delay. Today is another busy time for me, but I don’t care. I’m thinking of Sat, dear. I’ll call you tonite – So long for now, darling and

All my love

26 October, 2010

26 October, 1943 (2nd Letter)

570th AAA AW BN (SP)
Camp Edwards, Mass.
Oct. 26, 1943        2200

Darling Wilma –

I’ve just returned from a very miserable field problem held in a driving rainstorm. We set up the aid station in complete blackout. I sure was glad I had my new combination raincoat; the hood, dear, was a lifesaver.

I’m now in my new room in a different section of the Camp. I’m sharing this room, dear, with another Captain, T. by name – who is S-3 for the battalion (plans and training – or operations officer.) He seems to be a pleasant chap and very friendly.

We got back to Camp about 1500 and I went down to see Charlie to see what was new. It seems that the new M.D. isn’t working out at all and the Colonel is doing his best to get rid of him. Meanwhile, darling, Charlie had been up to AA Headquarters to find out my status – and dear he says the general implication is that I’ll be back in a few days. Sweetheart I’m in an awful dilemma. On the one hand I’m getting to like the idea of being with this outfit for several reasons. Most important of all is that it keeps me near to you. The one big thing I don’t like is the type of outfit I’m with. It’s just as bad as being with a tank battalion only it hasn’t got the defensive armor of tanks. My ambulance is like one of these tanks and undoubtedly our mission in this battalion would be to move with the first wave in a beach head landing or to go cross country with the infantry or armored forces. Now I’m not exactly yellow, Sweetheart – but there’s several ways for a doctor to fight a war, and this doesn’t seem to be the best way.

On the other hand, dear, if I should go back to the 438th, I’ll be leaving very shortly with perhaps this next week-end being the last for a while. Yet I understand that the 438th orders did not include staging here, which means they’ll be staged in N.Y. – which in turn means they’ll stay in N.Y. for awhile.

If you’ve followed me, darling, you’ll see that I’m confused. So much, so very much depends on what fate has in store for me the next few days, and I don’t know how much I should try to interfere with it. Only remember this, dear, for my own sake I care very little. I want so much to consummate our love, I dread the thought of anything that might interfere, and when all these problems arise that I’ve written you, I think then, sweetheart, only in reference to you and our future, and how our future might be affected by where I go, and when. Since I’ve been transferred to this outfit, the possibility of my becoming engaged to you before the war is over presented itself so strongly, that I’ve hardly thought of anything else. Going back to the 438th would be a bar to that. The crux of the whole matter, darling, is that I love you so very much that I don’t want to lose you, – I want to marry you when this is all over and all my thoughts revolve about that one delightful theme.

Wed – 0700
Darling –

My roommate came in while I was writing last nite and I couldn’t finish. I haven’t re-read this letter yet but I’ll bet it’s all mixed up. One thing is certain Sweetheart – and that is that the war must come to an end some day and I know that no matter where I go or with whatever outfit, that the Lord will allow me to come back to you, and what is just as important – that you will be there waiting. Darling that’s all for now. I haven’t had any mail from you yet. I’ll go down to the 438th and look for same this a.m. So long, Sweetheart and
All my love

26 October, 1943

570th AAA AW BN (SP)
Scorton’s Neck
Oct. 26, 1943           1110

Dearest Sweetheart –

I’ve been wanting to write you all morning, but I haven’t had the time – and it really didn’t make any difference because the mail hasn’t gone out. That includes the letter I wrote you yesterday p.m. They’ll both be taken back to Camp and mailed this afternoon, before 1630 I hope.

I was only a few minutes late for the meeting last night, darling, but I didn’t get very much out of it anyway. I was still thinking about you or us and about our telephone conversation. I had a little difficulty in hearing you, dear, but I did hear you say “yes” to a very very important question. It makes me very happy, darling; I didn’t mean to sound conceited when I said I knew you would. I meant only that I loved you so much that I wouldn’t give up until you said ‘yes’ – even if it meant almost squeezing you into a pulp; which reminds me of this paper I’m writing on. Isn’t it peachy?

Well – after the meeting, dear, I went back to the dispensary and fooled around with my radio which wasn’t functioning too well. By the time I got it working again it was 2145 and I got ready for bed.

I got up about 0730 and for the first time in 3 or 4 nites I didn’t cough at all. I believe I dreamed about you most of the night and it was all very nice!

About 0930 I made kitchen inspection, and by 438th standards, all the kitchens were poor. I informed the Col. (his name is Rose – not J. and from Kansas) about them and he admitted that he had had trouble with them. So I’m to give the battery commander, mess officer and mess sergeants the ‘benefit of my experience’ and speak to them all in a group. (The Col. had heard that the 438th had been commended by the General on its sanitary status.) Incidentally – I’m considered a veteran by the other officers, in view of my field experience, and I’m continually answering a variety of questions. Boy am I important! I’d rather be important in Salem, though.

That reminds me, I haven’t contacted anyone there and I won’t until I find out whether or not I’m to stay here. If so – maybe we can start visiting there again, huh?

Concerning my new Col – I still don’t know much about him of course, dear – but from the way he talked this morning, I think he’ll be very cooperative.

As plans are now, darling, we’ll be in Camp – or garrison as its called, for the rest of the week. Monday we go out on a 5 day problem. I don’t know anything about the dispensary schedule, but you can be sure, dear, that if it’s at all possible – I’ll be off. In that case, and even at the cost of several C stickers, I’ll try to come up to Holyoke. I’ll have to start taking it easy on my stickers soon, darling, as long as I’m going to be around. That means no extraneous driving for me when I’m not seeing you, how’s that?

Well, darling, I have to make some preparations for our move back this afternoon so I better stop now. I plan to call you Wed. at 1900, so until then, dear –

All my love

25 October, 2010

25 October, 1943 (2nd letter)

570th AAA AW BN (SP)
Scorton’s Neck
Oct. 25, 1943          1610

Dearest Girl -

It’s as gray and blue a day out here as anyone who has been transferred from an old outfit to a new one has ever had to put up with. Truth to tell, dear, it’s been a very very lonesome day for me, and I keep kicking myself mentally for allowing myself to feel that way. I really felt awful this morning when I had to move my belongings to a new building and start meeting a lot of new people.

When I reported to Hq. of the 570th I found only the remaining administrative force. The others had come down here for firing. This place is about 19 miles farther down the Cape from Edwards. It is also on a beach, but has permanent installations that are really quite comfortable. I have a really nice dispensary all for my men and myself. Right now I’m writing at a desk. I have a room and bed with sheets all to myself right in this building. The medical detachment men seem all right – those that I’ve met – and they’re glad to have an MD around after being 4 mos. without one – even if it is I, darling.

25 October, 1943

[Note from FOURTHCHILD:  Greg left the 438th for the 570th between the 21st and the 25th.]

570th AAA AW BN (SP)
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 25, 1943         0745

Darling -

I’ll try to get off a few lines to you before going over to report to my new CO. He’s probably been expecting me since Sat. a.m. I’m in no hurry, dear, about that.

I arrived here at about 2200 last nite. I picked Pete up at the Statler and we stopped at my house for a minute to pick up clothes.

On arrival here I found the following news, dear – incidentally, dates and places not to be repeated – the 438th is to be at Camp Shank, Staten Island – the P.O.E. – on Nov. 8. That is definite and not just a readiness date. So there you are, darling, if I don’t get re-transferred in two weeks – I will have been snatched from the jaws.

The boys are all excited, of course. They all feel sure, by the way, that I’m going with them. Meanwhile I belong to the 570th and have to write over all property, funds etc. to Charlie – this a.m.

Sweetheart – I really must stop and get started. There’s a hundred things involved in changing outfits – and I should have done them Sat.

I’ll try to call you tonite – if I can – and if my new outfit doesn’t go out on a field problem.

The week-end was wonderful, dear, and I’m so glad that we understand each other as I think we do. It’s certainly an exciting feeling every time the thought flashes thru my mind – and it’s always flashing thru, dear.

That’s all – and so long.

All my love, dear

[P.O.E. = Point of Embarkation]

21 October, 2010

21 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 21, 1943       0720
Dear Sweetheart -

With the swiftness of the wind must I make with the pen right now – or I won’t make the early Pony Express. To wit – the Colonel and I are due at AAA headquarters at 0750 and the time seems to be flying – like the beat of my heart – for example, dear.

It was nice talking with you dear, last nite. I was kind of lonesome when I first spoke with you, but you helped me feel much better. We went directly home after I called you a second time – and got a reasonably good night’s sleep.

My throat is peculiar. It waxes and wanes from hour to hour – and I don’t know when something is going to come out or not. I’m sure it will straighten out in a day or two. At the prices they’re paying me – I’m a sucker to exert myself. I’m letting the other boys do the yelling now. All I have to do is walk around the theater and wake up the sleeping. It’s really not hard work. After the second awakening – we make them stand up for the rest of the lecture. It’s baby stuff – but it may mean a man’s life someday. It’s a sure bet – they won’t know how to take care of themselves if they’re sleeping while being told how.

How did I get on that subject, dear? Last night I believe I dreamed about us for 3-4 hours in a row. It was all one big jumble, but you were always there and the general vein of the dream was a happy one, darling.

I’m interested, dear, in what your mother had to say and how she happened to ask you to come in. I can’t wait to see you again, sweetheart, whenever it is. It’s already Thursday and no news, so I think everything is all set.

Darling I’ll have to close now. Here’s looking forward to seeing you very soon and giving you something more material than just written love. Until then, dear

All my love

20 October, 2010

20 October, 1943 (Postcard)

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Written upon arrival home from the Coonamessett Club

"Coonamessett Club, Hatchville, Near Falmouth, Mass."



Hatchville is one of eight named villages within the incorporated town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1917, under Directors Charles Crane, Richard Crane, Wilfrid Wheeler and the Leatherbee brothers, farming began on the improved Chadwick farm site at the north end of the 158-acre Coonamessett Pond, in Hatchville. The Chadwick farmhouse was converted in 1926 to the Coonamessett Inn, with ten overnight rooms and dining facilities. By 1933 the Resort had an eighteen-hole golf course and clubhouse, a polo field, tennis courts, riding stable, an airport on the north side of Coonamessett Road, and seaplanes on Coonamessett Pond.

Charles Cranes' children, Frances A. Crane and her brother John O. Crane built 25 pre-fabricated, heated cottages near the Inn in February, 1941. And four months later, on the east side of Coonamessett Pond they built the Coonamessett Club, which was filled with servicemen for nearly three years. The popular Club was a big New England barn replete with dance floor/skating rink, bowling alleys, game room, dining room and lounge. In 1949, the Club was transformed into the 650-seat Falmouth Playhouse for summer stock productions. The Falmouth Playhouse was still a popular nightspot until destroyed by fire in February 1994.

20 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 20, 1943    0800
Dear Sweetheart –

Again it was wonderful talking with you, dear, although seeing you in person is oh – so much better. I had just come back from the movies when I called you. The picture, by the way, was rancid – “Tornado”, and should have been swept away while being made. At any rate it helped kill a couple of hours, dear.

I enjoyed your letter very much, too, darling – and it was a longie at that; I’m glad that you feel certain, dear, about me. That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear from you – and I know also that my own love for you is deep, sincere and will be everlasting. I’m as positive about that, darling, as I’ve ever been of anything important in my life so far.
The making of your record, dear, sounded amusing and I know you’re being modest when you compare your voice to that of Marjorie Mills. I’m sure it’s more like Lyn Fontaine or Gertrude Lawrence. However – if it is in fact like Marj. Mills’ voice – “Well, dear,” he said with his tongue in his cheek, “Marj. Mills’ voice is the sweetest on the radio.” Well, now that I got that out of my system, I can go on.

I shall be glad to meet the fellow you mentioned, dear, and do whatever I can to help him if he needs help. I’m particularly anxious to see whether he shakes. (You called him jerky.)

Today, dear, is just another day except that it’s Wednesday and we have no classes. That means that Charlie W., Pete, Bill S., Bruce S. and one or two others will go down to the Coon Club, have dinner, a few Martinis and spend a quiet evening. We usually return about 2300. It’s good relaxation.

Incidentally, darling, I was amused at your calling me ‘conservative’. I can be as radical, unconventional, (I could even add immoral) as anyone I know. I know I’ve been somewhat conservative with you, but I want you to be aware of my capabilities (or shortcomings). As for coming down to Edwards, dear, – I would love to have you spend the week-end with me; – I guess you know that. I object only to the inconvenience to you in getting here and leaving here. The connections are really very poor. I’d much rather meet you in Providence, for that matter – but that also presents problems of one sort or another. As a matter of fact – I’d just as soon go up to Holyoke – and this time – alone. We could really be together, by ourselves – and for the greatest length of time. I don’t mind the drive at all. If there’s any doubt in your mind at all about your going home – tell me, Sweetheart – and we’ll spend the week-end together in Holyoke. I know my folks won’t mind as long as I tell them I’m spending the week-end with you. Think it over, dear, and anything you say is fine with me.

Darling – I’ll stop now. It’s 0845 – with all the delays etc. and I want to get his off. I’ll call you this evening and I’m just hoping nothing new develops. Keep your fingers crossed.

So long for now and

All my love

19 October, 2010

19 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass

Oct. 19, 1943      0715
Dearest Girl – 

It is now 0755. I got as far as the salutation and then had to see a few sick soldiers. I’m back at my desk again, dear, and will try to write fast enough to get this out in the early mail. 
It was swell talking with you, darling, as it always is of course – but somehow or other, each week-end has brought us closer together, and the last week-end was certainly no hindrance. It’s been steady and gradual, and I think – sensible. So that I can’t help but experience a sense of responsibility, possession, – a “you-belong-to-me” feeling. You don’t mind, dear, do you? I hope you feel the same about me.

Ordinarily – today and yesterday would have been dull and gray. It’s raining a steady drizzle, but I don’t feel blue or lonesome, at all, dear – and I have you to thank for that.

Last night, as I told you, dear – a hike was canceled because of rain. A couple of us went to the movies at 2000. We saw “Girl Crazy” with M. Rooney and J. Garland. It was a typical musical – featuring old songs by the Gershwin Brothers. It was pretty good and had a fair amount of laughs.

I climbed into bed about 2215 and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) fall asleep. You’re really cutting down on my sleep, darling, because not only do I stay awake thinking, but I find myself waking up in the early hours of the morning – and I start where I left off the night before. But I wouldn’t miss it for anything dear.

Today – more lecturing, checking up, presenting a few cases before the C.D.D. Board (Certificate of Disability Discharge). I expect we’ll go on the hike tonite – if it stops raining.

Again, darling, no news so far this morning, and I don’t want to be quoted – but I’d just as soon never get any. But I’m afraid, dear – that the war wouldn’t be won that way. My only hope is that it won’t be as long as some of the pessimists indicate it might be. I want to come back to those I love (Oh – what a prominent place you occupy, dearest!) and get started on life with you. You know, dear – I never proposed to you formally, and I don’t think I ever will have to. But it seems to me that after going out with you about the 3rd time – I felt I’d like to marry you, and as I recall it – I told you so – in one way or another – I never dreamed, really, that I could encroach on your life, I never thought I would be so fortunate as to win your love. I’m a very lucky guy and I’m very very happy dear. I see no reason why everything shouldn’t work out the way we want it to, God-willing. Anyway I pray for it every night, and I feel that although I haven’t been the best man in the Lord’s eyes I can’t be very bad fundamentally – and that therefore my prayers will be answered.

Well, Sweetheart – I’d better stop and get this mailed. I’ll call you at 2200 tonite and I do love you more and more each day, dear.

My deepest love

18 October, 2010

18 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 18, 1943      0620

Darling Wilma -

I like to put ‘Wilma’, after ‘darling’. You know why? That’s so I can write ‘darling’ with a capital letter. That’s perfectly clear, now – I hope.

Well, Sweetheart – I came close to calling you at school last night, just to say ‘hello!’ I know I had seen you a good part of the day, etc. – but I felt very happy and wanted to tell you so. But for the life of me – when 1000-1015 came along – I found I had a half dollar, two dimes – and no more change . No one else was in the barracks, and of course – there isn’t a thing open in camp at that hour. I was almost tempted to reverse the charge – but thought better of that plan immediately. Anyway, dear, I felt like talking with you.

This past week-end, dearest, was wonderful in every respect and seemed to be a natural culmination of what we both want. Nothing pleases a fellow who loves a girl (and I do love you, dear) more than to know that besides the love of the girl – he has at least the respect of her folks, and to know that your folks don’t object to me, not passively as before, but actively, naturally is what I wanted most, next to your love. I know they won’t be sorry.

I took my time going back, dear, and as I’ve said, found no one here. From what I gathered so far this a.m. (and it’s not much – as you can see by the hour) – nothing new has come up. But oh, darling, it’s going to be so difficult when something does turn up. I hate to think of it, especially when I know it’s so near.

I haven’t gone to breakfast as yet. There’s no one in the dispensary right now – and I thought I could commune with you in writing more quietly now, than later. Also at 0800 I have an appointment at the Dental clinic to have my teeth cleaned. I have broken this – or other appointments, rather – on 3 occasions, so I’m going to try to make this one today. I don’t have to lecture until 1300 – so I’m all set for the morning.

Darling, at the cost of repeating myself (as lovers do, I think – and I can see why) I want to tell you again that I’m very very happy that things have worked out as they have, that I love you and find my love returned, that you like my folks, and they you – and about your folks, too. All these things I will have to think about in days when I can do nothing but think – and the thoughts will help carry me through, I know.

I’ll call you tonight, darling, and I hope dear that your cold is much better! That’s all for now, dear and remember you’ll always have my deepest and sincerest love.


17 October, 2010

14 October, 1943

[Note from FOURTHCHILD:  Oops! Thought I'd posted this on the 14th and neglected to check.]

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 14, 1943        0655

Dearest Girl -

I’ll be writing swiftly again today, dear, because I have another lecture this morning from 0730 – 0830 (and Friday too, incidentally.) I got here this a.m. a little bit earlier so that I could get started.

I was glad to hear, darling, that you were feeling better; but I don’t like the idea that you still have a temperature. So take care of yourself until you are afebrile, will you dear? 

Last night after I spoke with you – we had a songfest, about ½ dozen of us, in the shower room. About 8:30 p.m. we decided to go over to the Coon Club and relax awhile. So we did and had a few. Nothing strenuous, dear – nothing strenuous. We got back a little after midnight. Incidentally, Sweetheart, have you by any chance noticed the moon these past few nights? It’s very very aggravating to be alone on such nights, dear, but having someone dear to think of – helps a great deal.

I believe I told you, darling, about the gas – I hope I get the tickets on Friday. Your last letter, Sweetheart, was frank, but so are you and I love you for that as well as for many other reasons. Remember that I’m not used to telling girls I love them and inherently I’m perhaps less outwardly affectionate than you, dear – but I still don’t think you’ll find me wanting.

Darling I know this is short – but I’ve got to go now. I’ll tell you all the nice things I think of when I see you Saturday night, and that day can’t come too soon for me. Until tonight, then, darling – so long and

All my love

13 October, 2010

13 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 13, 1943       0725

Darling Wilma –

I was surprised, sorry and worried to hear that you were ill and I do hope that by now your throat is greatly improved. With your tonsil tabs removed – you shouldn’t be getting sore throats, dear, but I will say this – your cigarette smoking is certainly a contributory factor. Anyway, dear, I hope you are feeling better by now.
As you know, I had to attend a Court Martial last night. It lasted until 2200, and just in time for bed. This a.m., Sweetheart, I really feel rested for the first time this week – and by week-end’s time, I’ll be raring to go – so you had better be cured!

Your mention of writing to your folks, dear, worried me a little, in view of what you had to say concerning your feelings towards them Sunday night. I hope you didn’t write anything to hurt their feelings or antagonize them in any way. That is not the way to approach the matter at all – as of course you know, dear.

This morning, darling, our sick call is tremendous, so I’m beginning to suspect a bit of Gold-bricking. If so, I have the medicine necessary to prevent a recurrence.

And so help me, dear, I have not yet gone over to the car to look for your bars. I don’t think I’ll find them there, though – because I was in the car Monday a.m. and didn’t notice a thing.

Concerning this week-end, Sweetheart, – right now I see no reason why I won’t be off. Remember, always though – this is the Army. I can’t foresee any complication right now. It will certainly be a treat to be able to get in again. I’ve applied for gas. The rationing board is here on the Post, and with my tongue in my cheek, I wrote that I see Officers’ wives and children off the Post when they’re sick. I do, actually, but in Govt. transportation. Shh!

Darling – I’ll stop now and I’m looking forward to calling you later today. I hope you’re feeling much better, dear – and please take care of yourself. So long for now and

All my love

12 October, 2010

*3-4 October, 1943

[Note from FOURTHCHILD: Sorry for missing this one.]

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 3, 1943         1600

Darling -

Even at the expense of being ‘stale’, I am at least going to start this letter but like the Five Star Final Edition I won’t seal it until tomorrow – so that I can include the latest dope.

I wrote so hurriedly this morning, dearest, I hardly remember if I put my words and thoughts together correctly. I do know I tried to tell you I loved you and will continue to. All day today I was aware of a somewhat futile feeling, a sensation of being so near you and yet not being able to see you. The battalion was restricted today as to passes; I’m still not sure about officers, and no word has come through about Der Tag. I don’t know why I seemed so indecisive Sunday when we talked about a possibility of my coming up to Holyoke. I know darling that if there’s any possible chance – that I’ll come scooting up; you can bet on that. Right now that opportunity is in the realm of fantasy. We are getting ready as if to move out on the day you already know. Everything will be turned in, packed etc. But one can never tell. It’s funny how you like to look forward to each successive isolated chance of seeing someone you care for; it’s like putting off the bitter medicine – but it’s human.

Right now, dear, I’m in our Dispensary, writing at a desk for the first time in a long while; getting soft, I guess. I keep thinking of the past few days, and how swell it was of you, Sweetheart – to come in and spend so much time with me. One thing about not knowing you over a long period of time is the fact that I can start at the beginning and relive over and over again each time we went out together, – and pleasant times they were, too, darling.

I’ve got to stop now and go over to inspect the men’s barracks, dear. I’ll write later –

Oct 4-43       0730

Wilma dear –

‘Later’ became this morning but since then I’ve spoken with you and it was a wonderful boost for a very lonesome day. I love speaking with you, too, darling and shall miss it more than I dare think.

After I spoke with you last night, dear, we stayed in our room (Charlie and I share the same room) until about 2000 – labeling some of our clothes, e.g. underwear, handkerchiefs etc. There’s a specified way of doing it, by the way – the last name’s initial, and the last 4 numbers of the serial no; so that mine reads A----. If I have anything left after the war, dear, you’ll get used to seeing the number. No – I’ll throw everything away and start fresh.

This morning I’m having my sleeping bag cleaned, but the big problem this week, dear, is laundry and dry cleaning. We hate to give anything away – because if we move out we’ll lose it. I guess we’ll have to do our own laundry – and boy – I have a bunch of it this week. Anyway – we have wash-tubs in our barracks; lucky.

Well, darling, I’ll have to stop now and do a little work. I’ve had 2 or 3 interruptions already. The boys are making plans for Wednesday nite; I’m not entering into the spirit of it – I’m afraid. They all want to know why and I tell them I’m in love. How do you like that? Anyway – if I don’t go to the movies – I’ll go stag and have a few perhaps. It’ll be right in camp, anyway.

I’m looking forward to calling you tonite dearest – and I do love you – remember that – and as I always say – HARD.  So long for now, dear and 
All my love

12 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 12, 1943      0720

Dearest Wilma -

You made me laugh last night when I spoke with you, dear, but you won – showing you how strong I am in reference to you. To take some of the glory from your ‘victory’, I’ll confess to a strong desire to calling you, anyway, so don’t feel darling – that you changed my mind very much.

I was interested, dear, in your father’s calling you and what he had to say. What his reaction to your statement actually was causes me wonder. I’ll have to just wait and see. Obviously I’ve got your parents a little concerned, or you have. I do realize this however – that whenever the time came or comes for you to decide yourself – war or no war, they would probably go thru the same emotions, regardless who the fellow might be. And that’s understandable, dear, in view of your being an only child and still a youngster – in their eyes.

My own reactions, darling, are somewhat mixed. Were there no war, I know what I’d do. Having met your folks often enough to be able to speak with them freely, I believe I would tell them how much I love you, that I intend to court you until such a time as all factors would agree that we probably knew what we were doing, and then marry you. I think that would be the way to do it, don’t you, dear? The war is an awful barrier to straightforwardness, however. If I speak my mind now, I may be being very unfair to you and your future reactions. I wouldn’t want to hold you down or embarrass you in any way whatsoever after I leave. I’m gambling, in other words, that you will be around, that you will want to marry me.

So how about now then, darling? Well – your folks, despite your mother’s (I believe feigned) failure to understand me, I shall continue to love you more and more, see you until the last possible moment, keep in contact with you always. I think your folks will get the general idea. Now, don’t get me wrong, dear. I like and admire your folks very very much, and I’m not critical at all of their reactions. I understand fully, I think, how they must feel when their daughter tells them she loves a man, – any man. All parents must feel the same when a daughter speaks that way. All I will try to do in the future is to try to make them love me as they do you; for my part, I know I’m very fond of them now and I know I could easily get to love them as I do my own parents.

Well, well, well – what a dissertation! Excuse me, dear, if I stepped on touchy ground, but I feel I know you well enough to speak that way.

Last night’s Officers’ class was very interesting and informative – all about getting on and off a ship, under conditions of stress; clinging to the sides, going down nets etc. Today we go down to the Demolition area to witness the workings of Booby traps, land mines, anti-personnel mines etc. Nothing new has come in as yet – and if nothing does – I’ll be able to get off this week-end; if so – I’m a lucky guy!

Darling, I’ve got some work to do now – so I better stop. I hope to hear from you today (I didn’t yesterday). Also – I’ll look for the bars today – and if I can’t find them – don’t worry, dear, I’ll get more.

So long for now Sweetheart – and all my love


11 October, 2010

11 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 11, 1943       0830

Hello Darling -

I am now ready to sit down amidst turmoil and confusion and write you a “lengthy” epistle, dear. First – let me thank you, darling, for a wonderful week-end, every minute of which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was all the more enjoyable because it was unexpected – something extra, so to speak.

We arrived here at 0015 – after an uneventful trip. It was cold, dear, and Pete did use the blanket. Charlie came in from Philly just as I was falling off to sleep – so we bulled a little. I slept well, but before you could say “I Love You” – it was 0545 and we were off for revelry and calisthenics. I have already done a bit of work this a.m., have sent the films down the line to be developed, written a card to the folks and Stan and here I am Sweetheart. I’ve got to go to the bank soon – no not to draw money for myself, but to straighten out some details about Medical Detachment Fund, of which I am custodian. I don’t know as yet whether anything new has developed, dear, but as usual I’ll keep you posted on the latest development.

Well, darling, I’m surprised I’ve been able to get this far this a.m. I’ll close now and write tomorrow, dear. Until then – or rather until tonite when I call you – So long for now.

With Sincerest Love
Oh yes – I do Love You.

08 October, 2010

08 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 8, 1943        0710

Darling -

This will not be a letter in any sense of the word; I like to think I’ll be able to see you tomorrow instead. If I don’t – there never will have been a more disappointed soldier in the Army, dear.

Not a damn definite word emanates from HQ. It is assumed that the enlisted men will be allowed to go on a pass, but the officers – ah yes! the officers – as usual get the short end of the stick.

I told Pete the arrangements we made and he’s about as anxious as I am. I assume you made reservations for dinner too, Sweetheart. If we do get off – we’ll proceed to Holyoke and stop at the Hotel to wash up and dress. I’ll call you when we arrive – if we’re late. If early, dear, we’ll change and proceed.

Now – not another word, darling – not another word – except to say I can hardly wait to see you and tell you how I feel about you. Well why doesn’t he say it! Well all right, dear – I love you tremendously and will tell you that!  So long for now, dear and

All my love

07 October, 2010

07 October, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
Camp Edwards, Mass
Oct. 7, 1943        0720

Dear Wilma -

To prove I am not a rummy, I’m writing just as early as ever. Considering the brawl last night, it is quite a feat, dear – believe me. I am in the Dispensary now and tired, mostly in the throat though. We sang and sang – and occasionally drank. Best of all was the professional entertainment that had been arranged for. It was really good.

Today should really be closing out day and all preparations are being taken to make it that way – so that if we had to move out on the appointed day – we could. Unless something comes in today, and I don’t think it can, we’re still here, Sweetheart, and I’m not angry one bit. (The battalion as a whole is, however.)

Darling, the thought of coming up to Holyoke is extremely stimulating, and I wouldn’t believe it until I actually got there. I mentioned to Pete last night that I might if I were off – and he said he wouldn’t mind going up again at all – if he could. To be perfectly frank, dear, I’d rather see you alone, but having Pete along would help make the ride considerably shorter. I’ll speak with you tonight, darling, and hear what you have to say. We can still be alone.

As I told you on the phone – I enjoyed your last letter very much, dear, for its sincerity. I hope, too, that you continue to think mine are and that you never think they’re mushy. I’ll admit that I’ve been writing in a style I’ve never used before, and sometimes I wonder myself. But I know that I’m writing what I would say to you – and I never sounded that way to you, have I? My metamorphosis thru the mail which you have noticed, Sweetheart, is only a reflection of myself, and if you like the tone – I’m glad. Certain it is, dear, that I like yours.

I’m fortunate dear in not having as many diversions as you – because I can then concentrate on my love for you. And am I doing it! Concerning bridge – I shall learn. I suppose they’ll change the game though when I get back. I’ll teach you what I know about golf, Darling, but I warn you, there’s lots of wooded sections on a golf course – and I’ll kiss you all over the place, honestly.

I didn’t think I could write this much (oh – it’s not so long) this morning. I’m going to stop now – but I did want to say I didn’t think you were redundant in your letter. And as for being your ‘dearest’ – darling that’s what I want to be always. That, of course, would make us all even. Solong for now, Sweetheart and here’s hoping I see you Saturday. All my love

to you dear
     – Greg.