Monday, February 16, 2009

Letter 19- November 5, 1943

November 5, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Folks,

Will wonders never cease? This afternoon I’ve got a little time to write a letter. Last night I didn’t have time to even write a note. I know how much you want to get a line every day, but I’ll be darned if I had the time. I haven’t had any mail from you for two days now so I know how it feels. I imagine it’s the fault of that goddamned son of a bitch of a Co. clerk over in the 53rd. He probably just doesn’t want to take the trouble to send it across the street over here. It would take me only five minutes to go and get it but they want to make things difficult, I guess, so I can’t even do that. What I’m worried about is that package (there’s nothing I wouldn’t put passed that clerk). I’d better get it though or there’s going to be hell to pay because if I must I’ll take (it) right up to the company commander.

Things have been as strenuous and yet boring as hell. March-march-march-run-run-run-freeze-freeze. I’ve got a peach of a cold in my chest and throat, but I think it’s beginning to break. This morning we had extended order drill and although all the snow from last week has melted, there were sharp ice crystals al over the ground and I just about cut my hands to pieces. This sort of thing goes on all the time. When we get through with this training we’re going to be pretty tough babies.

There’s really nothing else very important to write. Most of what I’m doing right now is merely a violent reproduction of what I learned at Harvard¹. One thing I can truthfully say though is, to quote Mother, “I ain’t never gonna like this war!” There’s one thing all this is doing for me, however; and that’s making me appreciate home. When I think of how great a brat I was when I was home, it makes me sick. What a pile I was! The things I used to gripe about having to do. God, what a idiot! That’s one thing you can be thankful for when I get home. No matter what you want me to do I’ll do it without a word. Oh! Oh! Gotta close, dammit!

Notice the date on the head. I’ve been in the bloomin’ Army just a month & a day. It’s the longest month I’ve ever spent.

Write all the news from home.

All the Love in the World,


1. Harvard Military School. Harvard was an exclusive school for boys in Los Angeles. Bill’s father, William Wellington Taylor, Sr., was the head of the English Department. He retired in 1957 after 36 years at the school.


  1. I didn't realize that Bill has only been in the Army a month. He has made a remarkable adjustment to his new life, but now we learn that he went to military school for a while. I should've given him some advantage when it came to looking like a soldier. Naturally is learning many new skills that some of the stuff must seem like old hat to him.

    Bill is acting like a civilian if he thinks he can complain to the company commander about the company clerk. An institution like the Army men with a tiny bit of authority can abuse it amazingly even if it comes to withholding soldier mail. But company commanders don't want to hear that their clerks are not doing good job. Good luck Bill.

  2. It's been some month for Bill. He is growing up, yet it is clear he still has a way to go. His ego seems to be tempered with insecurity masked by bravado. He blows off alot of steam in his letters home. This is healthy to be sure. Being set back two weeks in the training cycle and having to go back into quarantine is a huge blow. Bill seems to be handling it remarkably well.

    Bill spent six years at Harvard Military School, so he was well versed in military procedures. This certainly gave him a huge head start over most of his peers at Abbot and may explain some of his seeming arrogance and the air of supiority he exudes at times.


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