Friday, March 6, 2009

Letter 29- November 18, 1943

November 18, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Folks,

My morale has taken an upward turn this evening. I had not received any mail from you for 3 days, but tonight I got a letter from Daddy. It was really interesting and made me feel good. You have no idea how much mail means to us fellows in camp. I can’t explain it, but a letter means more to most soldiers than a 3 day pass.

I’ve not been able to write very regularly for the last few days, but believe me, I just haven’t had the time. Tonight, however, was different. (I) got time enough to go over to the battalion rec. and P.X., get some ice cream and listen to the “March of Time”. By the way, why are those Japs down in Calif. getting away with so much murder? If the fellows here in camp got to guard them for awhile the trouble would be over.

Now to answer Daddy’s letter. Yes, now I’m out of quarantine. I’ve got the run of the camp. It’s really not too bad. It’s 18 miles from the camp to Bend. I could get into Bend on the weekends, but it’s better at camp from all reports. I guess Bend is all right though.

I haven’t got any interviews or anything yet and I am beginning to get disgusted. The A.S.T.P. sounds pretty good according to your book but I don’t really know what the score is. I’m going to find out though even if it takes a month of Sundays. About the camouflage division, I know very little but tomorrow afternoon we’re going to get some experience with it so I’ll tell you about it in my next letter. My chances for getting a medal in rifle marksmanship seem pretty good. In practice I’ve qualified either expert or sharpshooter every day. A lot depends on the weather, however. I can’t shoot when my hands are cold.

As you know by now I did get my packages and they were really swell. Nearly everybody in the co. drew guard duty Saturday night and Sunday, but they missed me.

My cold still is hanging on but it’s getting better. Keep writing all the neighborhood and world news. It means a lot.

Bestus Love,


  1. Bill's comment about an incident at Manzanar is curious. The infamous Manzanar Riot took place in December 1942, a year before the letter. Perhaps news was suppressed for a year.

    I would imagine that everyone at Camp Abbot would have some kind of respiratory condition what with the close quarters of men from all over, the cold weather, and the physical stresses the men experienced. And remember, Bill just got out of the hospital due to flu.

  2. I'm not certain about the source of Bill's comment. In checking the topic of Japanese resistance in California I could not find any significant incident that took place around the time of this letter. Reading between the lines I surmised that there must have been some trouble at a camp as Bill made reference to "guard them". The Manzanar Riot is the most know incident, but there may have been a host of lesser incidents. I used the photo attachment of Manzanar because it is a good photo, not because I have any knowledge about the source of Bill's comment. I would certainly like to know if anything happened around the time of this letter to trigger the comment.


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