Saturday, March 14, 2009

Letter 34- December 1, 1943

Dec. 1, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Folks,

Gee, I sure feel blue today. I don’t know why except for this A.S.T.P. It looks as if I’m washed up as far as that’s concerned. The thing that hurts the most is that after they got me to enlist for that damn thing and after I turned down an appointment to the Air Corps for it, they don’t have the decency to let me know why I didn’t make it. I’ve decided to find out what my chances are for a transfer as soon as possible. I may not be the smartest guy the world has ever seen, but I know damn well I’ve got more ability than anyone I’ve seen in this company; and whatever ability I have will never get a chance to show itself here. The trouble is that I have no interest or ability as the engineering is concerned. I really think I’d be better off if I were even in the infantry. Although I’m not letting it get me down too much and I don’t say anything to anyone about it I’m beginning to detest both engineering and Camp Abbot. I know it’s homesickness more than anything else, but nevertheless that’s how I feel. After a person has been around a place like this for a while he gets so he can only see the inefficiency and graft and that’s all. I ain’t never gonna like this lousy war. I sure hope the European part of the war is over soon. I was fortunate enough the other night to hear a news broadcast on the radio over at the P.X. and according to it the Germans are already trying to make peace. I suppose it’s too good to be true, but it’s heartening anyway.

I didn’t receive any mail from you last night, but I suppose I shouldn’t complain. I haven’t been able to get off nearly as many letters as I wanted to send, and I guess you’re having the same trouble. Like a sap I’ve meant to thank you in my last 3 letters for the swell chocolate you sent me. They sure are good on a cold night.

That reminds me. I pulled Guard Duty again last night-3 hours in the snow. Now do you wonder why I have colds? For the last 2 nights I haven’t got over 5 hours sleep per night, and tonight it looks like we’re going to have a night problem, which means I probably won’t get to bed again until the crack of down.

Well, I finally got my pay-$65.30 I’m sending $50.00 home as soon as I can get to the post-office and send a money order. You may get the money order before you get this letter and again you may not.

There was something else important I wanted to tell you or ask you, but now I can’t seem to think of whom or what it’s about.

Today I’m barracks orderly and that’s the main reason that I’ve got enough time to write this letter. From now on I should have more time to write, but I can’t be sure around here.

Boy! What I wouldn’t give to come home. If I could only see you now and then this training wouldn’t be so bad, but to be doing something with little or no hope of ever getting anywhere with it and then being so homesick on top of it all is pretty bad. Sometimes in the evening I can hear the Great Northern heading south and it pretty near knocks me out.

Well, if I don’t stop that moaning this letter is going to start sounding like a dirge.

I’m beginning to believe more and more that we’ll move out of this camp as soon as the snow really gets deep. More and more fellows are going to the hospital every day and literally everyone has a bad cold-me especially.

I was supposed to go over and get the proofs to my pictures last night but the guard duty and this night problem will keep me from getting them until Thursday at least. They say it’ll take 10 days to get the finished pictures after that. So they should reach you not later than Dec. 15. That doesn’t give you a hell of a lot of time to mail out the little pictures, but it’s the best I can do.

Write soon and write a lot. It may not seem like much to you but when you’re up in a hole like this even the goings on in the Valley Times is interesting.

All the love in the
Whole darned


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