Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Letter 41- December 9, 1943

December 9, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Momma and Poppa,

This is another of my post-reveille letters. I didn’t have time to write last night; and knowing how irregular the delivery of my mail has been, I thought I’d better get at it.

I been feeling pretty good for the last few days, but I’m developing a little sinus trouble and I don’t like it a bit. This damn climate sure can raise hell with a body. The number of men in the hospital is still growing, but I’ve heard nothing more about them moving the camp, worse luck.

Yesterday I received a nice box of cookies from Grandma and Jessie but they were in pretty sad condition. Good though. I’ll have to write a letter and thank them, but I threw away the wrapper to the package and I can’t seem to remember the address. Maybe, if I just put down the “Anchorage” State College, Penn. it’ll get there.¹

We’ve been marching so much and so fast lately that my feet are about worn off. Yesterday we marched about 4 miles out to the Anti-Aircraft Range at over 4 miles per, and let me tell you that’s a grind—4 miles back too. In A.A. firing we use .22’s and fire at moving targets. Its fun but I couldn’t hit anything but blank space.

Today we go to the grenade [area] and toss around some hand grenades minus the T.N.T and loaded with firecrackers.

How’s the news? As far as that’s concerned we’re still pretty much in the dark. According to the last word I heard, it looks like the big push is going to come soon. I hope so. I’m not getting so I love army life any the more as time goes by.

About the A.S.T.P. thing I’m going to get “personal” as soon as possible and find out just where I stand. Then if I don’t seem to be anywhere I’ll apply for my transfer to the Air Corps. This thing is really discouraging. You’d think they’d be a little more concerned after they get me to enlist and all that. You know that if I had accepted the Air Corp in October I wouldn’t have been even called up until January.

Bestus Love,


P.S Will write again tonight if it’s possible.
1. The Anchorage is a family run restaurant not far from the campus of Penn State University


  1. It looks like Bill is out of luck on both the ASTP and Air Corps. By the time this letter was written the Air corp had an excess of men and were no longer recruiting. What the army needed was infantrymen.

  2. As noted by Steven Ambrose in "Citizen Soldiers", simultaneous to the cuts in the ASTP program, with American air superiority over Europe assured, General Arnold released 71,000 aviation cadets for the ground forces. Bill was destined to be an infantryman.


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