Friday, March 27, 2009

Letter 44- December 14, 1944

December 14, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Hiya Folks,

Right now it’s 10:30 in the morning and believe it or not, strange as it seems, I’m loafing in the barracks. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but its sure swell. Don’t be surprised, however, if this letter has an abrupt ending.
Well, at long last life is beginning to agree with me again. I feel better and my cold seems to be breaking. The world doesn’t look so dismal anymore. ♪Yippee♪

We went out on a night problem last evening and it was really the nuts. We had to dig up booby traps and anti-personnel mines without the aid of any lights whatsoever. Nobody wants to be out there-including the officers, so once we got the hang of it we made a bee-line back to the barracks where we got cookies and hot coffee. We needed it too, although I still won’t drink coffee. Yesterday morning the maximum temperature was 35°, minimum -2 ° --and it’s still only fall. Yesterday morning we had to use pickaxes for ½ hour before we could drive a single heavy stake into the frozen ground. Yet, I seem to be getting used to the cold. The other morning I came out and thought to myself that I seem pretty warm. Then I looked at the thermometer------------16° !??
Friday afternoon the company gets a half day off in order to go Christmas shopping in Bend. I’m practically broke but I’m going anyway. We get free transportation and all that. I’ll buy myself a quart of milk, go to a show, and buy a little “sumpin” to send home, buy a steak, if such a dream is possible, and generally have a good time.
As I told you in my last letter, I’ve caught a slight sinus infection. It doesn’t bother me the least bit except that the damn thing smells and tastes as if I was beginning to rot up in my head. It’s enough to turn your stomach.
Lately I’ve been spending my money like a drunken sailor, so that money you say you’re going to send me will really come in handy. I’ve not been getting any mail from you for several days now so pretty soon I had ought to get quite a few letters. The mail clerks here are so lazy that half the Christmas mail won’t arrive on time.

P.S. Maybe my crude drawing will give you some idea of what Camp Abbot looks like. Hope you can keep mum on all the military objectives given away. You’ll notice that my favorite places are identified. I guess I’ll tell you about them. In the first place everything here is painted green like a forest rangers station or CCC camp. Our movie (theater), although it doesn’t look so hot outside is pretty nice inside—good heating, good acoustics, large stage, hard benches to sit on. Really though they’re pretty good for wooden seats. The service club is a large 2 story building. I’ll draw it for you.
(drawing here)

The floor below is covered with easychairs, radios, reading lamps and writing desks.

Oh! Oh!
gotta go now.



  1. I note on Bill's map that the latrines are outside the barracks. I am impressed that the Army was able to provide amenities like the theater, library, and service club all equipped for the soldiers' comfort. I'm sure that those pinball machines cost the government twice what they did before the war.

  2. It must have been a tough trip to the latrines when it was 2 below zero outside! I too was quite impressed with the amenities offered at Camp Abbot considering it was not intended as a permanent facility. As a former pinball afficianado I am curious about the machines at Camp Abbot. I'll bet they were very popular.


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