Tuesday, April 7, 2009

About Letter 49

Christmas is approaching and Bill is hoping he won’t get KP. The Portland paper has stories about the bombing campaign over Germany (“four thousand tons in 24 hours”) and a “big [tank] battle in Russia.” The men hear a War Dept. lecture about the progress of the war which Bill characterizes as “designed for the stupid GI Sad Sack, yet informative”. According to the lecturer Germany is taking a “hellova” beating and he gives Bill the impression that “we’d never see any action in Europe for sure.” He tells them the engineers are building a "new Burma Road". Bill closes describing how he “cut down a tree” while firing the .30 cal. machine gun.


  1. Bill's machine gun probably wasn't the water-cooled model shown in the photo. Considering the cold weather and the simpler arrangement, he probably fired an air-cooled model which was what most combat units use.

  2. David-How right you are! In a future letter Bill draws sketches of the various weapons he fires during his training. The .30 cal. machine gun drawing is clearly of the air-cooled model. I have made the correction. The photo now accompanying this post is correct.


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