Thursday, April 2, 2009

Letter 45- December 15, 1943

December 15, 1943
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Mother & Dad,

Boy! do I feel good. Last night I got 3 packages and 3 letters and tonight I got 3 more letters. Boy! that’s all I can say. I put the 3 packages in my footlocker. There they will stay until Christmas Day –I swear it. That’s 10 days of fighting back curiosity. It’ll be quite a battle. I’ll win though.
Say! What’s that about all the weather you’ve been having down in L.A.? Maybe a little of Camp Abbot has moved down there. You’d better take care of those colds or I’ll come down there and put ya to bed. You don’t want to end up with “Camp Abbot Consumption” like me. Speaking about weather, you ought to be here: 5 & 6 below zero every day. Today’s high was 28° F. with the sun shining all day. Tonight a biting cold fog and wind has blown up. Wot a future we got here.

Well, it sure looks as if that A.S.T.P. has gone to hell. Well, that’s the way it goes. If there’d been no A.S.T.P. I would not have been called up until January huh!

Gee! I don’t know where to start in answering your letters. Six is a little overwhelming. To begin with don’t worry. I’ll go easy on the victuals. They’re going to last awhile.

Hey! The stink about this war is sure getting heavy. As long as a lot of gravy is being thrown around I wish I could get a desk job in Washington and get some. I should live so long.

Mrs. Hamilton must be pretty bad off. What’s the matter? Too much booze or sumpin’. Ain’t I awful?

Since you like these Special Delivery Airmail letters I’ll keep ‘em flying. For awhile, however you’ll have to get along on the old kind. I’m suffering a little pecuniary embarrassment and have only 2 stamps left. However, we’re going to be paid early this month and then I’ll buy some. That last Airmail letter you sent me, Mother, got here in only 2 days. Maybe it’d be a good idea to start them again. I liked that poem, “Excelsior”.¹

Haven’t heard anymore about the Camp closing. Will write a lot more tomorrow.

G’nite—Love, Bill xxxxx

1. An allegorical poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about holding true while striving for a higher purpose.


  1. I suppose that the "gravy" that Bill refers to is the huge profits being reaped by contractors. As Greg has reported, there was some scandal ("stink"?) associated with the location of Camp Abbot and we can assume that Oregon businessmen made a pile of money. Just maintaining the camp with food must have been a huge job.

  2. One of the "movers and shakers" in Central Oregon at this time was Judge Robert W. Sawyer, the owner of the Bend Bulletin. He was very active in getting Camp Abbot built and no doubt reaped financial benefits from it's location near Bend. This is not to say he was involved in any shady activities. He had a history of philanthropic pursuits and was no doubt a patriotic citizen. He was a prominent conservative and was President of the NRA for several years.


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