(Camp Abbot, Oregon)
Dear Mudder & Dad,
I’m writing this letter just after lunch. I’m barracks orderly again and therefore have the time to write a good letter. I probably won’t get this off until tonight, however, since I won’t have any airmail Special Delivery stamps until then.
Things are pretty much the same around here. The heavy snows are still holding off and the weather has been at least bearable. Work has been getting progressively easier, and in general things are pretty good.
As far as moving out of here is concerned, I guess I’ll be finishing my basic right here. Some of the newer outfits may move out but nearly everything we do from now on can, if necessary, be done indoors. That’s why I’d like to have those language books. Up until about a week ago it looked as if we might move out at any time, but they’ll keep putting it off until the winter is over. I wouldn’t doubt it a bit, however, that we have our 3 week problem somewhere else, but that’s a long way away.
Well, it’s almost Christmas and I can hardly wait to get my hooks into those Christmas packages. Oh boy! I think that every building in the Camp must have its own Christmas tree. There’s a huge one growing on Group Ave., the main street, and it’s beautifully lit up at night. It really makes me homesick. I guess you’ll have the lights out this year, huh? Nobody here is going to get passes on Christmas. It makes no difference to me but some of the fellows are sure broken up about it. As far as I can see there’s more fun to be had right here in camp than anywhere else except home. I don’t think, however, that any shows or such will get up here. The camp’s too small. I’ve only one fear and that’s that I might get K.P. over Christmas. It’s getting pretty close to my turn.
I received 3 letters from you yesterday which was pretty good. When I get mail like that I feel as if it were my birthday, er sumpin’!
Someone brought in a Portland paper this morning and I see by it that we’re pounding the hell out of Germany again. Four thousand tons in 24 hours. That’s really der stuff, ain’t it. I really don’t see how Germany can keep it up much longer. If they do the Germans must be even dumber than I thought. I guess the big battle in Russia that is going on right now will be over by the time you get this letter. Tank battles hardly ever last very long.
We had a lecture given under War Dept. auspices yesterday on the progress of the war. Of course most of it was designed for the stupid GI “Sad Sack” and was almost insulting to the average person with any intelligence but, nevertheless, some of it was very informative. For one thing it was very optimistic as far as the European situation is concerned. That’s unusual for anything put out by the war dept. Most of their movies and such are as gloomy as hell- predicting a long war and all that, but this was different. According to the lecturer Germany has suffered 3,000,000 casualties in Russia since last July and that 700,000 more are menaced at the present time. It seems that Russia’s grand strategy is to cut the German front in two driving part of the German armies back into the Balkans where supposedly they would collapse. According to intelligence reports Germany is having a “hellova” time of it. In fact, he talked as if we’d never see any action in Europe for sure. “Germany may make a go of it with a few last desperate haymakers but they won’t do her any good.”
Another thing he touched on was the “new Burma Road”. It’s that bloomin’ “highway” the engineers are building up through Northern Burma and Tibet. He said “This road is especially important to you engineers.” I don’t like the way he said that. Maybe I’m just imagining things ---I hope.
Yesterday I fired the .30 cal. machine gun. Wow! When you get behind one of those babies you feel like you control the world. While firing at the target I cut down a tree in the background.
P.S. The Merry Christmas is just in case the mail’s fast.