Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Letter 55- January 1, 1944

January 1, 1944
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Happy New Year Mudder & Dad,

I hope you’ll forgive me for not writing the last 3 days. Except for Wednesday night I have no excuses except my expert but excruciating laziness. (How’d ya like all dem ex’s) But anyhoo I’ve got a lot to write. As you know, last Wednesday we had our overnight bivouac. Boy! Was that the craps. To start out we had a 10 mile hike, and when they say 10 miles they mean about 13 miles. As usual they started off at a pace of about 4 miles an hour and of course I had a “hellova” time keeping up. As time went on the birds who started that stiff pace began to straggle and finally I ended up at the head of the column. We had good bedrolls made up of 3 wool blankets a comforter and a shelter half, but still we damn near froze because we had to put the rolls down in slit trenches. We couldn’t have any fires and had nothing for supper except half frozen K-rations—Phhhttt!!! During the night I had to get up and go to the latrine, and when I came back I couldn’t find my foxhole. I must have faked around out there for about 20 minutes before I found it.

The next morning I had another cold K-ration for breakfast and then had to fill up about 10 officer’s slit trenches. After that I came back to camp since my company moved out while I was filling the holes. However I was lucky there. I had only about a 4 mile hike back to camp whereas the rest of the company had to cross the river in assault boats and take a hill with overhead machine gun fire. I got the afternoon off. I was so tired I slept every minute of it.

I received the camera and German Dictionary. I also received Ann and Reiny’s box of candy. It’s really swell. You mentioned my not saying anything about the $50.00 you put in my account. Of course, I think it’s wonderful and the only reason I haven’t mentioned it that I thought I’d already thanked you for it. Please forgive me.

I’ve been getting mail pretty regularly now so maybe the situation here is getting better—I mean for good. I received that card with the drawings on it—hot stuff!

I went down to the studio last night and asked about having those pictures made. They said yes but when they tried to find the negative they found it was gone. I’ll try again.

Best Love,

P.S. Let’s hope that when New Year’s 1945 rolls around we’ll all celebrate together.

(sketch here of Bill sleeping in his bunk)- Me welcoming in the New Year.

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