Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Letter 56- January 6, 1944

January 3, 1944
Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Mother and Dad,
Wot a day! The highest the temperature has been all day is 20° and all morning it hung down around 0° while we built roads. That’s another pain in the neck. They spend 2 days teaching us how to use jack hammers and other pneumatic equipment and then on the day we start on roads guess what we get for tools—picks and shovels. Oh well! ya got to be “filosofical” about the army. They never do anything right.

But getting back to the weather I never saw anything like it. Our lieutenant froze his ears so badly that he had to go to the hospital for a couple of hours and have them treated—nice place we got here.

I had a long talk with the lieutenant this afternoon about the Engineers and found out a number of things I never knew before. One of them is the number of branches to the Eng. The Air Corp Eng., the Armored Force Eng., the Artillery Eng., the Amphibian Eng., the Airborne Eng., and many branches within the Combat Engineers themselves. I might become a specialist in roads, heavy pontoon bridges, demolition, sapping, and a thousand and one other things.

Here at “Basic” we become “jacks of all trades” but “masters of none” to use an old cliché (did I spell that right?) but when we get out of here we get some sort of specialist work almost for sure. Maybe there’s something special to this outfit after all. All kidding aside and is spite of my dislike of Camp Abbot the Combat Engineers is an outfit to be proud of.

As I told you over the phone I got payed last week. I’m sending home $45.00 in a couple of days by money order. I would like you to take part of it & get me one of those swell bracelets that Daddy described so well in one of his recent letters. I would like one with a heavy chain. I know they’re somewhat expensive but I’ve wanted one for some time and I might as well get a good one while I’m at it. I’d like my name, serial number and “Corp of Engineers” (am I butchering this letter or am I butchering this letter) if possible.

I better close while you can still read this.

Best Love,

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