Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Letter 57- January 6, 1944

January 6, 1944
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Mother and Dad,
You’re probably wondering right now where the hell I’ve been. Honest! This has been the damnedest week. In the first place, I was moved out of my old barracks into a new one. That, of course, entailed a whole lot of horsing around. On top of that we’ve had 2 night problems and a night of guard duty. I can’t say I’ve haven’t had any time to write because now that our Inf. basic is over we get quite a bit of free time as I’ve told you before, but one can never tell when you’re going to get it or for how long.

We haven’t been doing too much that is new or different but the work is easy and not too boring, and next week we start working on bridges which should be pretty interesting.

We had a beautiful storm over yesterday and the day before and now there’s about a foot and a half of snow on the ground—anyone who wants my 50,000 acres of Oregon land can have it for 30¢ in 12 easy payments—nothing down.

The mail situation here is in a muddle again. The last time I got mail was last Monday. That’s the day I got the books which by the way I’m getting quite a kick out of. They’re really a lot of fun. But getting back to the mail, I sure am itching for some letters. I’ll probably get about six within the next few days.

Well, we’ve only got about 4 more weeks of training now and then that lousy bivouac. We’re already beginning to talk about what we’re going to do on our furlough. We’re slightly premature—huh? At least it’s pleasant to think about.

God! I’m hungry for a hamburger. Oh! If I could only sink my teeth into a home cooked meal with fried potatoes. Oh! What torture. Of late the food here in camp has taken a turn for the worst. After our 6 weeks were up it improved considerably but now its taken a dive. They had the nerve to serve cold cuts and potato salad two nights in a row when the temperature was zero. Twice I left the table so hungry that I had to go down to the service club and get a meal. I’m “regusted”.

I haven’t heard any news for the last 3 or 4 days but it sure looked good with the Russians driving into Poland and all that.¹ It looks as if the war in Europe may blow up in Hitler’s puss at any time now. I sure hope so. The sooner Adolf folds up the sooner we can finish Japan and the sooner I can get out of this goddam army—Amen.

Best Love,

1. Bill refers to the Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive launched by the Soviets on Christmas Eve 1943. This action drove the Germans out of the Ukraine and Moldovia territories and into Romania and Poland. By April 1944 the Red Army completely destroyed 18 Wehrmacht and Romanian divisions and reduced another 68 to below half their original strength


  1. All I can think about from Bill's letter is building a bridge across the icy Deschutes River. That would be so cold as to be dangerous. But it will be good training.

    Bad food. A commander's worst nightmare.

  2. Bill's unit will be doing bridge building and will climb an embarkation tower built on pontons in the middle of the Deschutes River. It will be very good training that Bill will never put to use.

    Cold cuts and potato salad in early January doesn't do much for morale.


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