Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Letter 77- March 2, 1944

March 2, 1944
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Here I sit like a bird in the wilderness waiting for something to happen. I’ve been on detail all this week now and it looks as if I may be on detail for the rest of my life the way things are going around here. One day I work in the supply room or spread sawdust around the boxing ring—the next I’m room orderly or K.P. It’s really the craps. There’s no work but it’s so boring that a fellow can’t help but be blue. All the rest of the men are leaving on their furloughs and the place is as lonely as a haunted house. The worst part of it is, however, the fact that we don’t know where in hell we stand. It’s the same old story. Keep ‘em in the dark; Don’t be definite about anything; and if you don’t know the score yourself, make it look like a military secret. Do you wonder why a guy gets so damned disgusted? They won’t give us a furlough but we’ll probably still be sitting around here a week or maybe a month after the furlough men get back. Right now I don’t know where, when, or if I’m going, but I know where some of these big shots here ought to go.

I’ve been going to the show just about every night this week—anything to keep my mind off this lousy deal we’re getting up here. Really that is just about the sum and substance of what I’ve done lately. One thing that’s been a godsend has been those language books. After I’ve spent an hour or so studying them I feel as if I’ve accomplished something—a feeling one rarely gets in the army. I don’t think anything is worse than to work 8 hours and then realize you haven’t done a single thing worthwhile.

In the Casual Co. right now there are over 1350 men and jobs for about 100. You can imagine how that works out.

Did you receive the money order?

I’m glad you liked the pictures. I’ve got some more coming but I don’t know if I’ll get them before I ship out. I’ve got another one I took of the platoon, but it’s so big I can’t find an envelope large enough to send it in.

That just about sums up the news from here. Revolting isn’t it?

Best Love, Bill

P. S. After reading this over I realize it sounds pretty pessimistic. Don’t take it too seriously. I’m just mad.


  1. You're doing a great job with the letters, Greg. Love the accompanying photos and am looking forward to more of Bill's sketches. -- Griff

  2. Thanks for the compliment. It's fun to "surf" around looking for a suitable photo or drawing for each letter. There are some upcoming sketches and some are a riot, but nothing for awhile. Things will be heating up though as Bill is about to get his new assignment.--Greg


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