Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Letter 84- March 29, 1944

March 29, 1944
(Camp Crowder, Missouri)

Dear Folks,
I planned to make this a long letter but now I have a nosebleed and I don’t know.

Well, things are getting pretty rough around here. Radio code is getting worse and worse for me. It’s funny but I think I’m working harder for this than anything I’ve done yet I’m doing so poorly. I asked one of the officers about it and he said I was doing alright but that I was at a disadvantage since I received such a low score in the Signal test I took at MacArthur. I found out that certain of us in my class are guinea pigs. We are supposed to be somewhat inept at distinguishing signals, but under this new system they think they can teach us anyway. I hope so. I know I can make it if they give me time. I do have a lot of trouble, however. I’m taking your advice, Mother and not worrying. That’s the worst thing a person can do.

It’s certainly boring though. Radio sounds interesting but it isn’t. When receiving code a man becomes a machine. He automatically takes the stuff down and doesn’t even know what it is since it’s all in cryptograph.


The sets we have are practically useless as far as interest is concerned since they can’t pick up much. Between you and me it’s the nuts. I do want to succeed though. I haven’t failed in anything in the army yet and I don’t want to S.N.A.F.U. now.

The other day we had a big inspection by the Chief of the British Signal Corp and a lot of other officers. It was the usual “baloney”. We had to pretend we were new students and everything we did was rehearsed. The Eng. general was supposed to get a true picture from that----Phooey!

As you know we have an hour of basic every afternoon after school. The boys are now on an Engineer Specialty, “Booby Traps”. These poor guys won’t have a chance on the battlefield. Just about everything they teach there is wrong. The cadre here knows nothing about such things but they get sore if you try to tell them anything. I shoot off my mouth anyway. I’ll be damned if I’ll let ‘em give these poor guys a bum steer that may kill them. The rest of the Engineers feel the same way. They should teach them only 2 things about booby traps-how to recognize and mark them, and then HANDS OFF. I’ve had a lot more experience with explosives than these guys will ever have and I wouldn’t fool with ‘em. I’d let the demolition men handle them.

Boy! I’m sure hepped up over those cookies---drool! Talking about food I bet you’ll be surprised to hear that I’ve become a tea fiend in the last 6 months. Ain’t it a laugh?

Congratulate Ann for me on becoming a citizen.

Best Love,

1 comment:

  1. Note: Bill's nosebleed is a residual result of the "sucker punch" he suffered during a boxing match at Camp Abbot. He would suffer from nosebleeds throughout his entire lifetime.


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