Thursday, July 23, 2009

Letter 89- April 11, 1944

April 11, 1944 (2 am.)
(Camp Crowder, Missouri)

Dearest Mother and Dad,

Here I am on another detail, damit! It just seems impossible for these palookas to get it through their thick skulls that the men need some sleep occasionally. Aw! I’m getting so damn tired of this army that I could die. Tonight I’m on Barracks Guard which is just what the name implies----but why they need a guard is what I can’t understand.

Well, this code business is reaching a crisis fast. Two of the fellows I came down here with have already flunked out and have gone to Ft. Leonard Wood and 4 others including me are pretty low. I have been doing a little better, however; so we’ll just have to do the best we can and hope.

This radio which looked so good back at Abbot now appears to be a hellova job. There’s only one thing I can say about it and that is that I’d like to know radio, but I don’t want to be an operator in the army. This is mainly because the strain of the taking code hour on end plus the strain [one] must endure on the battlefield anyway would be just too damned much. I may sound like I’m making excuses for myself but there are even better reasons----one being that field radiomen go overseas very quickly and another is that casualties among field radiomen are extremely high. If you’ve seen pictures of the marines invading the Marshalls you know why.

They’ve discontinued radio night classes now because so many students complained of nervousness due to them so I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Most nights I don’t do much, however, because I’m so tired. Sometimes I go to a movie—the ones we get here are new and usually good—but more often I stay in.

When it comes to weather I sure pull the lousy camps. On Sunday the temperature was 80, the next day it rained and today it snowed. Oh god! Puleeze send me back to California.

Most of the fellows here in camp are getting sore as hell about the war (not that it will do any good) but now they say no 2nd. front until after the election. There’s certainly a shift of opinion against Roosey these days.
I could write a lot more but it’s cold soooo--.

Bestus Love,


  1. I think all the trainees in all the branches were warned that their specialty suffered inordinately high losses. They probably had specific statistics about how long a radioman would last.

  2. In an upcoming letter Bill will draw a rather dramatic sketch/diagram of Nazis using triangulation to locate and kill a radio operator.


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