Monday, August 31, 2009

Letter 121- September 17, 1944

September 17, 1944

Dear Mother and Dad,

Well, at last I’m settled. My future is assured for some time to come. In short I’ve been transferred to the Infantry, the Infantry. When they told me that I was transferred and to go through an infantry basic I damn near dropped dead. I still don’t know exactly what to say. At least you don’t have to worry about me going into battle.

As a combat engineer I was more or less a finished product ready for the front lines, but as an Infantryman, I’m only a rooky. I can’t tell you how long a period of training we’re going to get but I can say that it’s very doubtful that this war will last as long as the training.

I actually believe that the reason for all this lies in the fact that they just don’t know what in the devil to do with us. We’ve finished training yet they can’t use us so they stick us in another branch and start all over again. If pretty soon I write and tell you I am in the Horse Cavalry don’t be surprised.

I am now quite a distance (as distances go in England) from my old camp. This place is just about 1000 times better than was the jernt I just came from. The quarters are odd for a soldier, but comfortable. They won’t let me elaborate on this for some silly reason. The entertainment facilities are much better, the food is good and unlike the last camp I can get all I want. (I went hungry more than once back there) The training is easy (at least so far) and the weather here is a “helluva” lot better.

All in all this place is not bad but on the other hand I’ve lost all interest. Before I was (or thought I was) getting all set to go over. Now I feel that I’m not needed. Before I wanted to get all I could in the way of training because I felt that my very life depended on it. Now—I know it’s just so much baloney.

At last I think I can put in for that course in German. I’ll be settled here long enough to make it worthwhile.

I read by this morning’s paper that we’ve cut a hole through the Siegfried Line. It looks as if Germany is all washed up.

I don’t hear much about the election over here but from the weekly straw votes I see where Dewey is steadily mounting attacks made upon him by the British press. Of course, they would know how England benefits by the present regime in Washington. We’re not supposed to say anything against England in our letters but you know what I think.

I haven’t received any mail from you for several days due to the troop movement (me), but I suppose they’ll be along any time.

I’ve decided to send in now for the course in German. I’ll be for long enough to get started “anyhoo”. Always before I’ve been so busy and so uncertain about what came next that I didn’t care to go in for anything like that.

Well, I think I’ll go get a haircut this afternoon. I can listen to the radio while I wait. Then maybe I’ll go to the Red Cross and get a “Coke”.

They finished up the blackout over here today and that’ll make things a lot more agreeable than they’ve been before. If there’s anything I hate to do it’s having to fake around in the dark.

Sometime in the near future I may get a pass to London. If so, I’ll write all about it. That’s about all for now.

Best Love,


  1. Ready, set, wait, the Army way. Bill was cranked to go to France and a engineer or something and now gets more training. Training is better than combat, but I'm sure he wants to be part of the Big Thing.

  2. Unlike many Replacement troops who were poorly trained and rushed into battle, Bill will be a highly trained soldier in 3 areas of discipline. It will be another 10 weeks before Bill is permanently assigned to the 399th. Infantry Regiment and enters combat. Eventually he will be an extremely proud infantryman.


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