26 February 1943
Camp White, Oregon
Dear Aunty Clara:
I'm getting restless. I need a change. I want to come back home. I want to get out of this camp. I'm vaguely uneasy. Something in the back of my mind keeps me from being at complete ease. It seems as if I am waiting for something and I don't know what that something is.
Here's the latest up to the minute dope. After writing that short note to you in the morning, I spent a morning in which I had a lot of work to do but in which I accomplished very little. That drive to keep me working just wasn't there. Then at ten o'clock we had a company picture taken so I left the office for an hour for that. That is one of the beauties about this job in the army. We can pick ourselves up and stroll over to the barracks and so forth without worrying about losing our job. It's always there for us when we get back. I took it slow and easy getting back too.
At noon I was the first one out of the mess hail and spent the remaining 45 minutes sleeping on my cot. I strolled down to the office and finding no one there yet I ambled over to the Post Exchange and bought myself a candy bar. Back to the office again and to our pleasant surprise Lt. Warner treated us all to a big half pint Dixie cup of ice cream.
In the afternoon, I refused to do any work. I was determined to fill out that OCS blank which I didn't get filled out anyway. I am applying for the Field Artillery, Coast Artillery and the Anti-aircraft Artillery. They are the fields in which mathematics is a necessity.
Towards five bells Jack Molyneaux and I agreed to go to the show but he said we would go early and I told him I don't eat until 6:00. He asked me why I can't just walk into his kitchen like he does at 5:00 and get my meal and then take off for the show. So tonight I tried it and it worked. We saw "The Hard Way" with Ida Lupino, Joan Leslie and Dennis Morgan..
Incidentally, our company went on another one of those night problems and marches tonight and I didn't want to be available for anything like that. If I never get in to fatigue clothes again, it will be too soon. A funny thing happened as Jack and the other non-coms from Company B, who were in our show going crowd, ran smack into their Company Commander; 1st Lt. Myron C. Terpening, who greeted them with the words, "Say, you fellows know that our company is on a night problem tonight.". After a few hedges and haws and a few embarrassing questions, he laughed and let them go. When we got to the theater, half of the show was filled with men from Company B. Only one from Company A and that was the Company Clerk.
We had another laugh today when it was discovered that companies A & B both had men getting less than the required $10 per month. Warner called me ever to his desk and told me to get hold of that one man in my company who wasn't getting $10 a month and at those words I grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck and told him that here he was. I was to reduce either my bond allotment or my Class E Allotment so that my income would rise from $9.15 to $10.00. I do not intend to do either. Instead, Jack and I figured out that I will just stop deducting my laundry bill of $1.50 a month until such a time when we get that extra 20% for overseas and then take out the laundry. It is within the law and I will not have to alter any of my plans. Of course they could increase my pay by making me a sergeant but that is probably out of the question. Probably? It is!
I have been trying to dope out a move to counter that which Bob Hesser made but it is one real problem. No matter which move I make I can see how it can turn into a disadvantage. I told you I wasted some moves which I couldn't get away with playing with a fellow like him and I was right. Here the game is only about 6 moves old and he has me in a ticklish and a losing spot.
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I just took time out for a coke and doped out the move which will answer Bob Hesser's move (I hope).
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Oh Oh. Just casual like and still keeping in full control of my temper, I am going to tell you what happened yesterday morning at Reveille and at 5:00 this evening. Just a little simple thing that often occurred earlier this year --- my watch stopped.
We are constantly being bombarded with rumors of one sort or another concerning our departure etc. The latest one was just now told to me. The boat we were scheduled to sail on was blown up and as a result we did not go. In the preceding convoy the boat brought in its troops safely but on the way back was torpedoed and sunk. Thus when this last convoy left we were not with it. As a result we must wait for another boat and another convoy.
The writing of this letter has been slowed down during the last hour because two fellows have been talking with me intermittently and as a result the typing has not progressed according to schedule. I will not seal this letter nor will I write anymore tonight. I will add something in the morning.
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Just after I wrote the above the fellows left and then I remembered I wanted to tell you something about the company picture this morning. All the non-coms were placed in front so we have a full length picture. The bad part of it was that since I am such a shrimp compared to the rest of the non-coms, I was placed as the very last man in the row.
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In the morning: Last night I had three doughnuts and a cup of lemonade when the troops came in from their night problem at 11:30.
Haven't any time for more writing if this is to get into the mail. It looks like a full day of busy.