Dear Aunty Clara:
This evening we had a retreat parade which yours truly did not stand and a full field inspection in barracks which your darling nephew also did not stand. Instead of being a good and obedient soldier boy he went back to the barracks, washed, changed into fresh clothes, went in the mess hall and ate an early chow and promptly took off to Company B to catch Jack Molyneaux before he went to the movies without me. We also picked up Petrie (Jack's friend) and Farley and Griffin of the office force. The picture we saw was nothing worth writing home about as I am doing now. It was Deanna Durbin in the "Amazing Mrs. Holliday". That, however, was not the main attraction of the evening. They presented a forty minute picture about the North African Front in Technicolor. You have probably seen it advertised in Chicago by now and it might even have been to the Villas. It was not as good as we expected but it does give you an idea of what the fellows from the 36th went thru and are still going thru in Africa today. Every day they get letters telling of another poor sucker who got his. Company C of the 36th Engrs was practically wiped out in the landing operation as I told you in a previous letter. The Company Clerk of Company F had his leg shot off as he was going over the side of the boat and he is now in England recuperating. The Motor Pool with all its equipment and men belonging to Company A of the 36th was blown to Kingdom Come too. Just today they received word that one of the Company Commanders which no one had any love for was caught between a cross fire of machine gun bullets and killed. I wonder what the real feelings of these fellows I work with are when they receive this news week after week of more friends of theirs being killed in action.
* * *
What started off to be a nice long letter to you was suddenly interrupted and here I find myself sitting down to the typewriter once again but at the late hour of eleven (I've begun to think in early turnings so I won't be tired in the daytime). And just guess what interrupted me? None other than the CO (Company Commander to you) with a special invitation for me to return to the barracks and put out a full field display on my bunk. So it looks as if they caught up with Corporal Klick at last, eh? O well, I didn't have to work so hard on it anyway because three fellows helped me put it together in short order.
I had a lot to talk about but somehow I can't get started again after that inter----(I shan't repeat that word for the third time). I also thought I would write Pat a swell little note because I was in the mood to really put over the old personality (what personality?). That will have to be forgotten also.
I'll write more in the morning. From the next paragraph on it will be my morning note. Goodnight.
* * *
The elapse of time is very hard to imagine in a letter which is continuous in itself but it is now nine to ten hours later than when I last was sitting at this typewriter.
Some of the things I forgot to mention last night are these: The Personnel Section is to go on a two day bivouac Monday and Tuesday to see how to operate in the field. We will take along one field desk and our typewriters. For the most part we think it will be one grand picnic because the weather is very warm now and camping overnight will be fun and we will not do any work during the day but will probably play baseball and the like. We shall see what we shall see. That will probably be a two day interim in which you will get no letters from me so you needn't fret and think we have taken off for Frisco.
I think I shall spend the evening (Friday) sewing on the stripes and stars which I didn't do the other day and I shall also clean various pieces of equipment which I haven't done either. It looks as if even the Company Clerk is going to have to stand inspection by the Colonel and his staff come Saturday.
O yes, I turned in my OCS application yesterday. I also typed up what we call a wrapper endorsement and without even asking Hanton whether he approved of my application or not, I typed up the letter for his signature stating that he approved, that my character was excellent, and that he fully thought me capable of leading men as a second lieutenant. Now let's hope the fellow signs it. It will not probably mean much anyhow. The fields which I chose (as I probably have already written to you) are the Coast Artillery, the Field Artillery and the Anti-aircraft Artillery.
The best part of the OCS business is that the candidates are usually given a ten day leave en route before reporting to their school and then after graduation they are given another ten days en route before reporting to their assignment. That would be swell having those two furloughs. A lot better than never getting one with this outfit.
Also enclosed with this letter is a picture of rfk which Blumenfeld took (away back about two months ago) and which he had never received back from home until yesterday. It isn't such a good one. In fact it looks like those first ones I took with my camera. We don't wear field jackets anymore since they are supposed to be clean for the day we move out of camp. We will wear them aboard ship.
The watch has never given me any trouble since that last occasion I mentioned. It does gain time, however, but that is not as troublesome as a watch that refuses to function properly.
Cava, the son of the insurance salesman, just walked in now and that reminded me that he has also filled out an OCS blank for Ordnance School. While I typed the last sentence he came up to me and showed me the signed application. His will go in today.
As yet neither Molyneaux nor I have heard anything from the Army Institute about our courses.
Company A and Company B were given the royal ha ha yesterday by the other companies. We had thought we were ahead of the game by typing up those war bond subscriptions and then we found out that a new form will be issued and no more subscriptions will be allowed on the old form which we had filled out. Just let things ride along in this man's army and the work will do itself. So it seems.
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