To His Brother, About His Weapon and His Daily Routine

Babe's dog tag.
Babe’s dog tag.

Postmarked March 15, 1943, from Camp Wheeler.

Addressed to Master Robert Mauro
500 Lexington Avenue
Mount Kisco, New York
(Why 500? His address was 491?)

Pvt. Frank Mauro
Co. B-4th Trn. Br.
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
First Platoon

Dear Bib,

I received your letter today and it was good to hear from you.

I think I told you my daily routine before, but I’ll tell it again anyway. First, however, I want to get one thing straight. I am still in the infantry, but I am not just an ordinary rifleman. I will carry a two-way radio in the field and I will probably carry a carbine instead of a rifle. A carbine is something the army is substituting for pistols. The carbine weights about 5½ pounds and is about ⅔ as long as the garand rifle, but its range is only about 300 yards. However, it is a fifteen shot semi-automatic, .30-caliber and is just as effective if not more so than the rifle at short range.

We have a schedule to follow here which is tacked up in our barracks. We usually get up about 6:45 (5:00 if the floors are too dirty) and fall in for reveille at 7:00. We eat and clean the barracks after that until 8;30. Cleaning the barracks consists of mopping and sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows, dusting everything that needs dusting, polishing the brass (fire extinguishers, pipes and fixtures) cleaning the latrine (toilet to you) lining up the beds and lockers and opening all windows uniformly. We fall in for training at 8:30.

Then we march out to the pecan grove (no nuts on the trees yet) and start our training. Right now our training deals chiefly with lectures on various matters such as sanitation, first aid, defense against gas and air attacks and military courtesy. We also have rifle drill and marching drill. We come in again at 12:30. We eat at about 12:45 and have mail call afterward.

At 1:30, we fall in again ready for anything. Sometimes we have training films in the movies or Recreation Hall. The toughest part of training comes in the afternoon. That is physical training or calisthenics. We do the same exercises here, and more, that we did in school such as push-ups, deep-knee bends, arm and body exercises and putting the palms of our hands on the ground without bending our knees. We come in again at 5:30 and change into our O.D.’s (dress upps) and fall in for retreat at 5:45. We eat and have another mail call.

Then, if we have no special details or extra work to do, the rest of the time is ours. However, there are two bed checks, one at twelve and the other at two. We can go to town now, so we have to be in bed at two o’clock. However, the ones who can’t go to town have to be in by twelve. That’s the daily routine.

Now that I got my rifle, I can’t wait until I get on the range. Papa ought to send me a few hundred bullets if he could so I could shoot all I want. The way all the veterans talk about here, I’ll hardly get a chance to shoot the gun at all. And on top of that, they say I’ll be sick of the rifle before long.

I think all the other fellows except a few who were shipped out of Camp Upton went to Texas. I wish I were there and they were here. For a while, I thought I was going to Florida, but I never got that far.

Well, nothing else to write about so I’ll close.

So long,


PDF: To His Brother, About His Weapon and His Daily Routine

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