Radio Operator, Cpl. John Robbins of Louisville, Nebraska, 41st Signal, 41st Inf. Div., operating his SCR 188 in a sandbagged hut at Station NYU. Dobodura, New Guinea. (9 May 43) Signal Corps Photo: GHQ SWPA SC 43 5901 (T/4 Harold Newman)

Dated April 22, 1943; I don’t have the envelope for this letter, from Camp Wheeler.

Dear Everybody,

It was good to receive your package and I was especially happy to get the cigarettes because it is raining tonight and I can’t go to the PX to get any.

I am having a good time in radio here. We go out to our training field at the pecan grove and set up telegraph sets, field telphones, and switchboards and communicate with one another. By the way, the pecan grove is a beautiful place right now with the trees in full bloom and the green grass.

I understood that you are having rotten weather up there, but we are having pretty nice weather down here. When the temperature here drops to about 55° or 60°, we freeze.

Every time I want to write a letter, I get the paper and start to write and I forget everything I wanted to write about. That is what happened right now. It took me at least a half hour to write this much and I’ve run out of ideas right now.

Well, I hit on another idea of what to write about. We went over the obstacle course today and with a couple of the typical southern colonels watching us. After the obstacle course, we had a little drilling, then went to the pecan grove and fooled around with the telegraph and telephone sets. After that, we came in and ate, then we went to the radio schoolhouse for the rest of the afternoon.

It’s nine o’clock now and the lights are going out, so I’ll have to finish this letter Sunday. So-long ’till Sunday.

Saturday night…we didn’t do much today except take code, listen to lectures, physical training and inspection. Right now, I have nothing to do so I’m finishing this letter while I can.

I received your letter today and you wanted to know a few things. Well, to begin with, you wanted me to tell you what I wanted. I don’t need anything right now and if I do need anything, I’ll let you know about it. I liked the stuff you sent me, but don’t send me any more packages unless I ask for them and I’ll tell you what I want.

Today is Sunday and I just got back from going horseback riding. I like it and I plan to go every Sunday if I can. One of the best women’s colleges in the United States is right across the road from where we get the horses. The name of the college, by the way, is Wesleyan College.

To Papa — about that letter, everything is okay. Nothing to worry about.

My fingers are darned tired, so I’ll close.

So-long.

Babe

PDF: More on radio training, cigarettes and horseback riding

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