Babe’s Fondness for (Most of) the Fellows in His Platoon

I have a letter without an envelope and an envelope without a letter; I’m guessing they’re supposed to be together. The letter is dated “May 1943, Sunday,” and the envelope is postmarked May 4, 1943, from Camp Wheeler. The postmark is two years to the day before Babe was killed.

Dear Ma and Pa,

Need I say more? I’ll tell you how this mixup about the money came about. I gave the money to the chaplain because he handled everything like that. I didn’t know, though, that I would have to go back there for the money order. I thought he would mail it himself. Last night, the chaplain called me into his office and gave me the money order. So, here it is.

By the by, it is too late to get my pictures taken at this camp anyhow, so I’ll get them at my next camp. It takes too long to get the pictures and I’m not going to be here more than two weeks.

Papa — I didn’t go on sick call yet and I’m not going to because I might have to take this cycle over again and I don’t want to so I’ll go at my next camp. And as I told you, I did write to your pop.

Pretty soon we will be going on our twenty-four and thirty-six hour problems and I hope we haven’t got any more long hikes. I don’t mind those hikes so much because as soon as they are over, I forget all about them, but I don’t feel them until the next day.

I hope that when I leave here, I stay with all of these fellows, with the exception of one or two stinking Jews (Note: Please see more about this passage here). We have more fun here together that I wouldn’t know what to do without them. Just lying in bed at night listening to them talk keeps me in fits.

When we go on a hike, everybody grumbles and grouses and gripes about how tired he is, but when we get back to camp and are dismissed, everybody runs like madmen for the kitchen, where we get hot cocoa and doughnuts. Then after that, everybody is full of pep and we have pillow fights or we stay up for a couple of hours singing on the steps outside. We always have a long hike in the evening and we get back about 11:30 or 12:00 p.m.

Now that is is Sunday morning, everybody is still in bed resting after a hard night yesterday. Today, I ate breakfast on Sunday for the first time since I have been here. The only reason I didn’t eat this morning is because not very many men eat on Sunday morning and we get a lot of milk.

A fellow just came around with a bag of Indian nuts he received from Colorado. We used to buy those nuts and here he gets them home-grown.

I will close this letter now and as soon as I mail it, I will think of a bushel of things I wanted to write about.

L & K,


PDF: May 4, 1943: Money order, fun with the fellows

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