A Casualty During Training on the Obstacle Course

Seal atop the stationery he used on May 4, 1943, letter.

Letter dated “approximately May 4, 1943.” Postmarked May 4 from Camp Wheeler. The postmark is two years to the day before Babe was killed.

Dear Folks,

I hope this letter finds you all in good condition and in the best of health. I am feeling fine right now and I have nothing to do. I am barracks guard today and we were already inspected, so I have the rest of the day to myself. The rest of the fellows have to go on a hike today and they won’t be back until about 11:00 tonight.

Every letter I wrote in the last month I wanted to mention about the pictures, but I forgot all about them each time. Now that I got around to it, I’ll tell you about it. I could have the pictures taken, but it would cost you maybe ten or fifteen dollars and that ain’t hay.

You asked me if I wanted anything here so I’m telling you. I need a pen and pencil set because I’ll be needing them and I’ll have to have that pencil with me wherever I go. (Pardon my English, but these southerners don’t know how to talk yet.) You don’t have to send an expensive set or anything like that, as long as it’s a good set.

I mean to want a lead pencil that the lead won’t fall out of and a pen that is sure not to leak. The pen I have now leaks and I get a big blotch of ink all over my shirt pocket every time I carry the pen there.

We went on the obstacle course again yesterday afternoon for some more bone-breaking exercise. One fellow, about 30 years old and weighing about 220 pounds, went over our newest obstacle just put up. It is built in the form of a boat, only not nearly as high or wide, and it’s only a section of the middle portion of the boat. There is a rope netting down both sides and we have to climb the rope on one side, run across the top and climb down on the other side.

This fellow I was telling you about started to come down the rope and got about halfway down when he fell. He stuck his hands out in front of himself to break his fall and he broke both of his wrists. One of his wrists, the right one, has a compound fracture and the doctors couldn’t set it right, so they think he won’t have the use of his right arm anymore.

How do you like this stationery I got? I only have a couple of more sheets of it that I borrowed from one of the fellows.

I can’t think of another bloody thing to say, so I’ll have to say so-long.


PDF: May 4, 1943, Casualty on the Obstacle Course

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