‘Well Folks, I Am Now a Radio Operator’ (and Due for a Package)

Nestle’s Chocolate ad from the Saturday Evening Post. Babe requested Nestle’s bars in this letter home.

Letter dated “approximately” May 5, 1943; postmarked May 6 from Camp Wheeler. The back of the envelope includes this sentence: “I am listening to Jack Benny. If you didn’t hear it, ask someone who did why I mentioned it.”

Dear People,

I don’t know why I am writing tonight. I have nothing to write about, but I also have nothing to do right now so I thought I would pass the time writing.

I received Bib’s letter today, the first letter I got in at least a week. Therefore, I was very happy to receive it.

I sent you some receipts a few days ago that you must save. The receipts are for War Bonds and for my insurance. I also sent you some money tonight, so let me know if you and when you receive them.

I told you that if I ever wanted anything I’d tell you about it, so I’m telling you now I am due for a package. Those packages come in handy because I haven’t got enough money to be buying delicacies at the P.X. all the time. You could send me some candy bars like those Nestle bars you sent last time and other things you’d think I like. But don’t send any cookies because we aren’t allowed to keep food in our lockers overnight.

However, I can always duck the candy, but the cookies draw cockroaches around and they are the only animals around here that we would like to get rid of. The last package you sent me, I had to keep it overnight and the next day the inspecting officer had it thrown out because it was insect breeding material. However, I ate most of the food and there were only a few crumbs left in the box when he threw it out.

If you want me to have my pictures taken, you will have to send me the money for them.

Well folks, I am now a radio operator. In 50 hours I passed a 120-hour radio course in which we have to pass 12 words a minute. I always thought we had to pass 14 words a minute, but after I passed the test today, I found out that we only had to make twelve words a minute to pass the course.

Now, if I can go any higher, I might have a chance to go to the Signal Corps. Everyone here wants to go into the Signal Corps and as I told you once before, I was asked at Camp Upton if I wanted to go into the Signal Corps and I said no. If I got that chance again, I would bayonet myself into the Signal Corps.

Tomorrow night, I think we are going on another night problem and I think we all will have a lot of fun as usual.

Next week, the radio school building will be so full that we will have to go out in the field and use real radios for code practice. I think we will all enjoy that. About the last week that we are going to be here will be entirely devoted to night C.P.X.’s. C.P.X’s are Command Post Exercises. In these exercises, we simulate actual battle conditions at command posts and we have to transmit and receive wartime messages sent in code.

Now I am really stuck. I won’t be able to write for awhile because I already told you what I am going to do for quite awhile in advance. Right now, I am in our reading room, which closes at 10:00. Need I say more?



PDF: May 5, 1943, I am now a radio operator

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