‘The First Time I Ever Got Chicken, Tomatoes or Pie From the Army’

Dated May 29, 1943; postmarked May 31 from Camp Wheeler.

Dear People,

I got your letters today and I was glad to hear from you.

Today is Sunday, as usual, so I’m doing nothing but loaf all day today.

Tomorrow we go on an all-day and all-night problem. That will be the first time I will go out with the rest of the boys in a week. All last week, I stayed here in camp while the rest of the men, with the exception of two who stayed with me, went out three or four miles to set up C.P.X.‘s. Two days out of the week, those two fellows and I stayed here to operate a radio and keep in contact with our company.

The other two days, the other fellows and I worked with a colonel. He needed three radio operators with him to set up targets on an overhead firing problem. He had to have two radios with him and one radio had to go out about 800 yards to set up the targets. Then, if the colonel wasn’t satisfied with the way the targets were fixed, he could radio them and tell the men which way to move them. We had a lot of fun out there and we didn’t do anything.

After our problem tomorrow, I guess we will hand all our equipment in preparatory to shipping out. I don’t know where we are going from here, but I hope I go to either Fort Benning, Georgia, or Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Fort Benning is a communication school and if I got there, I ought to get a pretty good rating when I get out. As you probably know, Fort Monmouth is the Signal Corps and I don’t have to say anything about that. These are just pipe dreams, of course, but I’d like to go to one of those places anyway.

Papa — thanks a lot, it sure came in handy, but I would have had some tomorrow anyhow. Tomorrow is payday, by the by.

I think I told you before that I didn’t see Bob Hope’s show last Tuesday because we were on a night problem then.

How do you like the envelope this letter came in? That was my buddy’s idea. He comes from Jamaica, N.Y., and he is a heck of a nice guy. He doesn’t drink either and that is one of the main reasons why I pal around with him.

I also got that letter from Joe Giardina and he says he will come to see me, but when he does, I don’t think I will be here. I am going to write to him and tell him not to look for me.

Yesterday, I had my last K.P. here, I hope. I had K.P. at the officers’ mess and boy, did I eat. All the chicken, milk, fresh tomatoes and jelly, butter and bread and pie I wanted. That was the first time I ever got chicken, tomatoes or pie from the Army.

Well, I’ll say so-long now.



PDF: About pay, hopes for next post and food at the officers’ mess

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