July 2, 1944
Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,
Well, another Sunday evening is here. The weeks surely fly by at a fast pace. Tomorrow starts my seventh month in the Army. I’m really a veteran now. At least, I think so, although
to the fellows who have been in for 2,3 or more years probably think that 6 months is just a drop in the bucket. Confidentially to me it’s just six months too many.
As does everyone else, I hope the war will end soon (the European phase at least). How can Germany take such terrific beatings from all sides and yet survive? Everyone is very impatient and wants the war to end quickly so he can go home. All this talk of lofty ideals and postwar aims mean nothing to the average soldier. What he wants is a discharge from the Army and a chance to live like a human being again.
The 68th Signal is to be a replacement outfit. The whole
battalion will not go overseas as a unit. From time to time there will be P.O.R. (port [or post?] of replacement) shipments. If, for instance, due to casualties overseas, a unit needs six radio operators or 4 intercept men, etc., they can be supplied from the 68th Signal. There was a P.O.R. last week and there is to be another one this coming week. After you have been here four months you can be sent out on a P.O.R. shipment.
There is to be no more training in German intercept. An order to that effect came through a few days ago. From now on it will all be Japanese intercept. I think that the Japanese training is also at Camp Crowder. The course isn’t very long (7 or 8 weeks, I believe), but I would like to be sent there. Everything depends on our code speed. I am working on 15 words per minute with pencil and 10 “ “ “ [words per minute] on the typewriter. I could be much faster if we didn’t have so many details. Even without the details, our schedule now calls for only a few hrs. of code a week. And they expect you to increase your code speed! The details are so heavy and come so thick and fast around here that we call this the labor battalion. I do like radio work and code very much, but I wish we would get more training in it than we are getting at present.
Everyone in R.I. has to go to driver’s school now. That will take about a month. Our mornings will be spent on code and radio, etc., and the afternoons at driver’s school. All of us have to have a G.I. driver’s license. It seems that there are never enough truck drivers available so everyone has to learn how to drive a truck. One of the worst features is having to take care of the damned truck. The driver has to do the maintenance, oiling, greasing, cleaning, etc.
All our officer are leaving. The company commander is going to B company because B Co’s company commander is going P.O.R. A Lt. Kozmor is the new c. comm.
There are 2 R.I. officers and both are leaving. Lt. Karpovich is going to battalion hq. and Lt. Ketts is going to a 32-week officer’s course in radio at Fort Monmouth.
 Radio Intercept. Section responsible for the interception of enemy transmission rather than communication within friendly forces.
For a while now there will be only one R.I. officer, Lt. Kenney. I haven’t seen him yet. He was here before, I understand. The other officer is to be one of the 90-day wonders. Whoever he is, he’s still in O.C.S.
I received the furlough bag yesterday, and I think it is swell. It’s just the thing. For my purposes its much better than a good suitcase. I hope I get to use it soon. I haven’t any idea when, but it shouldn’t be very long. Boy, am I looking forward to it.
Do you intend to go to any of the operas in Cincinnati this summer? I wouldn’t mind going to one while I’m home. Just think, I haven’t seen a play, heard a lecture, or a concert for over six months.
You know, I think I’ll study journalism when I go back to school. How I wish I could be in school now.
I ate at the Service Club tonight with John Hughes, the fellow from Milwaukee I was telling you about. Today is his 19th birthday. He applied for O.C.S. and
I it looks like he has a good chance of being sent there. The company commander said he would try to get him in the August quota.
 90-day wonders was a term referring to officers commissioned through the three month Officer Candidate School (OCS). These courses, which began in 1940, provided officers for the greatly expanded war-time army that rapidly dwarfed the available output of the United States Military Academy at West Point and other normal commissioning sources that provided much longer and more thorough training and preparation. It was not a complimentary term.
I don’t think I told you, but Infantry O.C.S. was reopened a couple of weeks ago. That’s the only O.C.S. open now. It’s plenty tough to get through. If you flunk out, as most do, they make you a buck corporal in the Infantry. I think Hughes is foolish, because his age is against him.
Jim Friedberg went on furlough tonight. He came in the Army a few days after I did, but he’s in bn. hq. and they run a separate furlough roster from hq. co.
The Melody Maids from Beaumont Texas entertained at the Service Club this weekend, and some of them ate in our mess hall this noon. As you can well imagine, this cause quite a bit of excitement around the company area. Women in the mess hall – I guess it’s intended to raise morale.
We leave Tuesday morning to go on bivouac and come back either Thursday night or Friday morning. Everybody hates bivouac.
Saw a good movie today – Esther Williams and Red Skelton with Harry James and Xavier Cugat in “Bathing Beauty.” It’s a swell musical in Technicolor. I go for that escapist stuff more than ever now. In fact, these musicals seem to be the most popular movies among the soldiers.
Last night I saw Barbara Stanywyck, Fred MacMurray, and E.G. Robinson in “Double Indemnity.” I didn’t care for it – to much dialogue and not enough action.
I haven’t been getting the Dayton paper for almost a week.
We Will you see what is wrong?
The blisters on my fingers are all gone. And my leg is all healed up also. I went to the medics and they took care of me.
We got the album of records from “Mexican Hayride” for the dayroom. The music was written by Cole Porter, and one song in particular, “Girls,” is wonderful. I was paid $24.85 last Friday. Did you receive my monthly war bond yet?
I’ll have plenty for furlough money: if I take a coach, I
get can get a furlough rate which is about half the regular price. That is not true for a Pullman, however. I don’t know what to do. On a coach, though, I’d probably have to stand all the way to St. Louis.
I was glad to get the “N.Y. Times.” Well, I could write on and on, but I must stop somewhere. Hope you are all O.K. Let me hear all the news from home.