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A Dignified Party

Posted by on January 4, 2016

March 12, 15 & 17, 1944. Dad writes a few letters home to update everyone on what is going on at the HQ Squadron of the 21st Bomb Wing at Topeka Army Air Base. They had a big sendoff party for his boss, Captain Jordan, at the Jayhawk Hotel. He writes in general terms about his job, comparing it to the kind of work his brother is doing in England. Dad has also joined the choir that the new Catholic chaplain is putting together.

Image from the letterhead of the Service Club at Topeka Army Air Base featuring a drawing of a B-24 Liberator

Image from the letterhead of the Service Club at Topeka Army Air Base featuring a drawing of a B-24 Liberator

The party at the Jayhawk was quite an event. As Dad tells it, “Yesterday, Sat. night, the small group of us, composed of the former Ordnance Section, had a party for Jordan at the Jayhawk Hotel. Everybody had a good time and the chicken dinner was swell and I got back to the base on my own two feet. Jordan was presented a medal, a bright red ribbon with two spark plugs. Our Wing Adjutant, a young fellow of 25 was there, and he had the distinguished privilege of pinning the medal on.”

Dad writes that the wives of the officers were present and that he was “the only unmarried guy.”  He writes that “not a single untoward word was spoken and we were engaged in very interesting conversations. Jordan and Ellis were toasting each other so frequently that they passed out, were revived, and passed out again. Everybody was friendly and on the whole it was a dignified party and we all had a lot of fun.” Dad writes that Jordan is, “a fine fellow and I made Staff through his efforts. In fact, everyone in our gang got an extra rating because of him. We sure thanked him.”

As for his duties in the office, Dad writes that “I get my work done and I forget about it. My work is different from Stanley’s and no doubt I have it pretty soft except for a thorn here or there.” He expands on the thought, writing “Stanley’s work is very tedious and routine but with my work something new always comes up.”

The new Catholic chaplain is organizing a choir on base. Since Dad sang in the choir back home, he joined the one on base. The choir is made up of 8 WACS and two enlisted men, including Dad. They will be singing at the Stations of the Cross on Friday and for the local bishop when he visits.

In other news:

  • Dad has recently seen the movies See Here, Private Hargrove (“…one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a while”), and Chip Off the Old Block which starred Peggy Ryan and Donald O’Connor (‘it was a very good movie”).
  • He is also “spending quite a bit of time recently reading a Chemistry book. I guess it’s just a passing fancy of mine.”

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