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Days, Weeks, or Even Months

Posted by on June 23, 2017

September 12 and 16, 1945.Stanley writes two letters to Dad from Abilene. He notes receiving one of dad’s letters, “which was not censored” and observes that, “It will be three years in the Army for me the last day of the month and three years since the last we saw each other.” Commenting on Dad’s letter, Stanley writes, “I’m glad to hear that your outfit was very fortunate in not losing any planes. My squadron…lost about twenty five planes alone not counting what the others lost. I guess we’ll have a lot to talk over when we get together again.”

Now that the war has been over for more than a month, it seems that there is little more for the men in Abilene to do than wait for their discharge orders and complain that it’s taking too long for the orders to come their way.  Stanley goes into some detail in terms of what the mood is like on base. “They are just about clear of all the 85 pointers and are getting rid of the 38 year old men. How long it is before they start on the 80 pointers I don’t know. Most of the fellows here who are eligible for discharge are just about sitting on pins and needles waiting and hoping. This field is about the last one to get some information when it comes to getting men discharged.”

He also goes on to write about something new that they’ve begun to do. “Today they had at one o’clock a Bitching Hour at the Air Inspectors Office, It seems as though some big shot came from the 2nd Air Force to hear the bitches. Maybe they will do something. It was all regarding men who were eligible for separation. I imagine the attendance was pretty good. Last night in the barracks they started a new phrase; I should say a word which they are going to try to spread throughout the field. It is the word OHIO. It mostly pertains to men eligible for discharge. It means OVER THE HILL IN OCTOBER. …We have men hanging around in the barracks sleeping all day or tanning themselves in the sun or just hanging around all day in the PX or somewhere else. This place for some is just like a morgue.”

As for Stanley, he spends a good deal of time at work in the orderly room, stating, “I’m glad I do something all day and in that way the time passes while for others it drags along.” Even so, he admits that he doesn’t “work as hard as I did when I was in England….I’m taking life easy from now until I get discharged.”  He details that on his day off he “layed in the sun for about two hours.” He goes on to write “I eat just about twice as much food now than I did before.” Of course, is not without consequence as he weighed himself and is “158 pounds…a bit more than I weighed when I came home from overseas. I’m sure putting on a little weight as I can feel it all over me.”

Before closing his letter on the 16th he details that he had his “points recomputed and now I have a total of 85 points. Now it is only a matter of days, weeks or even months before I get discharged from the Army.” With that on his mind, he closes, “God bless you brother, and here’s hoping that you come home soon and get out of the army faster.”  

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