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Don’t Pass Up Any Opportunities

Posted by on February 20, 2016

Early May, 1944:  A couple of letters from friends and relatives.  We have two letters from Capt. John Jordan who had worked with Dad at Topeka and was sent overseas and a letter from his cousin Stella Morawski in Albany. Capt. Jordan encourages Dad to keep up the good work, while Stella brings Dad up to speed on the whereabouts of a few of his cousins who are also in the service.

On May 5, 1944, Jordan writes a V-mail to Dad asking “How goes the battle?” Jordan is stationed somewhere in England. He comments that “Things are quite different here, Tony – Just about everything is. You’d like it, though. It’s often wished that you fellas might have made the trip with us. Don’t pass it up if you get the chance.” He also encourages Dad and the rest of the guys at Topeka to write him. “I’ve often wondered how you fellas were making out – as yet haven’t heard from any of the bunch – how about taking a few minutes off and give me the low down?”

It seems that by the 15th a letter from Dad reaches Jordan as Jordan writes, “Thanks a lot for the letter fella. Sure glad to hear from the old gang…”  Jordan has heard that one of Dad’s old bosses (M/S Ball) has gone on to OCS and he asks that Dad send him Ball’s new address. Jordan also comments on Dad’s prospects, writing, “Imagine you’ll be heading for that same type school. Don’t pass up any opportunities Tony, ‘cause one’s gotta look after one’s own interests”

Jordan also looks back on old times now that he seems to have the same duties in England as he had in Topeka.  “…as much as I’ve tried to avoid it, I’m back at my old job again – only over here I don’t have you fellas to work and travel with. Many is the time that I’ve wished you were here tho.”

One interesting thing to note is that while the letters from Dad and Stanley were reviewed by censors, the V-mail and letter from Capt. Jordan are self-censored as you can see on the envelope below.

Envelope from Capt. Jordan's latter dated May 15, 1944. Note that the letter did not pass through the hands of a censor other than those of Capt. Jordan himself.

Envelope from Capt. Jordan’s latter dated May 15, 1944. Note that the letter did not pass through the hands of a censor other than those of Capt. Jordan himself.

In addition to the letter from Capt. Jordan, Dad receives a letter from his cousin Stella Morawski that was written on May 11, 1944. She informs Dad that “Everyone here is in the best of health…” before getting into the news about her two brothers Vincent and Edward, who are both serving in the Army.

Edward, who was injured in Guadalcanal, “…is in the United States and expects to come home in a week or so. At present he is in a Naval Hospital at Shoemaker, California. He is receiving treatments for his arm. As for Vincent, he expects to come home during this month or the next. They might both come home together. Vincent has been in the hospital for a few weeks to have his tonsils taken out; he also had a touch of pneumonia.” Stella also includes Vincent and Edward’s addresses; Vincent at Camp Barkley, Texas, and Edward in Unit 3, Ward B-8, USN Hospital, Shoemaker, California.

Stella wraps with, “The Family and I send you our regards.”

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